Nrvnqsr Chaos from Tsukihime. "Nrvnqsr" is a transliteration of the Hebrew for "Nero Caesar" (see Number of the Beast). So even though "Nrvn" could be read as "Neron", it's really really hard to think of "qsr" as silent. Particularly startling since the first time you see it, it is in its own page, "Nrvnqsr? |>". And no one explains how to pronounce it.
Keiichi from Ah! My Goddess. When he writes letters or notes, he signs his name as "K1". "K" sounds the same as kei, the first syllable of his name, and in Japanese the word for "1" is ichi. Not to be confused with That Ecchi.
Hellboy has a particularly crazy one, with Hellboy's father. His name is Professor Trevor Bruttenholm. It's pronounced 'Broom.'
Jack Kirby engaged in this quite a bit, with Apokolips, Darkseid, Desaad, Izaya, Ikaris, Sersi, Thena, Virman Vundabar...
Agent ! from Doom Patrol. Someone asks how to pronounce it, and is told, "It's easy, just '!'"
Thompson and Thomson from The Adventures of Tintin, who usually identify themselves on the phone as "This is Thomson without a P" or "This is Thompson with a P". (In the original French, they were Dupont et Dupond.)
Thompson usually used something along the lines of "This is Thompson with a P, as in Philadelphia/psychology/phone/something else with a silent P", while Thomson used "This is Thomson without a P, as in Venezuela".
Static had to deal with a trio of truly invincible foes - Bryttyni, Tyffyni, and Krystyn, aka The Insufferable Y-Wymyn! (OK, so they were just "the popular girls" at his school, but they really were insufferable!) note Static #8 Amusingly, in the same issue, Virgil also meets a young superhuman named "Funyl," but does not remark on that name.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles started by misspelling Michelangelo as "Michaelangelo". note This was not corrected until 2001 by Peter Laird. Corrections on further adaptations have been inconsistent.
There were a number of Power Rangers fanfics based around a group of characters known as the Crowmeowme Brothers. In case you're wondering, it's supposed to be pronounced "chromium", not "Crow-Me-Ow-Me".
In Bandslam, Vanessa Hudgens' character's name is "Sa5m", but "the 5 is silent".
The epitome of this trope would have to be Jessica Lange's character from the 1970s remake of King Kong. A large chunk of dialogue is spent to establish that "Dwan" altered the spelling of her name specifically "to make it memorable".
In LA Story, Steve Martin's character is charmed by a young woman who initially strikes him as down to earth. He's relieved to find her name is "Sandy", because, you know, he expected something weird. Turns out it's spelled "SAnDeE* " (yes, including the asterisk, and case sensitive).
In Mean Girls the main character's name is spelled Cady, pronounced like Katie, but several people pronounce it Caddy. (Or rather, perhaps, like "catty," as this pun would make sense and might well have been intended.) At one point the principal, Mr. Duvall, comments that he has a nephew named Anfernee who gets mad when called Anthony. Almost as mad as Mr. Duvall gets when he thinks about the fact that his sister named him Anfernee.
That Thing You Do!: The band originally called them selves the Oneders — meant like "One-ders", but everyone read it as "O-nee-ders". When they got a manager, they changed their name to the Wonders: "As in, I wonder what happened to the O-nee-ders."
In Warlock (1989), the female hero is named Kassandra. She says that it's "Kassandra with a K" and the male hero calls her that when speaking to her.
In Anne of Green Gables, Anne hates it when someone spells her name, "Ann" and refers to herself as "Anne-spelled-with-an-e", which becomes both a taunt and an affectionate nickname.
Every single name in David Weber's Safehold books, meant to represent the shift in pronunciation that would occur after 800-1000 years. Common changes are replacing "j" with a "zh" and use of vowel groups such as "ah" and "ay" instead of other vowels (except "i" which is replaced with "y"), such as antagonist Zhaspahr Clyntahn (Jasper Clinton). This is combines with a healthy dose of Xtreme Kool Letterz, such as Charlz instead of Charles.
Inverted in Larry Niven's novel ARM, where protagonist Gil Hamilton speculates that "Ecks", the last name of one of the people he interviews while investigating a murder, may have back-formed from a 20th-Century ancestor who changed his name to "X" (as Malcolm X did).
In The Wheel of Time, Robert Jordan used this on occasion, with Elayne (Elaine) and Logain (Logan) being the most obvious normal names with single letters replaced or added. The most prominent concentration of such names is near the beginning of The Fires of Heaven, ranging from unconventional ("Maigan" for Megan) to plain odd ("Caralin" for Caroline and "Joni" for Johnny).
Piers Anthony's Bio of a Space Tyrant has a character named "Shelia", whose name was misspelled on her birth certificate.
Alfred Bester's (1953) The Demolished Man uses a sort of Text speak version of surnames: @kins (Atkins) 1/4maine (Quartermaine), etc. It was written that way as a text representation of Rebus Bubbles in a telepathic society.
