Tue, 03 Sep 2002

Ahem! Mister Wonderful,

So many of my friends swear by the books of Terry Pratchett that I have finally checked two of his tomes out of the library. I'm at page 86 and starting to get into the story, but I have been repeatedly shocked and offended by the fact that this author doesn't know the difference between "thee" and "thou," as evinced by sentences such as "'What dost thee want?'"

I try not to be an intellectual snob, but such hideous grammatical mistakes make me flinch violently. Is this Pratchett guy worth it?

Should I write him a nasty note explaining the error of his ways?

Thou dost advise well, I shall hearken unto thee.



Dear Grammar Goblin,

Forget all that; did you know that right now I am wearing the most fantastically comfortable trousers?

Seriously, it's like being thigh-humped by dozens of dryer-warm Muppets.

Sounds like a children's book, doesn't it? The Most Fantastically Comfortable Trousers, by the author of The Littlest Eskimo and The Quickest Way To Dinkletown. If Roald Dahl wrote it, it would be Mister Wonderful and the Comfortest Trousers. And of course Edward Gorey would have called it, simply, The Phantasmic Pants.

Then again, Gorey and Dahl are dead. But only one of them was British. Terry Pratchett is British, and not dead, and maybe that's the source of your problem. Brits, you understand, tend to do two things:

1) Think they still own the language

2) Be the All-Europe Queens of Rotten Punning and Toilet Humour right up to the moment they fail to get a laugh, when suddenly they're too "dry" and full of "irony" for the rest of us.

What I'm saying is, maybe he meant it, and even if he didn't - you won't catch him admitting it.

And yes, that's precisely the principle we follow here at Wonderful Laboratories. We stand by it absolutely, and we stand by it in our super-comfy breeches.