Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Don't tell Thorin Oakenshield

A British play about Snow White is replaceing the "dwarves" with "friends" because the producers say the word dwarves is not politically correct.

a spokeswoman for De Montfort Hall said the word dwarf is "generally not a word that people feel comfortable with" so the roles were dropped. Instead, the fairytale will have "friends". 

Thorin Oakenshield could not be reached for comment.

But Flitwick is not amused:

Warwick, 45, said that political correctness was a "smokescreen" and the decision was more likely to be financial. He said: "Personally, I find it quite patronising when people are offended on our behalf.

of course, the Dwarves in the Hobbit were played by full sized men, unlike Warwick Davis, who has a form a dwarfism.

Dwarfism means short limbs and normal trunk. Midgets are usually from endocrine problems, and are normal ratio.

The most common form (70%) of Dwarfism is Achondroplastic Dwarfism, and this sydrome has a common facies. And the children have certain health problems, especially if the parents both have a form of dwarfism. See Davis' story here.

of course, the "dwarfs" in Snow White were miners, and often children and dwarfs were used in mines because of their small stature. And many ordinary miners who worked since childhood were short from malnutrition and lack of sunlight.

and until 1938, after Disney's film and Tolkien's book, dwarves were often portrayed as bad guys in fairy tales.

But I notice the article uses the word "Dwarves". Blame Tolkien for this.

The Grammarist explains:

Dwarfs is the standard plural of the noun dwarf. Dwarves is a newer variant popularized (though not invented) by English author J.R.R. Tolkien in his fantasy fiction works, including The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. The Tolkien spelling is appropriate when referring to little people in fantasy worlds. Dwarfs is better everywhere else. (There is controversy over whether dwarf is ever a polite term for real-life people, but we won’t go into that here.)

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