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Author: bingocards Three stars, 500 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 308782  
Subject: Fitting in and the color of Hermione's hair Date: 2/25/2009 11:25 PM
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Recently I had to go to the doctor's office because my cough has not been improving. This entails a lot of waiting. I brought a book, naturally involving dragons and the slaying thereof.

As it turned out, the people sitting next to me were a mother and her daughter, who was somewhere in the seven-ish range and quite precocious. She was reading Harry Potter (which is impressive for a seven year old and DARN impressive for a Japanese seven year old), or maybe just pretending to read it, since her mother had been reading it to her previously.

Some time after her mother went in for her examination, she put down the book and said, to no one in particular:

Girl: "I think I am dying."

Which tripped all of my big brother instincts.

Bingo: "Oh, honey, I don't think you're dying."

Girl: "Nuh-uh. Doomed, doomed, doomed."

Bingo: "What makes you say that?"

Girl: "I'm going colorblind."

Bingo: "Well that sounds serious. How long?"

Girl: "I dunno. But look: if I do this" and she puts her hand out in front of her "I can see it fine, but things out of the corner of my eye look all screwy."

Bingo: "Screwy how?"

Girl: "Like you look all washed out."

Bingo: "... You mean, like, a little pale?"

Girl: "More like a lot of pale."

Bingo: "I see. Umm, thing is, I'm like this all of the time."

Girl: "Oh! ... Are you dying?"

Bingo: "Probably not, no."

Girl: "Then why are you 'deathfully pale'?"

Bingo: "I think you read that as 'deathly', dear."

Girl: "Oh thanks! But why?"

Bingo: "Well, you know how some people look different than other people? Like, maybe your dad is taller than your grandpa? Its like that."

Girl: "But dad isn't deathly tall."

Bingo: "Its not deathly tall, its normally tall... I mean normally pale. But I suppose also normally tall. Argh. Its... oh, I have an idea. You know Hermione?"

Girl (beams): "She is my favorite person EVER."

Bingo: "Its like how Hermione has long brown hair. You know, she just does."

And she looks at me with murder in her eyes.

Girl: "Hermione would NEVER dye her hair. LIAR."

[Incidentally, hair dying is quite popular Japan and, in this neck of the woods, is roughly the equivalent of wearing pants which are so low they threaten to fall off. So hair dying is clearly not Hermione behavior, because Hermione is Little Miss Super-Virtue. Which would mean that her hair is natural, and there is exactly one natural hair color in central Japan.]

When her mother got back, the young lady complained that I was saying dreadfully untrue things about Hermione. Which needed a bit of an explanation, so I said "Er, your daughter was a bit confused that some foreigners look white, so I compared it to Hermione having bushy brown hair."

So her mother, who was quite scandalized, tried to explain things to her in a few minutes. (I sympathize, as I vividly remember embarrassing the heck out of my mother when I was six. I thought you became black after refusal to scrub for forever, which seemed like a great deal to me.)

After this was more or less done to her satisfaction, the mother turned to me and said, in the voice only a mother can manage, "But Hermione's hair IS long, black, straight, and beautiful, right?", with her daughter nodding vigorously.

The thought of earning the eternal hatred of two rabid Hermione fans was too terrible to contemplate, so I acquiesced.

Sidenote: I am also a Hermione fan. In fact, if I had written the series, it would have been titled Hermione Granger, and chronicled her exploits, such as having the highest marks in the history of Hogwarts, winning Gryffindor the House Cup, outsmarting He Who Must Not Be Named at every turn, and repeatedly saving the lives of a rich slacker jock with a scar on his forehead and his bumbling (but strangely lovable) idiot of a friend.
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Author: Fuskie Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Ticker Guide SC1 Red Winner of the 2010 Rule Breakers Challenge Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285525 of 308782
Subject: Re: Fitting in and the color of Hermione's hair Date: 2/26/2009 12:24 AM
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You might as well have betrayed Santa Klaus and the Easter Bunny.

Fuskie
Who is STILL waiting to hear if you enjoyed your trip back to the states...

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Author: bingocards Three stars, 500 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285526 of 308782
Subject: Re: Fitting in and the color of Hermione's hair Date: 2/26/2009 2:44 AM
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Yes, I did. You might have missed the response when you asked the same question two weeks ago:

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=27426393

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Author: llamalluv Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285527 of 308782
Subject: Re: Fitting in and the color of Hermione's hair Date: 2/26/2009 9:35 AM
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Maybe you should have used the Weasleys as an example!

