The Art Of Pronouncing Book Character Names

Book character names– You just gotta love them. Even the ones you´re not sure how to pronounce.

As avid readers we´re often confronted with characters who have standard names. Whether they´re gender-specific names or gender-neutral… a reader has a good chance at pronouncing a book character´s name correctly. I mean, it´s hard to verbally butcher Dylan, Michael, Daniel, Gabriel, Cole or Samantha, Jessica, and Mathilda.

But then we discover a book that has characters who don´t have standard names. That´s when things can become tricky for a reader.

I´ll admit that I belong to those people who have problems pronouncing unique names, especially when reading fantasy. Usually, I just go along with whatever pronunciation I come up with and continue reading. My mental pronunciation of a character´s name is final no matter how often others try to correct me. I can´t help it. It´s like I´ve set my version of a name in stone.

 

Let the mental name pronunciation games begin ( and end )!

Fantasy authors love to give their characters that extra something. That particular sprinkle of special to make him/her/it stand out from all the others. They could be bold and fierce, beautiful, and deadly… They could kill demons and stare into Medusa´s eyes without turning to stone. That someone can´t be named Jimmy or Candy ( apologies to all the Jimmys and Candys IRL. Y´all are awesome in your own right ). The deadly warrior has to have a name that lives up to their reputation. They need a name that´s unique. So, what some authors will do is either take an existing name and tinker with that or they´ll play around with the alphabet- Creating names 50% of the reading population can´t pronounce.

From what I´ve seen, many of these difficult names often have the letters Y and H in them. Not to forget the hyphens, tildes, a slashed O, and sometimes an umlaut. For anyone who isn´t familiar with these letters or special characters ( for lack of a better term ), any name would be hard to pronounce correctly. It´s a challenge.

But do not fear! Not all authors leave their readers clueless. Some authors have pity with their readers. Some books have a pronunciation guide. Personally, I find this semi helpful. Most books include this little addition in the last few pages. Meaning: when the story has already been read. This means a reader who was unsure about a name spent 2-7 days mentally pronouncing a name wrong. The books that have a pronunciation guide in the first few pages are more helpful.

Unique Names Aren´t Tied To One Genre Only

Unfortunately, the fantasy genre isn´t the only genre that has difficult to pronounce names. We see this happen in romance, YA, historical, etc. Names can sometimes match the setting of a story. If a story takes place in Norway then I do kind of expect to see typical Norwegian or Norse names. For me, there´s no greater challenge than trying to pronounce a Gaelic or Norse name, especially when authors pick the most difficult name known in the history of names. The tongue twisters. The names even the natives can´t pronounce correctly. These names often leave me with no other choice than to come up with another name for the character.

Yes, I´ve occasionally given characters that had difficult to pronounce names other names. I´ve done this mostly because I was fed up with the guessing game.

Feyre, the main character from Sarah J. Maas´s A Court Of Thorns And Roses quickly became Fey. Just Fey. Feyre could be pronounced Fire-re or Fairie, right? The correct pronunciation, though, is Fay-ruh.

Laoghaire, a character from Diana Gabaldon´s Outlander, became Longhair. How was I supposed to know the correct pronunciation is Leery? Laoghaire looks more like Longhair than anything else. I´ve been calling that character Longhair ever since ( and funnily enough, no one has corrected me ).

It´s understandable why many authors decide on odd/unique/special/ancient/made-up names for their characters. These names aren´t easy to forget. They leave a lasting impression. Of course, this leaves me with a whole lot of questions for authors. Questions that´ll most likely stay unanswered. But that´s okay. I don´t really need to know why some names exist. I also don´t need to know if authors expect their readers to come up with the correct pronunciation from the get-go. Still, I wonder….

So, what´s the best way to go about this issue? I have no clue. I´ll stick with doing what I´ve always done.


What about you? Can you relate? Do you occasionally have problems pronouncing book character names? Which name has been the most difficult to pronounce? Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat. ❤


Thank you for reading my blog post. I totally appreciate it.

Feel hugged,

Book Community In Need Of Positivity

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and WordPress… All popular social media platforms that served to entertain, educate, and give people the opportunity to escape reality, even only for five minutes. Social media has been a helpful tool for many in our book community, as well. It gives us the ability to connect with likeminded people.

Nowadays, social media has adopted an “If you´re not with us, you´re against us.” mentality. Posts are being analyzed and intentionally misunderstood. Book bloggers are being publicly shamed for not having a public political opinion. Lists for “authors to avoid” are making their rounds. It´s a special kind of toxic chaos many don´t want to be a part of.

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and WordPress have turned into minefields. What was once an escape for many of us has turned into this game of Russian roulette. You just don´t know when someone will blow up. You don´t know if a random post about books and flowers will tick someone off. Every one of us has become potential targets and it´s time this madness finds an end.

People are purposefully avoiding social media out of fear of being “the next one”. They´re taking a step back because they can´t handle the vicious attacks, the anger and hate, and the accusations.

I´m still talking about book bloggers, authors, and anyone else in the book universe. Yes, even our little community seems to have fallen victim to the hate and it´s awful to watch how we´re virtually slaughtering each other.

It´s high time for some positivity in our humble book community. Even during an intense political movement, we´re still allowed to find some happiness on social media. And we should. Wouldn´t it be incredible to see something good on social media for a change? How about some bookish achievements? Or perhaps someone could share an awesome book related experience? How about giving someone ( a book blogger, a reader, an author, your neighbor, a random cat ) a compliment on social media? Sharing an awesome post from someone also falls under the positive category.

