Thursday, November 02, 2006

Pronunciation of Names

I am blessed with a first name that has two accepted pronunciations. (There are also multiple ways people attempt to spell it despite its seeming brevity.) I understand that on seeing my name in print one would have no way of knowing if my parents chose my name from the Irish or the Sibetan tradition, or if they favored one pronunciation over another, or if I favor one pronunciation over another. Some people are not even aware that there are two accepted pronunciations. Therefore, it's always a good idea when meeting people to ask them, if the you are pronouncing their name correctly. As one friend of mine said, in the end, if I spell my name Querxwyz and tell you it is pronounced Kara - you need to call me Kara. End of story.
One of the things that bugged me (until I fanwanked it away) is in "Star Wars" Leia's name is pronounced differently by different characters. Some pronounce it Lee-ah, others, Lay-ah. Sure you can argue that this happens in real life (which in the end was what I did), but really they all got these scripts and decided individually how they thought it should be pronounced and there was a discrepancy that was never resolved.
I was reminded of this as I watched "The Nine" last night. The episode was entitled "All About Eva". Many of the characters referred to the titular person as Ee-va. But her sister called her Eh-va. And Eh-va makes sense since the character is Hispanic and Eh-va would be the Spanish pronunciation. It could also be Anglicized, or Eva could have given up when everyone at work called her Eva (long e sound) and just not corrected them. And some of the people who were talking about her (lawyers for the case against the robbers, etc) have never met her so they would not have had the opportunity to ask her, and some of the characters only know her from the robbery and maybe in the middle of being held hostage they didn't ask for proper pronunciation. But I found it incredibly annoying and since the episode, as the title implies was focused on her there were a lot of opportunities for me to be annoyed. So, perhaps the continuity peeps need to add that to their checklist.

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