First names (real ones!)(long)

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at Proffitt.com
Sun Jan 16 02:27:35 EST 2000


On Sun, 16 Jan 2000 14:44:02 +1100, Sally Odgers wrote:

>> pronunciation.  The ones from the book are based on phonetics, yours on
>> actual words 
>
>Ah yes, but the book claims they're *not* based on phonetics! That's what
>confused me. It makes quite a thing of not needing to know phonetics
>because they use spelled-out probnunciations.  "Mah" to me is pronounced
>just like "mar" or  and "per" to me is just like "purr" (as in cats). 

Unfortunately for them, that IS phonetic.  Just not official phonetics.
Instead of transcribing the sounds as common words that everyone pronounces
the same, they write them out as they think a person would say them, seeing
those particular sounds.  This is phonetic.  The way they pronounce Paris,
they seem to think "per" is equivalent to "pair" or "pare" or "pear" (at
least, those are all homophones as far as I can tell.  But as you point out,
not everyone will read the syllable "per" the same way.

It reminds me of a moment in reading _Dogsbody_ (bet you didn't think I
could drag this on-topic, huh?) when I really realized that it was a British
book.  That scene where Sirius/Leo starts to be able to understand human
speech, only at first he doesn't distinguish initial consonant sounds, and
Basil teases him:  "He thought he learned the word 'walk' straight
away...but he thought these pleasures were packed into a noise that went
'ork'."  Well, Americans don't put an 'r' into 'walk'--it just was so
strange, because it was obvious once I thought about it, but when I'm
reading the prose in a book by a British author, it comes out with an
American accent.  Very interesting.

>That's easy to say and spell, and it's based on my original surname
>(Farrell). I really believed I'd made it up, but now I find, quite by
>accident that two other Ausrtalian fantasy writers are *also* writing books
>with that name, or something like it! One is "Farran" for a male, the other
>"Farren" for a male. Names aren't copyright, and we three writers have only
>met very recently, but I'd still rather like to change my girl's name... if
>only because my publisher is notoriously sl-o-o-w and the other ladies'
>books will probably come out first. I don't want to look as if I've copied
>them!

I was going to say "Farin" but it occurred to me that that's awfully close
to "farina" and I don't think wheat grain is the association you're going
for.

>Finally, can anyone turn Odgers into a feminine sounding name? I suppose I
>could translate it to Wealth Spear and back again - Goldblade or some such?

Ummmm...okay, remember what Irina said about sapped creativity?  :)

Melissa Proffitt
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