Mispronunciation Correction YKTTW Discussion

Mispronunciation Correction
Someone says a name wrong, and is told how to pronounce it right.
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(permanent link) added: 2013-06-26 15:47:22 sponsor: Prfnoff (last reply: 2014-12-10 17:21:59)

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(The idea is to split this from It Is Pronounced Tro PAY.)

One person mispronounces a person, place or thing's name, and another person (often the one being named) tells them how to pronounce it correctly.

This can come off as Leaning on the Fourth Wall if the audience has only seen the name in print and might have been assuming the incorrect pronunciation. When the pronunciation is nonstandard, this overlaps with It Is Pronounced Tro PAY.

Contrast No Pronunciation Guide. For the inverse of this trope, see My Nayme Is. If the correction is ignored purely to torment the other person, see Malicious Misnaming. When either pronunciation of a word is credible, see You Say Tomato.


  • An advert in Sweden for Swedish clothes manufacturer Blåkläder (pronounced "Bloh-klay-der") featured an American who consistently mispronounced it as "Black-lah-der". After about 30 seconds of this, a Swedish guy approaches him and says "Say after me: Blåkläder!" The guy responds "That's what I said. Black-lah-der!"
  • In an Isuzu ad, an Asian-American is trying to get a white guy to say 'Isuzu', but the white guy keeps messing up. At the end, the Asian-American says "It's okay. I can't say 'Shiv-o-ray'.
  • In The '70s, there was an air freshener commercial (Glade or Airwick) that made use of this trope. A woman was married to a man named Herb, and she used herbal air fresheners, so the commercial was her constantly correcting her husband on the fact that the hard "H" in "Herb" was not used in "herbal". The commercial ends with her yelling at him that "It's not "HHerbal", it's "'erbal", "'Erb"." He smirks and corrects her: "Herb."

Anime and Manga
  • In Haibane Renmei, one character corrects the fact that Rakka refers to him as Hiyoko, pointing out it's "Hyohko", with exaggerated emphasis on the "oh" sound to make the pronunciation difference clear.
  • In the sixth episode of Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt, Panty reads the title card aloud, mispronouncing it as "Less Diaboliques." Stocking corrects her, and Panty rereads it as "Lay Diaboliques."

Fan Fic

Film (Animated)
  • Monsters, Inc.:
    Randall: Wazowski! Where is the kid, you little one-eyed cretin?
    Mike: Okay, first of all, it's "creetin". If you're gonna threaten me, do it properly. Second of all, you're nuts if you think kidnapping me is going to help you cheat your way to the top.

Film (Live Action)
  • The Breakfast Club. Bender makes a sarcastic quip about being a fan of "Mol-lee-ay". Claire, who seems to like French things, tells him it's "Mol-yair".
  • Done twice in Get Smart:
    • First when Max tries and fails to teach Chief how to pronounce the surname of a Slavic KAOS agent, Ladislav Krstic.
      Max: Kris Kringle, Fish Stick.
    • Then when Chief can't resist calling the President on pronouncing it "nuke-ular".
      Chief: NUCLEAR!
      President: Huh?
      Chief: Sorry, sir.
  • History of the World Part I has Count DeMonet. Peasants and aristocracy alike pronounce his name as "Count Da Money" (as in "he's so rich, that's all he ever does") only to have him redden with frustration and correct the pronunciation to "Dee Moh Nay."
  • In Monty Python and the Holy Grail Arthur and Sir Bedivere start saying "Ni!" to bully an old woman into telling them where they can find a shrubbery. Or at least, Arthur does. Bedivere uses "Nu!" first and Arthur has to walk him through the pronunciation.
  • In Showgirls, Naomi tells Cristal and Jack about her new costume from Versace (spoken as it was an English word, i.e. "Whur-sayz"), with the two of them exchanging knowing looks. Zack later tells Naomi the proper Italian pronounciation, to her embarassment because it shows that she really is a rather uneducated former prostitute instead of the sex goddess she tries to be on stage.

