The Enid Blyton Society

Refuting claims of Blyton's limited vocabulary.

The books! Over seven hundred of them and still counting...

Refuting claims of Blyton's limited vocabulary.

Postby Crwban » 08 Oct 2016, 10:59

I find reading Enid Blyton enjoyable and undemanding so I was a little surprised that I had to look up a word whilst reading Five are Together Again. "The children raced after him - and then a stentorian voice suddenly roared at them from one side of the drive." STENTORIAN??? Oh good the dictionary is here. Stentorian - very loud. Has anybody else had to resort to the dictionary when reading EB :?:
Crwban
 
Posts: 21
Joined: 05 Apr 2016, 20:28

Re: Does Enid Blyton ever have you reaching for the dictiona

Postby Wolfgang » 08 Oct 2016, 11:45

I started to read "Le mystère de l'île aux mouettes" (The Island of Adventure) and it makes me frequently use my French-German dictionary ;-).
Success is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration.
User avatar
Wolfgang
 
Posts: 2149
Joined: 06 Apr 2008, 05:26
Location: Germany
Favourite book/series: The children at Green Meadows/Adventure-series
Favourite character: Fatty

Re: Does Enid Blyton ever have you reaching for the dictiona

Postby Rob Houghton » 08 Oct 2016, 11:53

Very seldom, but maybe a couple of times in the past. This is mainly because I read a LOT of EB as a child and asked my parents what any words meant that I didn't know, so it happened only rarely since.
'Oh voice of Spring of Youth
hearts mad delight,
Sing on, sing on, and when the sun is gone
I'll warm me with your echoes
through the night.'

(E. Blyton, Sunday Times, 1951)



Society Member
User avatar
Rob Houghton
 
Posts: 12720
Joined: 26 Feb 2005, 22:38
Location: Kings Norton, Birmingham
Favourite book/series: Rubadub Mystery and The Find-Outers
Favourite character: Fatty

Re: Does Enid Blyton ever have you reaching for the dictiona

Postby Daisy » 08 Oct 2016, 12:18

I'm the same Rob. Any words I didn't know, I asked about, or got the meaning from the context. And they say Enid's works were too simply written!
'Tis loving and giving that makes life worth living.

Society Member
User avatar
Daisy
 
Posts: 11929
Joined: 28 Oct 2006, 22:49
Location: Stoke-On-Trent, England
Favourite book/series: Find-Outers, Adventure series.

Re: Does Enid Blyton ever have you reaching for the dictiona

Postby Carlotta King » 08 Oct 2016, 13:03

I had to look up the word 'contritely' when Bill says it in River of Adventure after teasing everyone that Tala's cooking sauce might have been made of insects. It means to show remorse, so Bill was saying "Sorry" contritely because he obviously felt guilty for putting everyone off their dinner! :lol: :lol:
Although knowing Bill I'm sure he had an amused twinkle in his eye when he said sorry!
"Fussy Gussy! Polly, Polly, Polly-gize!"

Society Member
User avatar
Carlotta King
 
Posts: 2828
Joined: 15 Mar 2013, 19:01
Location: England
Favourite book/series: Adventure, Barney, Secret Series, Famous Five
Favourite character: Bill Smugs,Lucy-Ann,Snubby,Mr King,Diana,Kiki,Paul

Re: Does Enid Blyton ever have you reaching for the dictiona

Postby Rob Houghton » 08 Oct 2016, 13:05

I was quite surprised by the definition of 'stentorian' above - as I would say it was more 'commanding' than 'loud'. Maybe that's my misinterpretation, but I always think of it as a very commanding severe voice, rather than just 'loud' - rather like a sergeant major voice would be - a 'voice to be obeyed'.
'Oh voice of Spring of Youth
hearts mad delight,
Sing on, sing on, and when the sun is gone
I'll warm me with your echoes
through the night.'

(E. Blyton, Sunday Times, 1951)



Society Member
User avatar
Rob Houghton
 
Posts: 12720
Joined: 26 Feb 2005, 22:38
Location: Kings Norton, Birmingham
Favourite book/series: Rubadub Mystery and The Find-Outers
Favourite character: Fatty

Re: Does Enid Blyton ever have you reaching for the dictiona

Postby IceMaiden » 08 Oct 2016, 13:32

No I have never required a dictionary to decipher Enid's words. Many modern words I come across online however have me needing to look them up - and in some cases really wishing I hadn't :shock: .
Society Member
User avatar
IceMaiden
 
Posts: 869
Joined: 07 Jan 2016, 18:49
Location: North Wales
Favourite book/series: Too many to mention! All of them!
Favourite character: George

Re: Does Enid Blyton ever have you reaching for the dictiona

Postby Crwban » 08 Oct 2016, 13:36

Rob Houghton wrote:I was quite surprised by the definition of 'stentorian' above - as I would say it was more 'commanding' than 'loud'. Maybe that's my misinterpretation, but I always think of it as a very commanding severe voice, rather than just 'loud' - rather like a sergeant major voice would be - a 'voice to be obeyed'.

My old Collins dictionary defines Stentorian as very loud but some online source's define it as Loud and Powerful, which seems to fit the context better than simply very loud.
Last edited by Crwban on 08 Oct 2016, 14:07, edited 1 time in total.
Crwban
 
Posts: 21
Joined: 05 Apr 2016, 20:28

Re: Does Enid Blyton ever have you reaching for the dictiona

Postby Daisy » 08 Oct 2016, 13:40

I agree Rob... there is certainly an element of command in the meaning of the word, to me anyway, but yes, loud too... the sort of voice that carries.
'Tis loving and giving that makes life worth living.

