This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Saturday Rave - Gulliver's Travels

Gulliver's Travels is a slightly odd book.

Actually, no. Gulliver's Travels is a very VERY odd book. But what I mean is that Gulliver's Travels is peculiar because it's an adults' book which has somehow become seen as a book for children.

This means that, very sadly, practically no one nowadays enjoys it in its original form. The fact that quite a lot of the book satirises Sir Robert Walpole doesn't help either, because, although Walpole makes the average present-day Member of Parliament look as pure as a detoxed St Francis of Assisi, on the whole people have stopped being angry about Walpole.

Well, he died in 1745, after all.

Luckily there are lots of simplified versions of Gulliver's Travels written especially for children.
Why, come to think about it, I've even written one myself.

Do try to get hold of a version which includes the lands of giants, ghosts, bent-necked boffins, crazy inventors and horses, or you'll be missing half the fun.

Here is an excerpt from the land of the giants:

[After] I...sat down at my table to eat a piece of sweet cake for my breakfast, above twenty wasps, allured by the smell, came flying into my room, humming louder than the drones of so many bagpipes...
I had the courage to rise and draw my hanger, and attack them in the air.

Think of that - an attack by giant wasps AND cake for breakfast. Good, eh?

Word to use today: sweet. This word is from the Old Saxon swōti, and before that the Latin suādus, which, rather oddly, means persuasive (but then I suppose we use sweet-talking now in this sense).
Before that it's from the Sanskrit svādu, which again means sweet.

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