Classic children’s books by author Enid Blyton are getting a linguistic makeover to appeal to the new generation, according to a report at Whilst the publisher of the Famous Five series puts annual sales at over half a million, research has shown that parents are put off buying their children these books because of the ‘dated’ language.

Hodder said that the changes will affect the dialogue in the stories with the narrative left “largely untouched”. Publishing director Anne McNeil said: “Very subtle changes have been made to remove the barriers that stood between readers and the story.” In the original text, for example, Dick says: “She must be jolly lonely all by herself” which has been updated to read: “She must get lonely all by herself.” “Mother and father” become “mum and dad” and “school tunic” becomes ‘uniform’.” McNeil said that the changes were not intended to make the Famous Five books “modern” but to place them in a “timeless” age. She said: “We have not introduced any slang or colloquial language that would place the characters in today’s world.” (Source: The

Although this is not the first time the books have been updated, the move has still provoked anger from the public. Personally, I think the update is taking away some of the character of the books. I read them as a child in the eighties and nineties, and they were pleasant escapism – the language used did not affect my enjoyment of the story. What do you think?