Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Today's Trivia - The ‘Dr.’ In Dr. Seuss

"We are all a little weird and life's a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love."
- Dr. Seuss -

Was Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel) a real doctor of some kind? The answer is no. Apparently, the “Dr.” in “Dr. Seuss” was in homage to the author’s father’s hope that his son would receive his PhD, which he failed to do. Theodor Seuss Geisel attended Lincoln College, Oxford with the intention of earning a Doctor of Philosophy in English Literature, but dropped out of school to become a cartoonist.


A couple of other interesting tidbits:

1) The “Seuss” was his mother’s maiden name as well as his own middle name.

2) Most of us mispronounce the author’s pen name. Alexander Liang, one of Geisel’s fellow writers on the Jack-O-Lantern (a student humour magazine at Dartmouth College that Geisel joined as a student) wrote this short poem about the authentic pronunciation:

“You're wrong as the deuce
And you shouldn't rejoice
If you're calling him Seuss.
He pronounces it Soice!”

12 comments:

  1. And I have also read that it is even pronounced as if with a z.."Zoice" to rhyme with voice.
    Why didn't he write a book about his name, wouldn't that have been a good one?
    I love Dr. Seuss as much as I do Jim Henson!

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    1. That would probably have been a funny book. It could have been all about names, including his.

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  2. That's the best story of an honorific that I've ever read!

    I'm old enough to remember when Dr. Seuss books first started to appear at our local library. No one knew how to pronounce his name, of course. We called him Dr. See-us until we finally heard on TV how to pronounce it properly. Or what apparently passed for properly.

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    1. I don't know a single person who pronounces his name properly. And I don't think he cared, either way. As long as people were reading his books, they could have called him anything!

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  3. Very interesting, I've been mispronouncing it for so long, that I seriously doubt I can switch over.

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    1. Me, too. Even now that I know how his name is pronounced, I'm still going to call him what everyone else calls him. I have a feeling that if I said his name properly, no one would know who the heck I'm talking about...LOL...

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  4. I agree with Jane. Dr. Soose is Dr. soose. In a million years I wouldn't be able to say it properly. Ha ha!

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    1. I don't think anyone can. We're too used to it.

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  5. Love stories like this. He followed his heart, became a cartoonist, and is probably more famous than he ever would have been as a real doctor.

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    1. Absolutely. He succeeded mainly because he was doing what he truly loved.

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  6. I've also been mispronouncing it! But the right way sounds so Wrong!

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