Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Now I'm really BLUE! What do you think about this?

Is this how you remember BLUE starting;

I went to visit my friend Sherlock Holmes two days after Christmas and found him sitting on the sofa  wearing a purple dressing-gown. His pipe was on the coffee table and a pile of newspapers was next to him. Beside the sofa was a wooden chair with a very dirty old hat hanging on the back. His magnifying glass was lying nearby and I guessed he’d been studying the hat. 
‘You’re busy,’ I said; ‘perhaps I’m disturbing you.’ ‘Not at all. I’m glad to have a friend to discuss this with,’ he said, looking at the hat. ‘It’s not a very important case, but there are some interesting points and we might learn something from it.’ I sat down in his chair and warmed my hands in front of the fire. The weather was very cold and the windows were covered with ice. ‘I suppose that hat is a clue in some deadly crime that you’re trying to solve.’ ‘No crime,’ said Sherlock Holmes, laughing. ‘Just one of those funny little incidents that happen in large cities, where so many people live together in a small space. Many problems are just strange without being criminal.’ ‘That’s true,’ I agreed. ‘Our last case didn’t involve anyone breaking the law.’ ‘Exactly. You’re talking about the Irene Adler case. Well, I’m sure this one will be the same. Do you know Peterson, the security guard?

Would you have read it if this is how it was written?

This is how BLUE is suppose to start; I had called upon my friend Sherlock Holmes upon the second morning after Christmas, with the intention of wishing him the compliments of the season.

Just reading the original one tries as best as one can his or her own English actors accent.

While preparing to re-read BLUE for some Christmas time research I came across the above version of BLUE here.

Now to be fair, this version is introduced this way; Intermediate readers keep close to the original stories but are retold in modern English using words from the top 2000 most common words in the British National Corpus. This means you do not have to learn words that are very uncommon or old fashioned. Other words are explained in footnotes.

While I understand the premise of the intent, I have to wonder why it would be necessary and would it make the reader want to read more about Sherlock Holmes, or any other book adapted this way.

The introduction also states that this adaptation is suitable for foreign intermediate learners and native 5th graders.
My daughter is a native 4th grader and I know she would have no trouble working through BLUE in its original format. Not to say she is smarter than other kids (we do however believe she is) but she has been taught how to work out things she doesn't understand. Or to at least ask questions.

And since the new version is already giving footnotes for 'difficult' words and such, I have to wonder why they didn't just do that with the original?

I am probably making this sound more serious to me than it really is. But when I read the opening paragraph, not yet realizing it was an 'easy' adaptation, . . .  well I though I had landed in a bad rerun of Sherlock Peorias rants on Elementary.

Okay, I'm better now.

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