Friday, May 14, 2010

Word pronouncement…

If a character’s name is hard to pronounce, does that make it harder to connect to him/her?

And in a related subject, if a place or object is hard to pronounce does it have the same effect?

Thx for reading and any comment you might leave…


  1. Not necessarily for me. Take Renesmee from Twilight. I never figured out how to pronounce her name through the book so I just pronounced it how it sounded in my mind as I was reading. I did pronounce it completely wrong but it didn't take anything away from her character other than me calling her the wrong name in my mind. I do this lots of times that I can't pronounce a name. It doesn't affect the character or the connection to me if I can't pronounce a name.

    It's the writing that matters the most in a connection, not the names. If it is poorly written, then I would have a hard time connecting.

    This is just my opinion though.

  2. People can still connect to a character with a complex/confusing/hard to pronounce name. However, if the reader tends to stumble over the name (Mrylg or X!i), I think many readers will pause and try to figure it out (even if they've already seen in several times). Each time they pause or reflect on why it's challenging, they are pulled out of the story.

    That isn't, in my opinion, what a writer wants to do.

  3. Yea, that's kind of what I thought on both sides... I am leaning towards the easy to read makes it easier to imagine, which makes it better for the reader. I hate when I have to stop reading to figure out; complicated, hardly ever used or hard to pronounce words.

    keep'em coming.

  4. The only time it bothers me is when it doesn't have a pronunciation (consider "the artist formerly known as Prince" when he used a sign for his name--what a dork!). Otherwise, the only time I've felt disgruntled is when I was reading a book to my kids, or series of books, only to discover that the book, read on CD, pronounced a name differently.

    My kids always urged me to read it the way they were used to, though, so no harm was really done.

    I agree with Stephanie B's comments, though, especially about the name that is so unintelligible that we would have no idea what to call it. I'd also watch out for names that, when pronounced aloud, sound like something real. Think Bart Simpson calling Mo's Tavern.

  5. Yes - absolutely! especially if the name is difficult to pronounce (or to figure out via spelling). People (readers) like to be able to talk about the books tehy read and might be reluctant to do so if they feel silly or self-conscious saying names of people & places.

  6. I agree it can be distracting. I have stumbled over names through several pages until I finally decide for myself how I want to pronounce it through the rest of the story.

  7. I agree, if it's too hard to figure out the reader will be distracted. It will take away from the story.

  8. It depends. If it's 26 consonants and comes up every few lines, yes. If you establish a difficult name, remember that you can always introduce an easier nickname within context.