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Author: Lea77 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285528 of 308782
Subject: Re: Fitting in and the color of Hermione's hair Date: 2/26/2009 9:38 AM
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repeatedly saving the lives of a rich slacker jock with a scar on his forehead and his bumbling (but strangely lovable) idiot of a friend.

Ha! You could probably write a very interested set of books from hermione's perspective.

Ok, so about the hair. Did she just picture it that way because that is how normal hair looks, or do they actually describe it differently in the translated books? I know they had some "american" versions with slightly less british language.

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Author: Lea77 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285529 of 308782
Subject: Re: Fitting in and the color of Hermione's hair Date: 2/26/2009 9:39 AM
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interested

Interesting.

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Author: Patzer Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285530 of 308782
Subject: Re: Fitting in and the color of Hermione's hair Date: 2/26/2009 10:34 AM
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"Its like how Hermione has long brown hair. You know, she just does."

Well. Emma Watson has long brown hair, but I don't recall any discussion of Hermione's hair color in the books. That doesn't mean that the books don't say, just that it wasn't prominent enough for me to remember.

OTOH, I recall the books describing Harry as having black hair, and very prominently and frequently mentioning the Weasleys' red hair. It would have been safer to refer to Ginny Weasley than Hermione, I say with 20-20 hindsight.

I wonder if the girl envisions Cho Chang as looking Chinese?

Patzer

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Author: Fuskie Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Ticker Guide SC1 Red Winner of the 2010 Rule Breakers Challenge Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285531 of 308782
Subject: Re: Fitting in and the color of Hermione's hair Date: 2/26/2009 11:18 AM
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Sorry about that, sometimes I move faster through the boards than the threads do.

Fuskie
Who is glad you had a good trip to visit family and wonders having been immersed in both worlds which you more consider home...

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Author: llambe Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285532 of 308782
Subject: Re: Fitting in and the color of Hermione's hair Date: 2/26/2009 11:53 AM
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From wikipedia... ' Hermione first appears in Philosopher's Stone when she meets future companions Harry and Ron on the Hogwarts Express. She is described as having "a bossy sort of voice, lots of bushy brown hair, and rather large front teeth," '

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Author: Rael137 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285533 of 308782
Subject: Re: Fitting in and the color of Hermione's hair Date: 2/26/2009 12:18 PM
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Hermione first appears in Philosopher's Stone ...

The U.S. version of the book was titled "Sorcerer's Stone". I read somewhere that the reason was that American readers wouldn't "get" what a philosopher was.

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Author: Fuskie Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Ticker Guide SC1 Red Winner of the 2010 Rule Breakers Challenge Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285534 of 308782
Subject: Re: Fitting in and the color of Hermione's hair Date: 2/26/2009 1:00 PM
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I wonder if in the Japanese edition Hermione has black hair.

Fuskie
Who notes this would not be the first time a book was edited for its audience...

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Author: DrBooa Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285535 of 308782
Subject: Re: Fitting in and the color of Hermione's hair Date: 2/26/2009 1:14 PM
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Well. Emma Watson has long brown hair, but I don't recall any discussion of Hermione's hair color in the books. That doesn't mean that the books don't say, just that it wasn't prominent enough for me to remember.

It's mentioned several times as being brown, and bushy. It comes up for the ball where she goes with Victor Krum as her having done something to make it sort of lie down and be well-behaved.


--Booa

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Author: DrBooa Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285536 of 308782
Subject: Re: Fitting in and the color of Hermione's hair Date: 2/26/2009 1:16 PM
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Hermione first appears in Philosopher's Stone ...

------------------------------------------------------------

The U.S. version of the book was titled "Sorcerer's Stone". I read somewhere that the reason was that American readers wouldn't "get" what a philosopher was.


The movie "The Madness of King George III" was retitled "The Madness of King George" in the U.S. because people in the test audiences wanted to know what happened in "The Madness of King George" and "The Madness of King George II." That always makes me laugh.


--Booa

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Author: akm3 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285539 of 308782
Subject: Re: Fitting in and the color of Hermione's hair Date: 2/26/2009 2:55 PM
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"The U.S. version of the book was titled "Sorcerer's Stone". I read somewhere that the reason was that American readers wouldn't "get" what a philosopher was."

