When J.D. Salinger died on Jan. 27, he left an array of burning questions unanswered. What exactly had the reclusive writer been working on since 1965, when his last short story, "
Hapworth 16, 1924
," was published in
The New Yorker
? Did he really take to
drinking his own urine
in his later years? And, perhaps most perplexingly of all, does Zooey Glass' first name rhyme with "gluey" or "showy?"
Google "how is Zooey pronounced" and you'll be greeted with 17,700 results — none of them conclusive. Many note that the actress Zooey Deschanel, named after Salinger's male character, pronounces her name "Zoh-ee" — but her parents obviously didn't consult Salinger before christening their daughter. And there's a rather moving note in the anthology Letters to J.D. Salinger from a Zooey who wants to know the proper way to articulate his own name . Salinger never responded.
I called up Harold Ober Associates, Salinger's literary agency, to solve the mystery once and for all. According to their office, the proper pronunciation is — drumroll, please —" Zoh-ee." Score one for Deschanel; I guess now there's nothing left to do but go back to wondering about the urine.
TODAY IN SLATE
I was hit by a teacher in an East Texas public school. It taught me nothing.
Chief Justice John Roberts Says $1,000 Can’t Buy Influence in Congress. Looks Like He’s Wrong.
After This Merger, One Company Could Control One-Third of the Planet's Beer Sales
Hidden Messages in Corporate Logos
If You’re Outraged by the NFL, Follow This Satirical Blowhard on Twitter
Giving Up on Goodell
How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.