Monday, April 24, 2006

Scram Cruise

It seems the entire world has been scrutinizing Left Coast couple Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes for the past nine months in anticipation of their first baby. Now that baby Suri has arrived, it looks like the public scrutiny will continue. After all the uproar over the bizarre birth traditions of Cruise's Scientology creed, the focus has now shifted ... to the couple's odd choice of a name.
Suri, the name chosen by Hollywood couple Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes for their newborn daughter, is raising more than its share of interest in Israel.
A Cruise family spokesman said last week that Suri has its origins in ancient Hebrew, as a variant on Sarah, the biblical matriarch. But that pronunciation is all but unknown in Israel.
"I really don't know what they were thinking when they chose this name. It's a term that denotes expulsion, like 'Get out of here'," said Gideon Goldenberg, a linguistics professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. "It's pretty blunt."

Yaron London, a cultural commentator for Israel's Channel 10 television, had this rhetorical question for Suri's proud parents: "Why didn't you just go back to your ancestors' language, and call the kid 'Scram Cruise'?"
Of course, everyone knows Hollywood is famous for rewriting history. Why not rewrite an ancient foreign language, while they're at it? Luckily, there are plenty of other international interpretations of the name:
It's also a Nubian tribe, the word for "rose" in Persian, "sun" in Sanskrit and a term for a form of Alpaca's wool.
Poor kid. When her parents call, she won't know whether they're telling her to "get out of here!", or just summoning the family's pet llama.


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