Society Member
User avatar
Daisy
 
Posts: 11929
Joined: 28 Oct 2006, 22:49
Location: Stoke-On-Trent, England
Favourite book/series: Find-Outers, Adventure series.

Re: Does Enid Blyton ever have you reaching for the dictiona

Postby Katharine » 08 Oct 2016, 13:45

I don't think I've ever had to look up a word from Enid Blyton's books, but like Rob, I grew up reading them, so any words that I might have struggled with, I'd have learned as a child. I must admit I've never looked up or asked the word 'stentorian', but I'd a rough idea of what it meant from the context. I've always known what contrite means, but I think it must be a word that's used regularly in church - as soon as I read it the phrase 'with humble and contrite hearts' popped into my head. I shall now spend the rest of the afternoon trying to recall whether that phrase is from a prayer or hymn. :D

Although I did eventually clarify with my mother a year or two ago as to what exactly galoshes were - I'd always assumed they were a bit like a wellington boot, that only covered as far as the ankles.
Society Member
Katharine
 
Posts: 9170
Joined: 25 Nov 2009, 15:50

Re: Does Enid Blyton ever have you reaching for the dictiona

Postby sixret » 08 Oct 2016, 14:32

Ignoramus in one Five Find-Outer book that I reread 2-3 years ago. Who could tell me the word ignoramus is in what book because I have forgotten yet again!
KIFARAH & KARMA- What goes around comes around.


Society Member
User avatar
sixret
 
Posts: 3501
Joined: 16 Aug 2006, 14:25
Favourite book/series: Five Find-Outers,Mr.Twiddle,Barney R
Favourite character: Mr.Twiddle,Fatty,Saucepan,Snubby

Re: Does Enid Blyton ever have you reaching for the dictiona

Postby Anita Bensoussane » 08 Oct 2016, 15:04

"Ignoramus" is in The Mystery of the Spiteful Letters but the character pronounces it "hignoramus".

Like Rob, Daisy and Katharine, I read most of the books as a child and quite a few words were new to me back then - e.g. I learnt the words "Seccotine", "monitor" and "feeble" when I read The Naughtiest Girl in the School at the age of five. However, I didn't consult a dictionary (I'm not sure I was even aware of dictionaries at the time) because it was clear from the context what was meant.

One word which was a bit of a mystery came in The Enid Blyton Book of Brownies - "switchback":

The three brownies sat down suddenly, as the engine started tearing downhill.
"It's like a switchback!" groaned Hop. "Oh dear! It's climbing up another hill now!"


It was years before I found out precisely what a switchback was, but the idea of speeding uphill and down was all that was needed to understand the story.
"Heyho for a starry night and a heathery bed!" - Jack, The Secret Island.

"There is no bond like the bond of having read and liked the same books."
- E. Nesbit, The Wonderful Garden.


Society Member
User avatar
Anita Bensoussane
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 19638
Joined: 30 Jan 2005, 23:25
Location: UK
Favourite book/series: Adventure Series and Family Books
Favourite character: Fatty, Jack Trent and Elizabeth Allen

Re: Does Enid Blyton ever have you reaching for the dictiona

Postby sixret » 08 Oct 2016, 15:11

Thank you! You are a walking encyclopedia of anything Blyton, Anita! :lol:
KIFARAH & KARMA- What goes around comes around.


Society Member
User avatar
sixret
 
Posts: 3501
Joined: 16 Aug 2006, 14:25
Favourite book/series: Five Find-Outers,Mr.Twiddle,Barney R
Favourite character: Mr.Twiddle,Fatty,Saucepan,Snubby

Re: Does Enid Blyton ever have you reaching for the dictiona

Postby Fiona1986 » 08 Oct 2016, 15:59

Rob Houghton wrote:I was quite surprised by the definition of 'stentorian' above - as I would say it was more 'commanding' than 'loud'. Maybe that's my misinterpretation, but I always think of it as a very commanding severe voice, rather than just 'loud' - rather like a sergeant major voice would be - a 'voice to be obeyed'.


I've never looked up stentorian myself, but from context I always assumed it meant commanding too. Maybe that's just the way she used it - the baddies never had stentorian voices it was always the policemen etc.
"It's the ash! It's falling!" yelled Julian, almost startling Dick out of his wits...
"Listen to its terrible groans and creaks!" yelled Julian, almost beside himself with impatience.


World of Blyton Blog

Society Member
User avatar
Fiona1986
 
Posts: 8726
Joined: 01 Dec 2007, 15:35
Location: Dundee, Scotland
Favourite book/series: Five Go to Smuggler's Top
Favourite character: Julian Kirrin

Re: Does Enid Blyton ever have you reaching for the dictiona

Postby John Pickup » 08 Oct 2016, 16:43

I remember being puzzled by the word spasms which described a noise that Barney heard in the middle of the night in The Ring O' Bells Mystery. Enid wrote the noise as coming and going in spasms. Later in the chapter, she used the word spasmodic and then spasmodically. I didn't have a clue to its meaning and I had to look it up. I think that was the only time I was stumped by a word in Enid's books.
Society Member
User avatar
John Pickup
 
Posts: 3386
Joined: 30 Oct 2013, 21:29
Location: Lincs
Favourite book/series: Barney mysteries
Favourite character: Snubby

Next

Return to The Books

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Stephen, Yahoo [Bot] and 2 guests