So, without further ado… Let´s start by remembering the basics of this community. The one thing that´s brought us together. The love for books.

Here´s a beautiful library. Let it remind you of all the books you´ve read and of all the book conversations you´ve had with fellow book lovers. How you´ve bonded over a mutual interest and continue to connect with people who share your love for books. We´re a community. Not a shit show.


Granted, this library isn´t going to feed starving children nor is it capable of solving the issues and injustices we´re all currently dealing with. But then again, we´re all not capable of doing that either when we´re full of hatred on social media.

I hope you all have a lovely day. Don´t forget to share the much needed book love.

Spam Box Treasures: May ´20

If you thought April´s Spam Box Treasures edition was weird then there´s no telling what May´s edition is. I had a blast going through these. They´re so multifaceted.


#1 – Hey! Whatchu have against newspapers?

#2 – Dear cousin,

I always recognize such exact trouble about you.

#3 – Hackers? No. But I do have issues with Spammers. 

#4 – Va t´en  s ´il te plait.

#5 – Say what? Are you trying to get me interested in cheap soccer gear for kids?

#6 – FINALLY A SPAM COMMENT ABOUT BLOG!

#7 – * fondly remembering the days I never wrote AOL articles* 

#8 – What annoys me is that you won´t “probably be back to get more”. You´ll definitely be back, blog3006. You left me a truckload of spam comments all month. 

#9 – I can hardly help myself, blog3004.xyz! What makes you think I could help you with your blog issues?


Puuh! What an exhausting Spam Box month. Still, I hope you enjoyed ❤

Be sure to stay tuned for June´s Spam Box Treasure edition.

Have a lovely day.

Much bookish love,

10 Bookish Memes That Will Brighten Your Day

What would our small book universe be without bookish memes? Probably only half as great.

The bookish memes below are what I would classify as “It´s funny ’cause it´s true.” because… well, they hit so close to home ( don´t all book memes? ). They express moments we´ve either felt, thought, or lived through.

Alas, here are my 10 favorite bookish Memes that´ll hopefully brighten your day.

#1 That Dreadful Moment...

#2 Word.

#3 Marie, who hurt you?!

#4 Naaw, the good old days.

#5 The pain is real, folks.

#6 YES!

#7 They forgot the re-read option.

#8 Sometimes it´s the combination of reading all night and wine.

#9 I know the feeling.

#10 But ONLY just in case.


Out of all 10 memes #5 is my all time favorite.

What about you? Which of these bookish memes can you most relate to? Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat ❤


Thank you for reading this blog post. I hope you enjoyed.

Much bookish love,

Thank The Books It´s Friday

I´m telling you – All I´ve done since Wednesday was sing Friday I´m In Love from the Cure. Not that Friday´s have any emotional meaning anymore these days but… I needed a Friday this week. And now it´s Friday. 

I´d rather not bore you to death with what´s been going on in my personal life. I have nothing to share other than the hardships of homeschooling and how I´m desperately trying to ignore social media. If I received a dime for every Covid – 19 conspiracy post I´ve seen I´d be rich by now. Or posts from people who virtually protest against face masks.

It´s been very difficult for me not to leave a comment on these genius posts published by some of the world´s unskilled thinkers.

Then the news about Stephanie Meyer´s Midnight Sun ( Twilight #5 ) finally reached my shores. 

Really? The author already tried beating a dead horse before with her Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined 10th-year anniversary release. Is she trying to make sure the poor bastard stays dead? Because it can´t die twice. Neither can the story make a comeback twice. Especially when it´s the same story told from a different point of view. It´s clear the author is trying to milk the (equally dead) cash cow.

I know I shouldn´t think poorly of authors trying to make a buck but can anyone fault me for thinking this way when seeing this?

$ 14 .99 for a Kindle copy? Is the secret of life in there or are readers just getting Edward´s POV? Rumor had it some many moons ago that this story had been leaked and that pissed the author off so bad that she refused to ever publish it. Talk about a mind change. This is the most ridiculous thing I´ve seen in ages. I think you´d have to be a die-hard fan of the books to spend that much money on a Kindle copy. Twilight Rant Over.

So, what else is new? I´ve ruined two shirts while doing some more bookish art recreations. Note to myself ( and everyone else ): Black color should be applied with a full bodysuit. The post that goes with this experience will be published very soon.

Anything else? Not really. Just lots of personal stuff that everyone else is probably doing as well. Gardening, spring cleaning, some more spring cleaning, staring holes in the air, wondering when my hands started looking old, and reading.

Oh yes, I almost forgot the most important part of this post: The books I´ve read.

I managed to break my personal reading record. 4 books this week. Granted, the longest book only had 232 pages but that´s not the point. I started and finished 4 books. Am I proud? You bet! If this lockdown continues I´m probably going to end up setting myself some quirky reading challenges. Something like How many 250 page novels can I read in a week? How many short stories can I read? How many books can I skim without missing too much of the plot?

I think it´s best to end here before I start getting any more weird ideas.


But before I go I´d like to know:

What are your thoughts on the Twilight addition? Are you excited or are you wishing the author would just move on to something new? What´s been your highlight this week? Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat. ❤


Wishing each and every book lover a wonderful weekend filled with lots of reading and relaxing.