Pratchett, Terry: (23) Carpe Jugulum

I don’t have much to say about Terry Pratchett’s Carpe Jugulum, which I re-read after Maskerade. My previous review was a little generous, as time has made me less tolerant of the similarity in plot to Lords and Ladies. Other than that, all I have to add is that I’d be curious to know more about Oats, and I still want to know if Pratchett has an end in mind for Granny (and Carrot, and Vimes, but particularly Granny).

(Oh, and a comment about the physical volume, not the book; recent US releases of Pratchett’s novels have been notable for their bad proofreading, but this ten-year-old British edition suggests that Pratchett just has bad luck with copyeditors, or something: in several places, “baby” is rendered “babby” (if that’s dialect, it’s extremely inconsistent), and one of the witches gets called the wrong name at least twice.)

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  1. I’m not sure whether that’s a typo or not – I may re-read my copy to see where it appears. At any rate, I wouldn’t be surprised if Nanny Ogg used ‘babby’ some of the time.

  2. Maybe, but at least once she’s using it when she “snapped” at Igor, which sounds wrong to me. Oh well.

  3. If it is just Nanny Ogg who says ‘babby’, I reckon it’s deliberate. I haven’t gone and found the relevant passage, but I can’t think of a reason why she shouldn’t use it while ‘snapping’. It isn’t baby-talk, just colloquial (and in the real world, regional).

  4. I’m not sure whether it’s only Nanny and whether she only says “babby” instead of “baby.” I had the vague idea that she mixed them, and to me “babby” has a longer vowel and thus is not snappable, but again, I could be wrong.

  5. My grandma (from Birmingham, not that I’m suggesting that Nanny has a defined real-world regional accent) would use either ‘the baby’, ‘the babby’ or ‘the bab’ to refer to my younger sister, depending on who she was talking to and how she was feeling, so that doesn’t cause a problem for me. I’d have doubts about anyone else in the novel using it, though.
    For me (and I’d guess most people in England, if not in the UK as a whole) ‘babby’ has a shorter vowel than ‘baby’: the ‘a’ in ‘hat’ as opposed to ‘bay’.

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