  • In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Hermione has trouble getting Krum to pronounce her name correctly, telling him it's "Her-my-oh-nee," not "Hermy-own." When he then calls her "Herm-own-ninny," she says it's close enough. Word of God is that this exchange was inserted due to fans mispronouncing her name.
  • In Enders Game, Ender receives transfer orders to Bonzo's army, and reads his orders aloud. Petra corrects Ender and the reader with the right pronunciation:
    "Not bahn-zoe, pisshead. Bone-So. The name's Spanish. Bonzo Madrid."
  • Ender's Shadow. After several chapters, Sister Carlotta has to correct Graff about the proper pronunciation of Achilles' name. It's not pronounced like the name of the Greek hero (which is an otherwise correct pronunciation), but is instead pronounced, Ah-Sheel. Card corrects the reader a bit late!
  • In Animorphs, the heroes discover that one Mr. DeGroot is looking for Tobias. When Tobias speaks to DeGroot's secretary, he asks for Mr. DeGroot (apparently pronounced as spelled) and is told that it is pronounced as "de-groat".
  • In the first book of the Takeshi Kovacs series, Kovacs corrects someone (and the reader) by specifying that the last name's Slavic origins make it "ko-VACH", not "ko-vax".

Live-Action TV
  • This is almost Wojo's Catch Phrase on Barney Miller—full name Wojciehowicz. He repeatedly insists that "you say it like it's spelled!" when people unfamiliar with Polish inevitably mangle it.
  • In the Bones episode "Mayhem On A Cross", Dr Brennan corrects the pronunciation of the band named Skalle several times.
  • In Game of Thrones, Danaerys visits the city state of Qarth, which she pronounces as "Quarth", and sort of acts like she owns the place. She is corrected by a snooty member of its leadership that the place's name is pronounced "Karth". This correction is also for the benefit of the audience, since the original book series had No Pronunciation Guide.
  • A Running Gag used in the police drama Ohara involved a visiting lawman arriving at the precinct station seeking "detective O'Hara" and expecting a burly Irish Cop. The detective would simply intone "Ohara," and the visitor would rerail his thinking.
  • Our Show, an ITV Saturday-morning show from the late 1970s presented by children, has a Hilarious Outtake of a little girl of perhaps ten or eleven who was innocent of the subtleties of French pronunciation. Given a link to do concerning the afternoon's sporting attractions, she read off the autocue:
    Little Girl: And this afternoon at two, we go to Murray Walker who will commentate on the Grand Pricks of South Africa..
    Producer: I think you'll find it's pronounced "Grond Pree"...
    Little Girl (after a second's consideration): Well, it says "Grand Pricks" here!
  • Parodied in the Richard E. Grant version of The Scarlet Pimpernel. The titular character repeatedly and deliberately pronounces Chauvelin's name "Chavelon", and is wearily corrected each time.
  • Defied during one of Les Nessman's sports reports broadcast on WKRP in Cincinnati. Les reports the standings of a golf tournament, where he encounters the competitor Chi Chi Rodriguez, and pronounces it as though it rhymes with "Pie Pie Nod-pig-Suez." Johnny Caravella whispers the correct pronunciation to Les, who ignores it completely, and continues mangling the poor golfer's name on the air.

  • In "The Three B's" from On Your Toes, Junior, testing his classical music students, plays a theme from César Franck's Symphony in D minor. When a student identifies the composer's name, Junior has to point out that it's pronounced "Fronck."
  • In Carousel, when Carrie calls Julie "as silent as an old Sahaira Spink," Julie tries to correct her pronunciation of the last word, but Carrie doesn't accept the correction:
    Julie: Spinx.
    Carrie: Uh-uh. Spink.
    Julie: Y'spell it with an "x."
    Carrie: That's only when there's more than one.
  • The Rose Tattoo:
    Jack (after an awkward pause): Mrs. Delle Rose...
    Serafina (correcting his pronunciation): Delle Rose!

Western Animation
  • In Arthur, Prunella is a big Henry Skeevernote  fan and knows everything in all the books - but she, along with everyone else her age, mispronounces Henry's friend's name as "PURSE-a-fone." Mr. Ratburn, who happens to walk by as she says it, corrects her to "Per-SE-feh-nee." He knows nothing about the books, he just knows how one correctly pronounces Persephone.
  • In Superman: The Animated Series, when Superman mispronounces Mr. Mxyzptlk's name as "Mix-ill-plick", Mxyzptlk uses helpful visual aids to demonstrate that the correct pronunciation is "Mix-yes-spit-lick." The "Mix-ill-plick" pronunciation was an intentional Call Back to Superfriends, which is how Mxy's name was pronounced for that series' entire lifespan.
  • In one episode of Spongebob Squarepants, a mailman mispronounces the reading "Tentacles" as "Tennisballs" and Squidward angrily corrects him. Then Patrick mispronounced it as "Tadpoles" and Squidward says that it's "Tennisballs... I mean Tentacles!" And at the end of the episode, his name is written on a trophy as "Squidward Tortellini".
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