Oh, Bother: Brits Say Modern Winnie the Pooh Riddled With Americanisms

  • Share
  • Read Later
REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

A sketch from the original Winnie The Pooh series.

Winnie the who? Modern versions of the originally British children’s series has left U.K. fans wondering what happened to their beloved books.

Linda Weeks, a British librarian, is leading the pack with complaints about the Disney versions of the books, which she says are riddled with errors and Americanisms that just don’t mesh with the series’ heritage.

(LIST: The 100 Best Books of All Time)

The series, which was created in the 1920s by British author A.A. Milne, has since been adapted by The Walt Disney Company as an animated series. While the cartoon did make some changes to the original stories, it’s the most recent additions that have pushed Weeks to protest. The Telegraph reports that Weeks was dismayed to see a skipping rope called a “jump rope,” “moustache” spelled “mustache,” and the use of the word “gotten” in Eeyore’s declaration, “I’ve gotten all spruced up for spring.”

“A.A. Milne would never have written the word ‘gotten’,” she told the Telegraph. “So why has it been put in there?”

(WATCH: 10 Questions for Robert Lopez, Composer of ‘Mormon’ and ‘Pooh’)

The publishers, Parragon, are based in Bath and responded to Weeks’ complaint about the new phrases with this explanation: “[W]e sell our books around the world and not just the UK and so we sometimes need to adapt the language accordingly to make it accessible for the widest possible audience.”

While it seems like a fair enough explanation when taken at face value, many critics, both British and American, have joined in the protest, saying that editing out the original language fundamentally changes the work.

More worrying, however, is the recent crop of errors and grammatical mistakes that have appeared in the books and similar children’s stories such as Alice in Wonderland, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White. According to Weeks, in the Alice story, the words “all ways” was written as “always” and in another story, whales slap their “tales” rather than their “tails.”

It would seem that this is all a case of some editors stuffing up royally. Oh, excuse us, we’ll rephrase — they messed up big time.

LIST: Top 10 Movies Based on Kids’ Books