Wednesday, September 15, 2010

this bothers me a lot

(and really, it's not at all important in the scheme of things)

when australian books talk about kids being in "the fourth grade" "the first grade" etc.

when did it stop being "grade 4" and "grade 1"? and why?

(this is a question for editors, i suppose, more than authors)

15 comments:

  1. Reading your blog makes me dip into things I have forgotten - books and music. I am now listening to Fiction by the Lucksmiths.

    I still say Grade 4 I think. Now I have to go back and check...

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  2. To my immense relief Tan Callahan is in Grade Four! Hoorah! But so insidious is this US vernacular that I had to go back and check. Also, when pray tell did icing become frosting? And don't speak to me about Dragonball Zeeeeee! I could go on but I will resist. jx

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  3. Yeah that pisses me off too.

    And when they talk about 'college'. It's called uni here!

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  4. When I expressed all sorts of horror at the lack of a "u" in "colour" my aunt, the journalist, told me that most newspapers/journals/media outlets, use the US dictionary so she didn't worry about using UK spelling.

    I think that the grade 4 v. forth grade thing is similar. The US dominates a lot of markets so, in the interests of efficiency, people are using their "subject headers"/genres/topics/etc which makes sense but doesn't make it suck any less.

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  5. One of my daughters started, then couldn't read past a few pages 'I'd tell you I love you but then I'd have to kill you' because of the American spelling in it. I don't understand why the Australian distributors of titles such as this don't sell the UK version into the ANZ market. It obviously causes angst, and not just for adults remembering when they attended grade four...

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  6. a fair few chidlets come into the shop and they jabber on about first grade and "when i was in fifth grade" so it is becoming part of vernacular unfort. (blerg and don't talk to me about dragonballzeeeeee and once i read an aussie YA in which the girl had "bangs" instead of a fringe. vom) but our language is elastic so as long as we keep eating vegemite i'm sure it will be ok.

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  7. I do think it's important. I've got a 'grade five' in Six Impossible Things, and went back to check the edits - happy to report that neither editor nor copy editor suggested a change to fifth grade - which I would have resisted - so hooray for Pan Mac. (And yeah - vegemite and BISCUITS.)

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  8. i don't think it would be reasonable to switch spellings from usa to australian spellings. it would take way to much time and money.

    you get used to it.

    saying that, growing up i spelt mum 'mom'. lol

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  9. nah, just thinking about australian-published books. making sure we keep our aussieisms in the books published here.

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  10. oh. sorry. i get it, you were referring to the other comment re. "i'd tell you i love you". sorry!

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