Historical Lanuage

May 31, 2017 § Leave a comment

 

I watched the first episode of the drama “Anne with an e”, based on Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery. Some of the drama was excellently done: in particular those parts that stuck to Anne of Green Gables.  In the book unpleasant experiences of Anne’s were alluded to. In the drama unpleasant experiences were visually realised in a rather too graphic way.

I assumed the scene with the hired hand, a boy, was an invention of the production team. The scene added nothing to the unfolding of the tale. It had Anne squaring up to the farm boy, each suggesting the other had a “problem”. I very much doubt that “What’s your problem?” was a phrase, bandied about Prince Edward Island in 1908.

But time and time again, we find producers of these period dramas, many of which are based on books containing excellent dialogue, using “modern parlance” which jars. Why don’t scriptwriters take more care with the “historical “language?

 

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