“People don’t know how to pronounce things they’ve read but not heard!” says audiobook company

Half of us don’t know how to say Don Quixote: Character tops list of literary names we struggle to pronounce correctly

Don Quixote, Daenerys Targaryen and Oedipus have topped a poll of literary names people struggle to say correctly.

The study follows Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling’s recent disclosure that Voldemort is actually pronounced ‘Vol-De-Mor’ with a silent T.

Source: Daily Mail, 12th October 2015

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People struggle to pronounce words from books if they’ve only ever seen them written down and never heard them pronounced aloud. If only there were a way for us to hear books read out to us, so we can avoid this potentially-embarrassing situation…

A survey of 2,000 people aged 18-65, conducted by digital audiobook retailer Audible, found that 39 per cent have pronounced the names of literary characters incorrectly.

Sometimes picking apart PR stories in the press is almost too easy – few stories are as blatant and transparent as this one. And that’s before you factor in the obligatory quote from the company spokesperson to really ram the point home:

Laurence Howell, director of Audible UK, said: ‘Book series such as Game of Thrones include some incredibly tricky names, which readers often get wrong for a number of reasons.

‘Listening to the audiobook performed by a professional narrator gives you the advantage of hearing the names as the author intended.’

Thank you for stating the hook of this PR piece so clearly, Laurence. The only way you could make the angle any clearer is if you came around to my house and read the article aloud…