Saw Stephen Fry live last week, and he told us this story: Just after the first Harry Potter book had been released, he was offered the role of narrating it for audiobooks. He hadn’t read it, and was simply told it was a children’s book, so figured it would be an easy afternoons work. When he met JK Rowling, she mentioned that she was writing a sequel. Stephen replied very condescendingly “good for you”.
A few years down the line, the books are selling well, and he is doing the recording for the Prisoner of Azkaban, when he runs into the phrase “Harry pocketed it”. Stephen could not say this line. It always came out as “Harry pocketeded it”, unless he said it ridiculously slowly. They tried time and time again to get it right, but to no avail. Eventually, he called up JK and asked if he could say “Harry put it in his pocket” instead. She thought for a moment, then said “no”, and hung up.
The phrase “Harry pocketed it” appeared in the next four books.
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