Thursday, February 26, 2009

Ya learn something new everyday...

Psst, readers, let me tell you one of my quirky flaws - sometimes I mispronounce words. I know what they mean because I read about them often, but they're the types of names or words that don't come up often in conversation with me (either because I'm a poor listener or I'm socially rather awkward), so I have an idea in my head of how they should sound that really isn't how they're pronounced. My family jokes about it quite a bit.

I used to pronounce "doctrines" as "doc-treens" instead of "doc-trins."

I used to pronounce the last name in "Simon and Schuster" as "shuster" instead of "shooster."

And, just now, reading an interview at The Good, the Bad, and The Unread, I discovered my favourite romance author, whom I've been pimping out to friends and other romance readers in person as well as online, pronounces her last name an entirely different way than I do.

Random Friend: "Recommend any books?"

Me: "Yeah, how about The Secret Pearl by Mary BAH-LOW."


I dunno, I remember reading Mary Balogh's website and how her last name is Welsh, and perhaps I confused that with Gaelic, which uses a lot of consonants in ways they really aren't supposed to (hate elementary school teachers? Give your kid's name Gaelic spelling), and I also thought of words like slough and through and eventually narrowed it down (in my head) to an "oh" sound, or a "oh" sound with a weird little cough at the end.

According to the author herself, it's actually pronounced "Bah-log."

Reeeeeaally glad I figured that out before the RWA National Conference.


  1. Anonymous9:00 PM

    Don't feel bad! I say "shuster" too, and I also didn't know how to pronounce Mary Balogh's last name until I read about it on her website. I also mispronounced "rogue." I still need to think about it before saying it to make sure I say it right.

  2. Think Kim Basinger (or is it Basinjer?) cares? or Ralph, er, Rafe Fiennes, I mean Fines?

    David Boe-ee (or is that Baow-ee)?

    Last names are fair game, kiddo. Nobody knows how to pronounce them.

    Featherstonehaugh is pronounced Fanshaw.

    Beauchamp is Beecham in Britain.

    And Dea is DAY!

    The world is a strange place.


  3. Anonymous8:35 AM

    Oh yeah, I recently mispronounced troubadour too. I said "tur-bur-door" and then followed up with "or however that's pronounced."

  4. Anonymous9:10 AM

    Since English is my second language, I mispronounce a fair number of words (they sound well in my mind, but terrible out-loud). Ironically, the really easy ones are the most troublesome.

    ex: "Literally", "situation".

    Still don't know how to pronounce: Mary Balogh's last name and Lisa Kleypas's last name.

  5. Laura --> I'm glad I'm not the only one. I can be a bit of a hypocrite, though - I got really irritated one year when I had a history professor in UNIVERSITY who pronounced viscount as "viss-count" instead of "vai-count."

    Meg --> Too true. :)

    Laura --> I still have trouble with "vehement."

    Antonia --> Balogh is pronounced "Bah-log" (watching her book trailers helps ^_^), and I've always pronounced Kleypas as "Clay-Pas."

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