Friday, January 29, 2010

Zoe in the Rye

I like to believe I have a special connection with other writers.

Last Saturday I had a date with my friend Kristen, and we watched the movie (500) Days of Summer, starring (soooo hott) Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel.

Before the movie entered the DVD player, I had to give my rant pertaining to Zooey's name. I think, if it is going to be written the way that it is, then it should be pronounced the way it phonetically looks: Zooh-ee. As in zoo. Where there are animals to be seen. The name "Zoe" is pronounced ZOH-ee. I ultimately try not to be a grammar snob, and I love non traditional names (look at mine), but when names are written and spelled in a way that does not match up phonetically, it really gets under my skin. Think of a child's graduation ceremony. Think of all the many, many classes that child is going to enroll in over time, and think of how every time the teacher is going to be taking attendance the first day and will always screw it up.

Well I got on my soapbox, got off of it, we watched the movie, I fell in love with Joseph, and we enjoyed the film, despite my frustration with Zooey's name.

Days later, I picked up my copy of Franny and Zooey, by J.D. Salinger, from where Ms. Deschanel got her name, and began reading it for the first time. I am loving it (this may come as a shock to those of you who believe I am a non-fiction snob as well--I do in fact enjoy some fiction writing, I just find that so many non-fiction reads take priority on my bookshelf first).

Then, yesterday, Kristen sent me a message asking, cryptically, "Did you hear the news?," and then mentioned something about me not being able to ever really find out the answer of how the name "Zooey" was in fact supposed to be pronounced. Alarmed, and a little saddened, I wrote back asking "Did J.D. die??? How very strange, since we just watched that movie and I just started reading his book!"

And finally, today in the kitchen, my librarian mom asked (in a rather upbeat tone, I will point out), "Guess who died?," as if she were asking, "Guess who got engaged?" or "Guess who's pregnant?" Having not yet received a confirmation message from Kristen, I made my best educated guess and replied, "Did J.D. Salinger die?!"

Yes, friends. Yes he did. The creator of Holden Caulfield, one of the most, in my opinion, obnoxious smart asses to ever grace the pages of American literature. And the above story is the very roundabout way that I learned of his death. Rest in peace, J.D. Your smart ass Holden has excited many a defiant teen, including but not limited to the hottie hott author Donald Miller. (Holla, Donald. I think you're hott.)

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