Did J.K. Rowling use an economist clue for her pseudonym?

Language Log said yes.  The false name attached to the new book is Robert Galbraith, and here is the cited reason why:

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.

Here is more.  But Rowling herself explains it differently:

The name she chose, Ms. Rowling explained, is a mash-up of that of one of her heroes, Robert F. Kennedy, and Ella Galbraith, a fantasy name she chose for herself as a girl.

Ms. Rowling wrote the book under a man’s name, she said, to take her writing persona “as far away as possible” from herself. She said she remembered too late that the American economist John Kenneth Galbraith, who died in 2006, shared her first two initials, and feared that might be a clue to her identity.

Yet it wasn’t.  I was able to pick up one of the last remaining copies of this book in Scotland, last week, as the volume was sitting sadly alone in a corner of an Edinburgh airport bookstore.


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