Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Pronunciation Guide, Please

Teddy has been having a good time reading the Wayside School books by Louis Sachar. This is great, and I'm glad, and I hope he wants to read Sachar's other books, including Holes when he gets a little older. However, how can you encourage your kid to love an author whose NAME YOU DON'T KNOW HOW TO PRONOUNCE?!?!? Is it "SACK-er"? "SA-char"? What?!?!

The same goes for Michael Chabon. Is it "sha-BON"? Because I really want to know.

I know there are other authors' whose names I can't pronounce--or else mispronounced for a long time (none of us were born knowing how to pronounce Goethe, I'm sure).

So who wants to pronounce Sachar and Chabon properly for me? And are there others you can think of?

10 comments:

BabelBabe said...

I'm pretty sure it's Sha-bon, and Sa-char.

It's not a pronunciation issue per se, but Herman Wouk always makes me feel silly. It's such a silly word: wook, wook, wook....it sounds like a helicopter.

But here's my big author pronunication issue: Na-BAH-kov or NAB-okov?

Gina said...

I've always said/thought NAB-o-kov, but maybe that's because of Sting and that song? I don't know...

BabelBabe said...

Oooh, oooh, I have an idea...we could just email Ayelet (I have been addictively reading her Bad Mother blog) and ask her. Because I need an excuse to email her and tell her I love her and I want to be her friend. And she's married to Michael who? : )

I dig Mimi Smartypants, but fear she's too cool to hang out with me. Ayelet is cool but seems much more likely to tolerate loser moms.

andrea said...

in person, michael chabon introduces himself as cha-bon, with a hard ch sound. i'd say he's wrong, but it IS his name.

Gina said...

Val, yes, you should e-mail Ayelet. But don't ask about Michael--tell her how wonderful her Salon article today is.

Andrea, have you met Chabon? And is it CHA-bon or cha-BON?

andrea said...

only briefly a couple of times, at book readings and when he was in town briefly when wonderboys was filming at cmu and i was a student there. he said it more like chay-been, with just slightly heavier emphasis on the first syllable.

BabelBabe said...

And while we're at it, how do you pronounce Ayelet?
I hate to make her sound as if she's in the trimmings and ribbon racks at Joann Fabric, but that's how it keeps coming out.

Gina said...

I never would have guessed it was pronounced that way--see, until our culture values authors enough to make people other than Danielle Steele and John Grisham household names, we're going to need some sort of pronunciation guide.

Gina said...

I've been calling her EYE-let, like the fabric. I hope that's right. How insulting if it's wrong! :-)

Ayelet said...

I don't know if this blog is still active, but I can answer that last question (seeing as I have the same name). It is not, under any circumstances whatsover, pronounced like the fabric detail. Rather, it is pronounced "ah-YELL-et", most closely comparable to the sentence "I YELL it". It is a Hebrew name meaning "Gazelle" (as well as a number of other things depending on words with which it is paired).

Glad to be of service.