And they changed 'jumper' to 'sweater'. We aren't dumb, but as Brit's frequently point out we do use the language differently and thus translation is involved - especially in a kid's book.

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Author: Myownigloo Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285547 of 308782
Subject: Re: Fitting in and the color of Hermione's hair Date: 2/26/2009 6:56 PM
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The movie "The Madness of King George III" was retitled "The Madness of King George" in the U.S. because people in the test audiences wanted to know what happened in "The Madness of King George" and "The Madness of King George II." That always makes me laugh.

That's hilarious, especially considering that when I first saw a poster for this film, I said, "Hmmm, I didn't know King George I was mad...."

MOI

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Author: bingocards Three stars, 500 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285552 of 308782
Subject: Re: Fitting in and the color of Hermione's hair Date: 2/26/2009 9:25 PM
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>>
I wonder if in the Japanese edition Hermione has black hair.
>>

Not in the one I read, no. It was scrupulously faithful to the original in all respects that I could see.

The translator deserves a medal for her work. Its seriously amazing on every level: take Expecto Patronum.

1) We know at a glance its supposed to be fake Latin or fake Greek.
2) We can look at the word roots and get a rough idea of what it must mean.
3) We automatically associate fake Latin with old, mystic stuff.

Now here's what Expecto Patronum looks like to Japanese people: "#$"#$&!$!%!#$. Not quite easy to understand. But the translator managed to render it such that:

1) It looked like fake classical Chinese.
2) Literate people can look at the characters and get a rough idea of what it must mean. (I have a poor memory for fake classical Chinese but off the top of my head I think she picked "Summon Protector Spirit".)
3) Fake classical Chinese is old, mystic stuff.
4) And it came with a Japanese written subtitle (I won't bore you but the language can do this) that said Expecto Patronum because everyone who is not a seven year old in a town with 1 American per 15,000 people understands that Harry is not *really* speaking fake classical Chinese and it is important that they get the *authentic* British fake Latin spellcasting experience.

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Author: SirTas Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285557 of 308782
Subject: Re: Fitting in and the color of Hermione's hair Date: 2/26/2009 10:11 PM
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The U.S. version of the book was titled "Sorcerer's Stone". I read somewhere that the reason was that American readers wouldn't "get" what a philosopher was.

Strangely, there's some truth in that. When I tell people what I do -- philosophy -- they often don't seem to have a clue.

But the original British title is way better, since the reference is not so much to a sorcerer and a stone that he happens to have, but rather to the "philosopher's stone" -- famous in alchemy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosopher's_Stone

--SirTas

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Author: Lea77 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285558 of 308782
Subject: Re: Fitting in and the color of Hermione's hair Date: 2/26/2009 10:15 PM
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The movie "The Madness of King George III" was retitled "The Madness of King George" in the U.S. because people in the test audiences wanted to know what happened in "The Madness of King George" and "The Madness of King George II." That always makes me laugh.

That is funny, but "The Madness of King George" makes a better title, I think.

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Author: Patzer Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285559 of 308782
Subject: Re: Fitting in and the color of Hermione's hair Date: 2/26/2009 11:54 PM
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The U.S. version of the book was titled "Sorcerer's Stone". I read somewhere that the reason was that American readers wouldn't "get" what a philosopher was.

Strangely, there's some truth in that. When I tell people what I do -- philosophy -- they often don't seem to have a clue.

But the original British title is way better, since the reference is not so much to a sorcerer and a stone that he happens to have, but rather to the "philosopher's stone" -- famous in alchemy:


Not only that, but any regular reader of fantasy would have instantly recognized the philosopher's stone from the title and known what it was. I'm confident that American 8 year old kids who read fantasy would have learned this just as easily as they learn words like "dexterity" and "gelatinous."

Patzer

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Author: bingocards Three stars, 500 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285560 of 308782
Subject: Re: Fitting in and the color of Hermione's hair Date: 2/27/2009 2:36 AM
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True, but they had much, much bigger designs for the Harry Potter series than getting it read by typical fantasy readers. But all accounts it succeeded in getting read by people who do not read, period.

Non-geeks: stop reading now. You have been warned.

