Is it OK to change Roald Dahl’s words?


21st February 2023

CHANGES to books by popular children’s author Roald Dahl have divided opinion in the book world.

The Roald Dahl Story Company decides who has the rights to Roald Dahl’s stories. It has announced the changes alongside Puffin Books, who publish the Dahl stories. Words or sentences have been changed across several books, with the idea being that they are updated now for modern readers.

Greedy Augustus Gloop in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is now ‘enormous’ instead of ‘fat’, while Mrs Twit from The Twits is no longer called ‘ugly’. Other words and phrases that have been seen to be violent or insensitive have been changed, too.

While some have welcomed the changes, others are angry that an author’s work is being censored [changed as it is seen as inappropriate].

Author Salman Rushdie said the changes were “absurd” and those changing Dahl’s work should be “ashamed”. Philip Pullman, writer of the His Dark Materials series, said it would be better not to print Dahl’s books any more if they are seen as offensive. Author Debjani Chatterjee thinks the changes are a good thing and have “been done quite sensitively”.

Roald Dahl died in 1990 so he’s not around to have his say on the matter. What do you think?

Be sure to leave us a comment below!

Is it OK to change Roald Dahl's words?


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sujanan · 12 months ago

I think you shouldn't change Roald Dahl's words because even if they are seen as offensive, they are just fictional characters and they are just giving humour to the book. It needs to be original.

flamingo27 · 12 months ago

I completely disagree with people changing the words of Roald Dahl's books as it is his work and his writing not anyone elses. These books were written in a different time so, its not for us to dictate what he should and shouldnt say. Some children ( like me) enjoy his books the way they are and they should stay the same.

aces10 · 12 months ago

Roald Dahl’s books are classics, and it’s completely wrong to mess with a classic. Though the rare individual may find something to be offended by if they looked vey hard, the vast majority enjoy Roald Dahl’s masterpieces just as they are. Who would want to change that?

randomico · 12 months ago

I mean, from what I hear they/re not that bad/violent? If ppl are worried about kids "learning bad words and being mean" why don’t you teach us to not do that?

max1234 · 12 months ago

It’s not right as the books, though they weren’t huge changes, deserve their former glory. Yes, they may be considered ‘inappropriate’, but that’s not an excuse. I may be wrong, but as far as I know, the characters are not based on real people.

uniquestar · 12 months ago

On the one hand, it is not right to change the words in books without the author's permission. BUT if the original words are harmful then I agree to change them.

geveriss · 12 months ago

You can't change words in Roald dahl's books. Adults and children that read his books fell sad that the word "FAT" is out of the CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY the book was fine how it was before.

svarghese · 12 months ago

I have 2 reasons first I'm sure when you have a brilliant piece of work and someone changes the words you will find it disrupting and upsetting. And some people are sensitive to those sorts of words, making them feel insecure in the worst cases.

svarghese · 12 months ago

And thin abt the negative

svarghese · 12 months ago

I mean think

dogcat11 · 12 months ago

It definitely isn’t ok to change his words. For a start he is a great author and his books are his books so you can’t change them. Also, changing Augustus Gloop from fat to enormous isn’t very helpful

oscpoll · 12 months ago

I think that roll Dahl’s books were amazing and the fact that they were changing his words without his permission is wrong and they never will get his permission

anonymous8 · 12 months ago

We definitely should not! Words like 'ugly' and 'fat' are not that bad. There are no replacements because those words just fit with the theme of the book.

henken10 · 12 months ago

No because Roald Dhal's books are apart of the UKs history.

sniffles · 12 months ago

Because he is the original author so they shouldn’t change anything that he has done.

uniquestar · 12 months ago

I have heard that they are now printing edited versions alongside the original stories. This is good because it has the potential to make everyone happy.

