Posted by: Jack Henry | March 24, 2022

Editor’s Corner: Whoever Heard of Dr. Soice?

Good morning, readers and writers!

I have some surprising information for you today (at least it was surprising to me!). Did you know that most of us have been pronouncing Dr. Seuss’s name incorrectly? Dr. Seuss’s birthday is this month, so I thought we’d take this opportunity to clear up the mispronunciation.

As you probably know, Dr. Seuss’s real name is Theodor Geisel. Seuss is his mother’s maiden name, and the correct German pronunciation rhymes with voice, not moose. From the beginning, the mispronunciation was so widespread, and it went on for so long, that the good doctor eventually just accepted it. However, Alexander Lang, a college friend who worked with Geisel on the Dartmouth Jack-O-Lantern commemorated him this way:

You’re wrong as the deuce

And you shouldn’t rejoice

If you’re calling him Seuss

He pronounces it Soice (or Zoice)

Early on in his career, Geisel illustrated many political cartoons and worked in the animation and film department of the U.S. Army. He even won an academy award in 1947 for Best Documentary Feature. Geisel published over 60 books, which have been translated into many languages and adapted into 11 television specials, five feature films, a Broadway musical, and four television series. National Read Across America Day, a reading initiative created by the National Education Association, is celebrated on his birthday each year (March 2).

His work is not without controversy, though. Although Dr. Seuss portrayed many positive values in many of his books, and while he remains popular, last year, six of his books were pulled from publication due to racist images. When the books were pulled, Dr. Seuss Enterprises said, “These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong.” They said they are committed to ensuring that the Suess catalog represents and supports all communities and families. 

We can all take a lesson from Dr. Seuss’s book The Sneetches, which sends the message that all people are to be valued, just the way they are: “…no kind of Sneetch is the best on the beaches.” 

Donna Bradley Burcher |Technical Editor, Advisory | Symitar®

8985 Balboa Ave. | San Diego, CA 92123 | Ph. 619.278.0432 | Ext: 765432

Pronouns she/her/hers

About Editor’s Corner

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