Saturday, 2 February 2013

Help! I don't know how it's meant to be said!

Sub-Mariner #1, John Buscema cover
What a magnificent figure of a man stands to the left of this breathless prose. No wonder Sue Storm was infatuated with him, with his big pointy prongy thing that he could jab into the ground.

As we all know, that is the man the world knows as the Submareena.

Except it isn't.

It's the man the world knows as the Sub-Marinna. But, for many a year, when I was younger, I thought he was named in honour of submarines, rather than mariners. Thus was my ignorance complete until my dad one day put me right.

But it seems I'm not alone. Judging by comments on this blog, over the last few days, others too have had problems pronouncing all sorts of things comic book related.

I still remember how my favourite Marvel artist when I was young was John Bus-Schemer.

Over at DC, who could fail to love the work of Alfredo Alkayla? Or was it Alkahla? Or was it Alkallaah? Or was it something else altogether?

Then there was Paul Gulacy, the master of the Master of Kung-Fu. To this day, I still don't have a clue how Gulacy is pronounced. I can think of at least a dozen ways in which it could be said.

Then again, for a long time, I thought Shang-Chi rhymed with bullseye rather than with debris.

Once upon a time, I thought Conan was Connun, Loki was Locky and Ka-Zar was Kuh-Zaahh.

Clearly this madness can't go on. It's a matter that needs urgent attention. So, are there any characters, artists or writers whose names you could never work out how to pronounce? If so, here's where you can break your silence and tell the world about it.

15 comments:

cerebus660 said...

Not that I'm boasting or anything, but I always pronounced Conan, Shang Chi, Sub-Mariner and Ka-Zar correctly...
( OK, I am boasting... )

But when you get on to the subject of comic creators'names, I've just got one thing to say:
Fabian Nicieza :-)

Huh?

Kid said...

When I was a kid, I pronounced Lois Lane as Loois Lane. Also, I probably pronounced Darkseid as Darkseed instead of Darkside (as did just about everybody, it seems). And yes, I also said Sub-Mareener (but, apparently, at one time - so I read somewhere - this is how it was pronounced in some places in America. (Give me time - I'll track down the source.) John Buscema was John Buskeema to me, and when it came to names like Dick Giordano I just tended to mumble something to myself. Wouldn't surprise me if I said Oary-on instead of Orion.

Doubtless there were countless words I mispronounced - until I became a pedant, that is.

Steve W. said...

I always assume it's pronounced Fab-Ian Nitchy-Ettza. I have no reason at all for assuming this is how it's pronounced.

Steve W. said...

That last comment of mine was, of course, directed towards cerebus. :)

Steve W. said...

Kid, I too always used to call him Darkseed.

I suppose it could've been worse. At least we didn't call him Dark Sid.

Anonymous said...

Don Thompson, in the book "All in Color for a Dime," said every kid he knew said "submaREENer," although Marvel (then Timely Comics) insisted it was pronounced, "mariner," as in the poem "The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner." I thought it was "submareener" until the Marvel Super Heroes cartoons on TV pronounced it "mariner." I think Americans say "submareener" to refer to sailors who serve aboard submarines, while Europeans and maybe the British say "sub-mariner." I always pronounced the barbarian hero's name "Conan," until the 1980s, when "Co-nan" became the standard. (Well, that's how Ah-nuld pronounced it.) And, to this day, I am clueless about "Gulacy."

Anonymous said...

My friends who were Marvel fans said "kah-ZAR," but I've also heard it pronounced "KAYzar." And I thought Magneto rhymed with palmetto, but Paul McCartney sang "Magneeto." But then, Americans say "oh MAY ga," while Daniel Craig in Casino Royale said that his wristwatch was an "Omeega."

Comicsfan said...

I, too, thought "MagNEEto" made no sense at all. I also tried to pronounce the "j" in "Mjolnir" as a "j" and not a "y." And Bill Sienkiewicz remains daunting to me.

Dandy Forsdyke said...

Dick Giordano I pronounced as in Peter Gordeno the dancer and actor from UFO.
I still think it is Dick A-yers and not in 'Pam Ayers' comedy poet (a female Benny Hill to our American chums).
Fact is this: you're not likely to have a verbal conversation with anyone so you can say it (think it) how you like. Although in the 70's I did embarrass myself by saying "Have you any fan-zynes?" to a comic dealer at a mart, as I really didn't get that a fanzine was just a portmanteau of fan-magazine.

Steve W. said...

Comicsfan, I still to this day pronounce Mjolnir with a J.

Comicsfan said...

Atta boy!

Gey Blabby said...

it was Paul McCartney who clued me in about Magneto, too. John and Sal were Boo-Semma, while Dick Giordano was Gee-Or-Dano. Shang Chi rhymed with eye, as did Loki. And speaking of the letter 'J' - I still get funny looks to this day when I pronounce it as "jye" and not "jay". That's how I was taught it at school, and I'm too old to change now.

Anonymous said...

Hate 'Magneeto' always wanted it to be Magnet -o ! - But then I wanted Lowk-eye and not Lokeee too!

Ade Salmon said...

Doug Moench I used to pronouce as MO-ENK but I think it's just MUNCH! Can you tell I'm reading MASTER OF KUNG FU right now?

R. W. Watkins said...

I must confess, I pronounced 'mariner' ma-REEN-er up until my early teens. My father thought it ridiculous: 'Don't they teach Coleridge in the goddamn schools any longer?!'

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