It’s a part of learning languages I’ve always had problems with. When you look at a dictionary and see things like ‘pro⋅nounce [pruh-nouns]‘ I would end up pronouncing that like the posh plural of pronoun.
So where does this actually fit into roleplaying and it’s ilk?
When I was 14 and heavily into wargaming of any ilk and particularly into Warhammer 40k I had a huge Dark Angels Space Marine Army. I say had but I actually still have it. This was back when the rulebook had the Dark Angels with their black power armour before they were giving a back story and everything changed to green. Anyway for those that have never played the game before one of the characters from the Space Marine armies are the ‘magicians’ or psionisists as they are preferred to be called. They have a very regimented life and as with most things in the imperial and Space Marines its all very religious and monk-like. So can you guess what they are called? Librarians. The head psyker is actually called the Chief Librarian.
It’s a simple word. It’s one I used at least weekly if not daily thanks to being a regular user of my local library. Can you guess why I actually called them? It took my friends three years to point out to me that they weren’t actually called Librians. You could possibly blame my dyslexia but that would be a cop out I feel.
Now it wouldn’t be so bad if that was a one off.
About 15 years ago I sat down with a few friends and a few beers to learn a new gaming system one night. It was a game about vampires which was a tangent for us and I took a fancy to a rowdy group that ticked every box for my generic tastes. It took ten years and another gaming group to point out that I was indeed mispronouncing Brujah. Even after cringing whilst watching Arron Spellings Kindred: The Embraced we just put the correct pronunciation down to the fact that the show stank. Even to this day I still pronounce it as Broo-Jah rather than the bad attempt at an evil laugh. And before anyone gets the hump I know it comes from the spanish word so it’s pronounced that way.
Just don’t get me started on other peoples pronunciations. My main bane is those people that insist minotaur is pronounced mine-a-tar rather than min-uh-tawr. It’s not like people fighting over tomato or tomato or the differences in British/US pronunciations. These are ancient mythical creatures for gods sake! Not some new fangled bit of metal that we like to call by different names or as Eddie Izzard points out there is an H in herbs.
I still shake my head at the librian mistake whenever I think about it though.