I read a few books to the kids each night at bed time, and it’s brilliant. But one of the things I’ve noticed is that children’s writers have a habit of switching words around and adding them when writing, I guess mimicking the fun of Dr Seuss and the way the words can make a good children’s story, one that you’ll read hundreds of times, feel good each time.
I love reading The Gruffalo in Scots - it’s a fun read. I’ll read it forever.
But there’s one book - a fucking Frozen book - that is written oddly; it has the “[name] said” switched.
Basically, let’s say the sentence is
“Oh wow” said Elsa, “Olaf’s got huge balls!”
the book has it written as
“Oh wow” Elsa said, “Olaf’s got huge balls!”
Which is right? The first feels right as I say it out loud… so I switch it.
This book sounds a bit rude for children
Maybe the fence is the best place to be sometimes
*Maybe sometimes the fence is the best place to be
Tell that to the individual pickets.
*Sometimes, the fence might be the best place to be
either way is fine, I think?
My favourite book to read is the Sneetches. He only sits still for about a third of it and then he’s off to go and boogie with one of his teddies or headbutt the potty or whatever else he does when he’s avoiding bedtime, but I love it and read to the end anyway.
‘said Elsa’ is more common, hence less ‘visible’ - you just see who said what and get straight to the interesting bits. ‘Elsa said’ might be thrown in for a bit of variety, or to make it extra clear who’s saying what in a kids’ book.
The ‘said Elsa’ construction is weird though - Hello, said Elsa sounds like the words are saying the person (subject-verb-object). Maybe it’s a passive underneath, Hello, (was) said (by) Elsa. Shit maybe the verb can reverse its arguments aaaaah
I should, but don’t, know the answer to this: does the tense affect this? I ask because I write (and read) a lot of interview features, which tend to be in the present tense and use that same construction (or switch between them willy-nilly)
“Our new album is fucking toilet,” says Generic Emo Musician #3. “But obviously we have to pretend otherwise.”
He grins, and lights another cigarette.
“We just really like money,” he explains.
I’m enjoying this interview. Will happily read more.
This is like the Manual by the KLF, but rebooted.
no your grandma is my strong suit
The Sneetches was one of my favourites as a kid.