05 June 2012

Let Readers Mispronounce Your Words

Professional Viewpoint Toward Readers

Be willing to let your readers mispronounce your words. A professional viewpoint toward your writing includes a level of detachment. If your work is successful in the public arena, many thousands of people will read it. Once your work is published, you will probably not be able to control what the public does with it. If you have invented new names and new words, you should sever your emotional attachment to those words. Unless you have written them to comply with the easier rules of pronunciation, you stand a chance that your readers will pronounce them differently than you intended.

How to Get Readers to Pronounce Your Invented Words Properly

Three solutions to troublesome pronunciation are:
  1. Create words and names that use standard pronunciation rules
  2. Create a pronunciation guide
  3. Sever your emotional attachment to invented words and names
Be aware that no matter how hard you do number one, some readers will still mispronounce your words. For number two, realize not all readers will use the guide and not all readers like them. If you truly need a pronunciation guide, you might want to revisit number one. For number three, remember that once you hand your work over to the public, it belongs to them.

Make Fictional Words Easy to Pronounce

If you desire complex-looking words, just be aware that your effect will be visual, rather than auditory. Readers might not like hard-to-pronounce words. Try to make readers happy with your invented words by making them easy, and when they mess them up anyway, just let it go.