Letters Extra: Harry Potter and the Comma Splice

15th August 2003 at 01:00

Enthralled by your coverage of the forthcoming JK Rowling novel, 'Harry Potter and the Comma Splice' . Particularly intrigued by the thinly disguised contribution from Dolores Umbridge in last week's edition (8 August), arguing for a proper policing of Rowling novels to root out evidence of incorrect usage.

In a spirit of compromise, could I propose that future Harry Potter novels are produced in two versions: an unexpurgated version, staight from the author's pen, and an authorised version, as edited by Dolores and the Ministry of Magic, which would conform to the established rules of grammar (see Educational Decree Number 35).

Readers young and old would then be able to exercise choice. Children would have the thrill of reading under the bedclothes a version disapproved of by authority. Dolores and her colleagues would have the advantage of reading a version cleansed of those defects up with which they cannot put.

Kevin Jeffery
Hatfield

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