They did what?!

Recently I was alerted to a very upsetting fact by someone I follow on Twitter. Apparently the publishers of Enid Blyton's books have made some changes to her much loved stories. In order to keep up 'with the times' and avoid issues with her stories, the PC police (politically correct) decided to change some of her characters names. 

Firstly, they have changed Fanny to Frannie (because Fanny is slang for vagina or bottom, depending where you are from).

They have changed Dick to Rick (because Dick is slang for penis).

They have changed Bessie to Beth because they say the name Bessie isn't common anymore (although one commentor on Enid pointed out that 'Bessie' is a stereotypical name for black women and therefore has racist overtones, whether this has any substance I don't know, but nothing will surprise me now.  

The have changed Jo to Joe because Jo is a boy and apparently only girl Jo's spell their name this way. So to avoid confusion over poor little Jo's sex or sexual preference, they have changed the spelling of his name.

Lastly, they have changed Dame Slap to Dame Snap. Remember Dame Slap? She would punish misbehaviour by slapping? Well guess what, it's now wrong to slap children as punishment so she yells at them instead.

Shocking right!?

For those of you who, like me, grew up with The Magic Faraway Tree and The Enchanted Wood this is an outrage! I read this books countless times when I was little and I am not warped. I wasn't emotionally damaged by the idea of two kids being named after genitalia! In fact, I am not even sure I knew they were the slang words for genitalia and if I did I am sure I would have just had a bit of a giggle and moved on. They are names too. Wouldn't it be better if children nowadays grew up accepting that Dick and Fanny were people's names? What happens if they ever meet a Dick or a Fanny in real life? They are going to be mighty confused thinking that their parents named them after the parts they used to make them. 

Also, Dame Slap.. come on! It was scary to think about Dame Slap... that ...was ...the...point. No one wants to be slapped. She was a villain. Now she's just a screechy yelling person. Changing her name and method of punishment really takes away some of the fear. I am sure most children could handle reading about corporal punishment without it effecting them in a bad way. I did. My parents never ever slapped, hit or punished me in any sort of physical way. Somehow, I think if they did, that would have been way more damaging than reading about it in a book.

I think Enid Blyton would be horrified if she knew how her story has been changed. Imagine if we started repainting the great artworks? Imagine if we were 'offended' by the nudes so we decided to paint clothes on them? Imagine the outrage in the art community.. you just don't do something like that. Yet, apparently, it is ok to rewrite a classic children's book. 

What do you think of this? Did you read these books as a kid? Did you find them disturbing, rude or damaging in any way? Or did you love them as much as I did?

I am now frantically hunting for my old copies of these books. A friend of mine still has her copies and she said she is glad to have them 'full of Dicks and Fannies'. So far I have only managed to find The Enchanted Wood. I really want the originals because who knows how long until they have all gone and we have no more Dicks and Fannies.
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