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Gili Bar-Hillel gbhillel at
Tue Feb 3 01:57:41 EST 2004

Monika wrote:

>>>She [Joanne Rowling] also seems to have a preference for certain adverbs,
"dully"or "closely" and for making people say things "through clenched
(or gritted) teeth". It's interesting that some of these have been
corrected in later editions of Order of the Phoenix. A friend of mine
has compiled a list of the changes between the first edition and the
unabridged audio book. Apparently Stephen Fry doesn't read from the
first edition.

Catching up a little late here, but I can corroborate this: I was given a
long (3 page) list of edits for OotP from JKR's agents, and a great deal of
them involved changing the phrase "through gritted teeth" into something
else. Another phrase that was changed or deleted several times was "turning
on his heel". And quite a few semicolons were replaced with colons. There
were few major changes, though an entire paragraph was deleted somewhere.
Why anyone other than the proofreaders would bother to spend the time
comparing editions as closely as this is truly beyond me, but your friend is
not the first person I heard of who has done this. People tend to treat the
HP books as if they were holy texts, and every word changed is a blasphemy.
I often get asked if I translated HP5 from the British or the American
edition, as if this were crucial information. As there is a single
word/phrase which differs between the two editions and actually makes a
difference to the translation (divergent spellings and use of synonyms don't
really affect my word choice in Hebrew), I say I translated from the British
edition, thus satisfying the readers that my translation is more faithful to
the original. The word, by the way, is "satsuma" in the British edition,
"large walnut" in the American, and describes an object wedged in the left
nostril of a very unhappy witch.

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