Question: "High" concepts in Fantasy

Jon Noble jon_p_noble at
Wed Mar 5 15:24:10 EST 2003

--- Margaret Ball <margaret at> wrote:
> > In the Inspector Jury books, Martha Grimes says
> explicitely that Rithven
> > (sp?) is pronouced Ri'vvn and Bicester-Strathan
> (or something like that)
> > Bister-Strawn. She makes one character explain it
> to another. That's not
> > Phantasy,
> > of course.
> >
> > There's also Inspector Dalziel in Reginal Hill's
> books, pronounced "Dee
> > ell". Perhaps its a crime-fighting trait.
> >
> Nup, those are all UK-style-English traits. That is,
> I don't know about
> Ruthven and Bicester-Strathan, but they sound right
> in the tradition.
> Dalziel is a real name and it really is pronounced
> Dee-el. I'm still
> waiting for the fantasy character named Q'spoiex'ltm
> whose name is
> pronounced Cheesh.
> I suppose Sally has a good point about spelling the
> names the way you
> expect them to be pronounced. Some nonsense about
> being nice to the
> readers.  Although Americans, at least, can *always*
> pronounce a name in
> some way you wouldn't have expected. I married a man
> named Zoraster,
> which doesn't look that difficult to me, but it's
> been very interesting
> over the years to learn what strange noises
> telemarketers produce when
> attempting a name they're not already familiar with.
Zoraster was our cat's name! (his brother was
Zarathustra). I impressed the English teachers at
school here when I told them that playright Tim
Strachan pronounced his last name Strackan not Strawn,
and I knew this because I'd known his mother.


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