Gaiman on U.S. and U.K. editions

Language Hat links to a Neil Gaiman interview in which the author discusses differences between American and British editions of his books. An excerpt:

I try to stay on top of the US and the UK editions of books (sometimes I fail). Neverwhere needed quite some work for the US readership, which I did 98% of, and the other 2% was done without my knowledge. (For example — I kept the word “flat” for where Richard lived, in my US version. It’s not a universally common US word, but it’s comprehensible. The US editors unilaterally decided to change the word to “apartment” and did a universal find-and-replace, and in the bound galleys that were sent to reviewers there were people who believed the Earth was apartment and people started to say things apartmently.)

I’ll happily change words when they mean different things — a pavement in the UK is what an American would call the sidewalk, while the pavement in the US is what Brit would regard as the road. If I have a girl bleeding on the pavement in the US edition, the meaning has changed, so I’m happy to move her to the sidewalk.


Comments are closed.