paddybear9 · 12 months ago

𝙰𝙱𝚂𝙾𝙻𝚄𝚃𝙴𝙻𝚈 𝙽𝙾𝚃! 𝚁𝚘𝚊𝚕𝚍 𝙳𝚊𝚑𝚕 𝚠𝚘𝚞𝚕𝚍𝚗'𝚝 𝚕𝚒𝚔𝚎 𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝙸𝙽𝙲𝚁𝙴𝙳𝙸𝙱𝙻𝙴 𝚠𝚘𝚛𝚔 𝚝𝚘 𝚋𝚎 𝚊𝚕𝚝𝚎𝚛𝚎𝚍 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚗𝚘𝚛 𝚠𝚘𝚞𝚕𝚍 𝙸. 𝙴𝚡𝚊𝚖𝚙𝚕𝚎, 𝚌𝚑𝚊𝚗𝚐𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚠𝚘𝚛𝚍 '𝚏𝚊𝚝' 𝚝𝚘 '𝚎𝚗𝚘𝚛𝚖𝚘𝚞𝚜' 𝚒𝚗 𝙲𝚑𝚊𝚛𝚕𝚒𝚎 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚌𝚑𝚘𝚌𝚘𝚕𝚊𝚝𝚎 𝚏𝚊𝚌𝚝𝚘𝚛𝚢.𝙴𝚗𝚘𝚛𝚖𝚘𝚞𝚜 𝚌𝚊𝚗 𝚖𝚎𝚊𝚗 𝚋𝚒𝚐 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚜𝚝𝚛𝚘𝚗𝚐 𝚋𝚞𝚝 𝚏𝚊𝚝 𝚊𝚕𝚠𝚊𝚢𝚜 𝚖𝚎𝚊𝚗𝚜 𝚌𝚑𝚞𝚋𝚋𝚢 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚞𝚗𝚑𝚎𝚊𝚕𝚝𝚑𝚢. 𝙰𝚕𝚝𝚎𝚛𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚠𝚘𝚛𝚍𝚜 𝚖𝚊𝚔𝚎𝚜 𝚒𝚝 𝚗𝚘𝚝 𝚊𝚜 𝚑𝚎 𝚒𝚗𝚝𝚎𝚗𝚍𝚎𝚍 𝚒𝚝 𝚝𝚘 𝚋𝚎. 𝙸𝚝'𝚜 𝚖𝚘𝚛𝚊𝚕𝚕𝚢 𝚠𝚛𝚘𝚗𝚐 𝚝𝚘 𝚌𝚑𝚊𝚗𝚐𝚎 𝚠𝚑𝚊𝚝'𝚜 𝚊𝚕𝚛𝚎𝚊𝚍𝚢 𝚋𝚎𝚎𝚗 𝚠𝚛𝚒𝚝𝚝𝚎𝚗. 𝚃𝚑𝚊𝚝'𝚜 𝚠𝚑𝚊𝚝 𝚞𝚜 𝚌𝚑𝚒𝚕𝚍𝚛𝚎𝚗 𝚕𝚘𝚟𝚎 𝚊𝚋𝚘𝚞𝚝 𝚁𝚘𝚊𝚕𝚍 𝙳𝚊𝚑𝚕'𝚜 𝚋𝚘𝚘𝚔𝚜. 𝚆𝚑𝚢 𝚝𝚊𝚔𝚎 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚒𝚗𝚝𝚎𝚛𝚎𝚜𝚝𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚜𝚝𝚞𝚏𝚏 𝚊𝚠𝚊𝚢?!

rabbit789 · 12 months ago

I think no beacause I love reading and Roald Dahl is one of my favourite authors

bonniebill · 12 months ago

I think that people can't just change the words in Roald Dahl books because they are written by him and no one should have the right to change that.

splashy10 · 12 months ago

You defiantly shouldn’t because they are his words and because he isn’t alive now we don’t have any others. It’s his special, original work.

potterwolf · 12 months ago

No! It’s not ok to change his words, and he’s not even here to have his say! His books are fine.

axolotl- · 12 months ago

I don't think it is, this could change the whole book and children need to have an idea of what that definition of the word is.

austinj · 12 months ago

You should not change Roald Dahl’s words because they are good as they already are. Changing someone’s work without their permission is completely disrespectful to the person who wrote it, as it could potentially change up what is sold in bookstores nowadays. Also, books always deserve what is written by the author.

dolphin26 · 12 months ago

It's definitely not ok to change the words of the author, even if they are seen as offensive, because the characters in the books are not real so they don't have emotions.

ilikebees · 12 months ago

Roald Dahl’s words were there for a reason and he might not have wanted them to be changed.It would be his decision but as he is not alive it would be respectful to leave them as they are.

lumlum · 12 months ago

Roald Dahl is a famous author and the worlds greatest. I believe that companies have no rights to change his famous words. Personally I would not buy any of his books if they were edited as in his books using partially rude words such as (fat) add a little bit of humor however (enormous) dose not have the same effect. Additionally using words such as (ugly) as used in the Twits ads more effect and helps you imagine them without using pictures.

mfcleigh3 · 12 months ago

Some of the words people are taking out are words that are “his language”

lovelymrj · 12 months ago

Yes, we should change them. 5-year-olds read his books and they will just learn inappropriate language
from his books. They barely know any bad language yet.

enderman10 · 11 months ago

No because he is a great writer. I’ve just finished Going Solo and it’s a great book.

toodles · 11 months ago

Roald Dahl while his language is older these books were written a long time ago when language and opinions on society was different. I don't think changing his work is right.

nessness · 11 months ago

I think yes and no because it is his writing but you might have to adapt it for younger children

lavu · 11 months ago

no, if he wrote the book, he wrote the book. you can't change that!

bonniebill · 11 months ago

Definitely not because he wrote those books so they should stay as he left them!

ramblebook · 11 months ago

Of course not HE wrote his books with his heart not to be changed if you wrote a book you would not want your book to be changed after you died and you would not even know about it!!!

ramblebook · 11 months ago

I love his books who else does?😍

mimi365 · 10 months ago

Well he wrote them a long time ago so they could be inappropriate nowadays; but it is wrong to change something that is not yours and also those words are good for parents to teach kids that we don’t use those words🔤

djmrocks · 8 months ago

NO waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay

djmrocks · 8 months ago

please no or I will be upset

kawh3 · 7 months ago

Nooo! His are classics. My favs are James and The Giant Peach and Matilda