Philosophers vs Sorcerers.

So, I was reading Irregular Webcomic and came across this note in the annotations:

In book 1, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone*, the Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher was Professor Quirrel, who was evil.

* Retitled Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone in the United States, to make it more obvious to religious fundamentalists that the book is about magic and therefore dangerous.

This made me curious about why the name was changed and I found this on Wikipedia:

Scholastic Corporation bought the U.S. rights at the Bologna Book Fair in April 1997 for US$105,000, an unusually high sum for a children’s book.[14] They thought that a child would not want to read a book with the word “philosopher” in the title and,[30] after some discussion, the American edition was published in October 1998 under the title Rowling suggested, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.[14]

So … it’s okay to use “Sorcerer” in the title, but “Philosopher” isn’t. Everyone wants to be cool like the sorcerers, not square like the philosophers.

I don’t know whether to be insulted or flattered.

(And am tempted to dust off some of my story ideas where doing philosophy makes one amazingly powerful. More powerful than all of those sissy sorcerers combined. [grin])


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