If a D&D geek couldn't tell me what a philosopher's stone was, what its properties were, and at least three ways to destroy it using a basilisk scale, a dragon's tooth, and the limb of a yew tree sundered by a lightning strike, I'd pretty much have to stop being friends with them.

And no, you do not get to use bat guano. Amateurs.

Back in my day, we had to adventure for 10 years to get Fireball, and even then we could only cast it once a day, so it got saved for appropriate occasions like emergency disposal of river troll corpses when the idiot fighter had forgotten the lamp oil back at camp. (There is no non-emergency disposal of river troll corpses -- destruction by fire, immersion in acid, or move as fast as you can because you've got five minutes before you're being pursued by a very irate river troll.)

The blundering lummox fighter didn't even remember to bring the mirror when adventuring in basilisk territory. We should have left him there, a stone monument to Stupid. The cleric didn't agree, but come on, even lawful good has its limits.

Nowadays kids just roll a new character and the first kobold runt they come upon ends up as a greasy charred smear on the rocks. I'm not a fan of these new-fangled innovations like runaway fireball inflation and fighters with IQs higher than their armor class. What's next, credit default swaps on dragon hordes and ARMs to buy castles? No, back in my day, we paid for keeps.

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Author: maracle Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285561 of 308782
Subject: Re: Fitting in and the color of Hermione's hair Date: 2/27/2009 3:18 AM
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The U.S. version of the book was titled "Sorcerer's Stone". I read somewhere that the reason was that American readers wouldn't "get" what a philosopher was.

Well philosopher can mean alchemist according to my dictionary but that was the 6th definition and it was marked "obsolete." If you're saying that American readers wouldn't have understood that meaning of the word that's almost certainly true. I don't know if it is more commonly known as a synonym of alchemist in British usage.

If you mean Americans wouldn't know what a philosopher (as in Socrates) is, I really doubt that. More that the word just doesn't make sense in relation to the stone unless you know its most obscure meaning. The early books also changed a lot of british slang, such as replacing 'bogey' with 'booger' and the like. They stopped doing that once the books became popular.

I never quite understood why they used a different illustrator in the American market on the other hand.

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285565 of 308782
Subject: Re: Fitting in and the color of Hermione's hair Date: 2/27/2009 10:40 AM
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Personally, I think the "Sorcerer's Stone" title was both more descriptive and more accurate that the "Philosopher's Stone" title. I'm surprised a philosopher would be attracted to using their professional term for someone brewing up potions to extend their life indefinitely.



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: legalwordwarrior Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285567 of 308782
Subject: Re: Fitting in and the color of Hermione's hair Date: 2/27/2009 10:48 AM
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I'm surprised a philosopher would be attracted to using their professional term for someone brewing up potions to extend their life indefinitely.

You mean that's not what a philosopher does? I'm stunned, disillusioned and heartbroken! There goes changing my major to Philosophy <grin>

LWW

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Author: Patzer Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285570 of 308782
Subject: Re: Fitting in and the color of Hermione's hair Date: 2/27/2009 11:28 AM
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I'm surprised a philosopher would be attracted to using their professional term for someone brewing up potions to extend their life indefinitely.

Apparently medieval savants had no philosophical objection to this use of the term.

Patzer

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Author: Rael137 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285571 of 308782
Subject: Re: Fitting in and the color of Hermione's hair Date: 2/27/2009 12:04 PM
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Hey, doesn't Bingo get an icon for being nominated for Feste?

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Author: Rael137 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285572 of 308782
Subject: Re: Fitting in and the color of Hermione's hair Date: 2/27/2009 12:06 PM
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I never quite understood why they used a different illustrator in the American market on the other hand.

I read that in the Spain version the cover art had Harry without glasses for some reason. Which kinda defeats one of the defining character features.

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Author: DrBooa Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285573 of 308782
Subject: Re: Fitting in and the color of Hermione's hair Date: 2/27/2009 1:49 PM
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The U.S. version of the book was titled "Sorcerer's Stone". I read somewhere that the reason was that American readers wouldn't "get" what a philosopher was.

-----------------------------------------------------------

Strangely, there's some truth in that. When I tell people what I do -- philosophy -- they often don't seem to have a clue.

But the original British title is way better, since the reference is not so much to a sorcerer and a stone that he happens to have, but rather to the "philosopher's stone" -- famous in alchemy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosopher's_Stone

--SirTas


I think the reason they changed the title was that they thought Americans wouldn't know what the Philosopher's Stone was, not that they wouldn't know what philosophers were.

