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Error in Book of General Ignorance

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incognito
873516.  Wed Dec 28, 2011 12:28 pm Reply with quote

When I find an error in a book of this sort, I must question how many other errors are there that I have no knowledge of. Your spouting of "facts" in this book upsets my desire to learn new things.

The error I'm aware of is in reference to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. You state that the title was changed to Willie Wonka because Charlie was US street slang for an Afro American. You are so wrong! Charlie is a US slang term for the Viet Cong, or VC during the Vietnam war. In the military's phonetic alphabet, VC is Victor Charlie, shortened to Charlie as general usage among the troops.

 
CB27
873562.  Wed Dec 28, 2011 3:52 pm Reply with quote

A few wrong facts shouldn't put you off from trying to learn, that sounds silly.

The whole question of why "Charlie" wasn't used in the title is a bit confused and I think it was easy for anyone to mix up the details, but it doesn't seem to have anything with Vietnam.

Officially, the change in name was because the film was financed by Quacker Oats, who had a subsidiary which was going to launch the Wonka candy bar, and the whole film was a sort of advert.

According to the director, Mel Stuart, he was approached by leading black actors who questioned the original depiction of Oompa Loompas as black, which is why he changed their colour, but a second concern was that "Charlie" was a common black expression for a white master. I have a feeling that the latter point was possibly misinterpreted at some point.

I think the idea that Charlie wasn't used because of Vietnam is a little difficult to suggest considering the filing was filmed in 1970 and released by mid 1971, and I'm not sure whether the general public was aware of the army call sign. Most major US films about Vietnam did not come out until a few years later, with the possible exception of The Green Berets, though I can't remember if "Charlie" is used in it.

 
Bondee
873566.  Wed Dec 28, 2011 4:24 pm Reply with quote

CB27 wrote:
Officially, the change in name was because the film was financed by Quacker Oats, who had a subsidiary which was going to launch the Wonka candy bar, and the whole film was a sort of advert.


One could say that they <ahem> ducked out of using the name of the book.
; )

 
CB27
873581.  Wed Dec 28, 2011 5:46 pm Reply with quote

Is there an echo in here? :)

 

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