Sensitivity readers edit James Bond and Roald Dahl books
Medium (British English)
Medium (N. American English)
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An increasing number of famous books are being edited. Book publishers are worried about sexist and racist words in books. They are worried that language in older books might upset people today, especially children. Two authors that have had their work edited this week are Roald Dahl and Ian Fleming. Dahl is famous for books like "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory". Fleming wrote the James Bond books. Publishers are employing "sensitivity readers" to check books. A sensitivity reader looks for language that describes minorities in an "insensitive or offensive" way. A lot of the language they check belongs to another time. It was written 50 or more years ago. Back then, the language was thought to be okay.
The recent edits of the James Bond books are because of insensitive language about black characters and women. The sensitivity readers decided that the language used by James Bond, also known as 007, was racist and sexist. The 007 books will now be published with a warning. This explains that the books were written in the 1950s and 60s, so they contained "terms and attitudes" that might upset readers today. Many people in the UK are angry that Roald Dahl's books were censored. The UK's prime minister, the future UK queen and the author Salman Rushdie all said the edits were wrong. An example edit is the word "fat" being replaced by "enormous". The word "fat" is now a negative term for a person's body shape.
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