And bingo, my DH does a similar rant to yours, D&D based, but about the publisher thinking Americans wouldn't *know* what a philosopher's stone was. After a while, to me, it all sounds like "dementor magic missile D20 portable hole you can't do that with a level 20 ruby dragon, that's a level 19 emerald dragon with the rear spoiler and supercharged engine." :-)


--Booa

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Author: TeaBeri One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285576 of 308782
Subject: Re: Fitting in and the color of Hermione's hair Date: 2/27/2009 2:36 PM
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Bingo: If you think fighters with high IQs are bad, wait until you see Wizards who can pick up a sword without poking their eye out. Sad times, indeed.


-Tea, who unfortunately knows how a level 20 druid with a familiar can stack force dragons on top of each other. Sigh...

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Author: pixiecakes Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285577 of 308782
Subject: Re: Fitting in and the color of Hermione's hair Date: 2/27/2009 2:58 PM
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I never quite understood why they used a different illustrator in the American market on the other hand.

Marketing. Even the UK books had one version of the covers for kids and another for adults who didn't want to look as though they were reading a kids' book. Personally, out of all the covers world-wide I like Mary GrandPré's the best, although I was disappointed toward the end where she seemed to be making Harry look more like Daniel Radcliffe. I think I read somewhere that J.K. Rowling also liked those covers the best as well, but I can't find a link.

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Author: foolazis Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285585 of 308782
Subject: Re: Fitting in and the color of Hermione's hair Date: 2/27/2009 6:54 PM
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Back in my day, we had to adventure for 10 years to get Fireball, and even then we could only cast it once a day, so it got saved for appropriate occasions like emergency disposal of river troll corpses when the idiot fighter had forgotten the lamp oil back at camp. (There is no non-emergency disposal of river troll corpses -- destruction by fire, immersion in acid, or move as fast as you can because you've got five minutes before you're being pursued by a very irate river troll.)

The blundering lummox fighter didn't even remember to bring the mirror when adventuring in basilisk territory. We should have left him there, a stone monument to Stupid. The cleric didn't agree, but come on, even lawful good has its limits.

Nowadays kids just roll a new character and the first kobold runt they come upon ends up as a greasy charred smear on the rocks. I'm not a fan of these new-fangled innovations like runaway fireball inflation and fighters with IQs higher than their armor class. What's next, credit default swaps on dragon hordes and ARMs to buy castles? No, back in my day, we paid for keeps.


Love your post! I used to run a campaign using just the original boxed set of rules, which were little more than 20 page pamphlets. No Monster Manuals or even DM's Guides to use. Got to build some interesting scenarios using just the old imagination. It was almost like a story telling session.

What are they coming to these days? 8-)

foolazis

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Author: SirTas Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285606 of 308782
Subject: Re: Fitting in and the color of Hermione's hair Date: 2/28/2009 2:16 PM
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I think the reason they changed the title was that they thought Americans wouldn't know what the Philosopher's Stone was, not that they wouldn't know what philosophers were.

True.

But that's connected to another ignorance -- one about the history of philosophy and science and knowlegde in general. And I probably only muddied the waters by bringing these two too close together. Most people can only think of some of the ancients (such as Socrates and Plato) as philosophers. It's true that philosophy has an ancient history, and science would not be clearly distinguished from philosophy until about two thousand years after Socrates and Plato. (Note that, to this day, the highest academic degree that is given in physics, chemistry, etc. is the Doctor of Philosophy degree.)

Sir Isaac Newton thought of himself as a natural philosopher. But he had some ideas about numerology, alchemy, magic, etc. which would have helped him to be comfortable at Hogwarts. http://www.amazon.com/Isaac-Newton-Sorcerer-Helix-Books/dp/p... Yet, in addition, he was instrumental in the European Scientific Revolution: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_Revolution

It was during this time that alchemy gradually died out as a serious pursuit, and was replaced by chemistry. The phrase "philosopher's stone" dates from a time when alchemy had not yet been replaced.

Hardly anyone refers to himself these days as a "natural philosopher." But there are philosophers of many other kinds: e.g., moral philosophers, logicians, metaphysicians, epistemologists, social and political philosophers, etc. See, for example, http://www.apaonline.org/

--SirTas

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