at least was edited, badly, for the US audience.
I was recently rereading it in the American edition when I tripped over this sentence: "The Luggage, of course, followed them with a noise like someone tapdancing over a bag of potato chips". I doubted that Terry had written the last two words, and sure enough, found that in the original edition it is "bag of crisps". So I switched to reading the British edition and kept an eye out for things that an American editor might have changed.
There are a couple of fairly innocuous vocabulary substitutions besides crips/potato chips. Conina's hairgrips become "hairclips". On the other hand "candyfloss haystack" is not turned into "cotton candy haystack".
The inept edits involve decisions about British slang and distinctive grammatical constructions.
- British original: In Creosote's snake pit, the snake "knew trouble when it saw it. It wasn’t about to cause any aggro for anyone". Changed to "it wasn't about to cause any irritation for anyone". Very awkward—"bother" or "trouble" would have done.
- British original: ‘If it was going to answer to them it would have done, wouldn’t it?’ said Conina. Changed to "If it was going to answer to them it would have done so, wouldn't it?" Too formal; the idiomatic American equivalent is "If it was going to answer to them it would have, wouldn’t it?"
- "three inches of solid oak with great iron nails in" --> "three inches of solid oak with great iron nails in it". Not objectionable per se (American English never uses the former construction), but if you're going to do that you'll have a problem with The Band With Rocks In.
I don't like the practice of editing out British usages in American editions, though I suppose you can make the argument that the Discworld books are not in fact set in the UK but in an imaginary world, so that it's legitimate to edit away language that would be unfamiliar or misunderstood for a particular audience. I know that Jasper Fforde has been quite positive about wanting to make his books more accessible to international readers, to the point that "cake or biscuit?" becomes "cake or cookie?" all through The Fourth Bear
. But it's still (to my mind) an insult to the reader's intelligence. (Don't get me started on Nairn's decision a year or two ago to relabel their oatcakes as "oat crackers" for North American sale...)
Incidentally, my user handle has nothing to do with the Seriph of Al Khali. See profile.