And Speaking of Harry Potter...

And speaking of the Harry Potter books, what's up with Hermione?

Two things bothered me about Hermione while reading the books. Firstly, what's up with that name? Every time I read it, I had to pause to attempt to remember the pronunciation. In fact, I didn't quite get it until about Book 6, despite my co-workers' pronunciation reminders. I'm sure the author, J.K. Rowling, probably included a pronunciation explanation early in the series, but it somehow didn't sink in. Finally, later in the series, Ron develops a habit of saying "Er-my-nee," which greatly sped my reading.

The other issue I had with Hermione involves the plot. You see, these super powerful adult wizards reform a secret society called the Order of the Phoenix to battle the evil Voldemort (flinch). Their headquarters is cleverly concealed and protected by spells to keep out non-members and muggles (humans). Schoolgirl Hermione (Er-my-nee, see it helps) -- in keeping with her habit of visiting Ron and his family for part of the summer -- just happens to be staying at this super secret headquarters. Yeah right... Rowling gives no explanation.