[DWJ] Word Mishaps

Otter Perry ottertee at silverwinggraphics.com
Tue Jun 8 15:09:59 EDT 2010


On Jun 8, 2010, at 11:03 AM, liril at gmx.net wrote:

> It's nice to hear stories of "word mishaps" happening to native  
> speakers. Since
> I listen to audiobooks of English books I already read, I have  
> disconvered quite
> some "new" words ;-).
>
> Bettina

As someone who is both a native [American] English speaker and a  
listener
to audiobooks, let me warn you that the readers do not always
get pronunciations correct. They get _most_ words right, of course,
but every so often they produce a real clanger. This occurs mostly
when they are proceeding by the light of what might be called
reason -- as with Irish names. Somebody I was listening to
recently pronounced Cuchulain as "cuckoo-LANE".

Or they may just be missing the joke. In the unabridged audiobook
of Terry Pratchett's _Pyramids_, Nigel Planer manages to pronounce
Ptraci as puh-TRA-chee, as though it were Italian [or something]
instead of a joke about the name Tracy.

The difference someone remarked upon about the way British
and American English deal with four syllable words can be very
striking as well. I had a small conniption fit over 'migratory'
being pronounced mi-GRATE-er-y, but then I'm a birder and
use the word a fair amount. But I'm used to it now.

I'm presently listening to _Cryptonomicon_ and the reader persists
in pronouncing Tagalog with the accent on the last syllable, which,
I admit, is the way many people pronounce it who are not familiar
with it. But the accent actually goes on the second syllable.

----------------------------


Mornings are a delusion of the
planet bound.




More information about the Dwj mailing list