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  • Archive for September, 2006

    What’s in a Name?

    2006 - 09.24

    Cross-posted from MySpace:

    My view of Manners 101 indicates that, if only to be polite, people should make an attempt to pronounce a name the way its owner does. You ask for guidance once or twice, then you say it correctly from then on, right? How hard could that be, really? Pretty tough, if experience is anything to go by.

    I long ago got over the idea that people would pronounce my name correctly. Lost cause. Seriously. Some of my best friends still have no clue after a decade or more, bless ’em.

    What’s that? Well, since you asked, my name’s pronounced MESS-tuh (like ‘messed up’ without the ‘p’). If you can’t remember, I won’t hold it against you, just as I don’t hold a grudge against any of my friends for it. There’s no point. Life is full of things to get righteously angry about, and mispronouncing my name isn’t one of them.

    But I do allow myself to get *annoyed* about this: although Jo Rowling is closing in on a decade of being one of the most celebrated names in the history of publishing, that name is butchered in the media on an hourly (or perhaps minute-ly) basis. This is both rude and completely unnecessary.

    Go onto jkrowling.com, click on Biography, and read. Right in her official bio, she says this:
    ‘Rowling’ (the first syllable of which is pronounced ‘row’ as in boat, rather than ‘row’ as in argument) lent itself to woeful jokes such as ‘Rowling stone’, ‘Rowling pin’ and so on.

    With this information available right on the author’s web page, every news anchor, talk show host, librarian, book seller, conventioneer, and fan should get it right.

    Right? No excuses, now!

    Please join me in my campaign to show a little respect for the woman who has given us so much reading pleasure. I think she’s earned it. Keep rolling, Jo. We’re waiting for that seventh book.



    *This multipurpose Italian salutation is used in an advised, tongue-in-cheek manner and in no way implies a corresponding chicness, shallowness, or worldliness on the part of the author. (Additional pejoratives may apply. Void where prohibited by law. Ask your physician if Ciao is right for you.)