Galbraith: the secret clue

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Patrick Juola's guest post on identifying the authorship of The Cuckoo's Calling (now number 1 in the Amazon hardback bestseller list) is fascinating. But I seem to be the only person in the world who picked up the secret message that Joanne "J. K." Rowling sent when she picked the pseudonym under which she would publish her first crime novel. It is amazing that no one else picked up on it, but there we are: it was just me. I saw it as soon as… well, as soon as the Sunday Times revealed their discovery of the novel's pseudonymous nature, actually, which is not quite as good as seeing it before the story was all over the newspapers, but I still think I deserve a lot of credit for my penetrating intelligence. I can't imagine why I don't do crosswords; I'd probably win prizes.

The clue was in the collocations of the surname. The most famous Galbraith in the whole of Rowling's lifetime, without any reasonable doubt, was John Kenneth Galbraith, the Canadian liberal economist, US diplomat under Kennedy, and professor of economics at Harvard. Initials: J. K. Now that I've pointed it out, how could you have missed it? Kick yourself.

P.S. It has been pointed out to me that there has sort of been some sort of flicker of recognition in the Twittersphere, e.g. here for example; but pooh to that. People always try to steal truly great insights, if necessary by reversing the unidirectional flow of time, and this is just one more example of such anti-temporal party-pooping. One of my academic colleagues at Edinburgh, just back from vacation, has now told me that he got it too. Isn't that pathetic? "I knew it as well but I didn't tell anybody and didn't write it down anywhere." P-u-l-eeeze!

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