Thud! has Nobby going out with a girl named Tawneee. Three "e"s. Also, Tawneee has a friend called Broccolee (originally Candee, but changed it after she heard that broccoli is healthier). There is also Mr. A. E. Pessimal, whose name is A. E. "You mean you weren't named, just initialled?" asks Vimes.
Then there's Magrat Garlick, the original third member of the Lancre witches, who was supposed to be named "Margaret" but got sideswiped by an illiterate baptism. She attempted to avoid this fate for her daughter, but thanks to a too-literal reading of her instructions by the priest officiating at the ceremony, the poor child ended up with the name "Esmerelda Margaret Note Spelling of Lancre".
The point of "Keli" (Princess Kelirehenna III of Sto Lat, better known as "kelly").
In Wintersmith, we learn that Roland's last name is Chumsfanleigh. A footnote tells us that it's "Pronounced Chuffley" and that "it wasn't his fault".
In Unseen Academicals, the "post-mortem communicator" Dr Hicks spells his name "Hix", because no self respecting evil wizard would pass up a chance to have an x in his name.
Grantaire in Les Misérables sometimes signs with a capital R, which in French (grand R) sounds like "Grantaire."
Margaret Weis did this with the leader of her mercenary team Mag Force 7, which was simultaneously both homage to and ripoff of The Magnificent Seven. Most of the directly-patterned characters died before the team got their own line of novels; by that time, the only two direct Expies left were pilot Harry Luck and cyborg team leader "Xris".
Captain Midnite, the highwayman hero of Midnite: The Story Of A Wild Colonial Boy. His Deadpan SnarkerSiamese sidekick claimed misspelled names were more Bad Ass.
William Gibson's Neuromancer features the antagonist Lady 3Jane Marie-France Tessier-Ashpool. It is not mentioned whether the "3" is silent.
P. G. Wodehouse liked this trope, perhaps because his name is pronounced "wood-house", not "woad-house".
In a rare surname example, Rupert (or Ronald) Psmith. The P is silent, "as in pshrimp", but he can tell if he's being called "Smith", and will correct people. In his first book, Psmith admits that he deliberately changed his name because "Smith" is too common.
A short story features a baronet called Sir Jasper ffinch-ffarowmere, who could hear you say "Finch-Farrowmere". The "two small fs" thing actually occurs in Real Life.
There's also Stanley Featherstonehaugh Ukridge, whose middle name is pronounced "Fanshawe". It's a genuine, if unusual, English name. And yes, it is pronounced like that.
The Jeeves and Wooster story "The Spot of Art" had Bertie trying to win the affections of a girl named Gwladys. With a "w". His Aunt Dahlia didn't approve of her for precisely that reason.
Used in Robert A. Heinlein's The Cat Who Walks Through Walls as a plot point; they heard the name pronounced 'Fanshaw' but weren't sure whether it was Fanshaw or Pronounced-Fanshaw-But-Spelled-Featherstone and had to figure out which because he had to die by midnight.
The Ross O Carroll Kelly novels have many, many female characters whose parents have given them affected unique forenames; Ross even refers to them as "Jayne with a Y", "Keera with two E's", "Erika with a K"...
In The Silence of the Lambs, the murderer insists he be addressed as "Jame". That's what's on the birth certificate, and no matter how much friends and family point out that "James" was the obvious intention, IT IS JAME.
Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash has a character named "Da5id," apparently replacing the V with the number associated with its Roman numeral. It's likely a hacker handle.
A confusing example: Isaac Asimov's short story "Spell My Name With An S" features a scientist, Marshall Zebatinsky, who decides on the advice of a numerologist to spell his last name "Sebatinsky". The story is the Trope Namer of the Spell My Name with an S trope, but it's an example of this trope.
Asimov's "Unto The Fourth Generation" touches on this tangentially: a man goes through a day seeing variant spellings of the name Levkovich everywhere he goes; it turns out to be the spirit of a dead ancestor by that name, making an (ultimately successful) attempt to contact him.
The Thrawn Trilogy from the Star Wars Expanded Universe gives us the evil clones Joruus C'baoth and Luuke Skywalker (cloned from Jedi Master Jorus C'baoth and Luke Skywalker, respectively). Although the spelling of these names is not called into question (because the characters never had to spell them), the "telltale mispronunciation" was mentioned as a sign that these were indeed clones. Since this is Timothy Zahn we're talking about, there's a pun involved too: It's not just a mispronunciation; since both clones characters have the letter U in their names, the clone is Another U. (One wonders what C'baoth would've named the clone of Mara Jade he intended to create. "Maura"? "Maara"?)
At least it wasn't Entoo Nee or Ebanne Q3 Baobab, who got mistaken for droids all the time. Even though they didn't actually look a thing like droids.
No other clones, not even the "Devist family" and Tierce from the Hand of Thrawn duology, written by the same author, distort their names like that. Maybe it's a Joruus thing, or maybe because these new ones were desperate to keep anyone from knowing that they were clones, and the Devists were all furiously working to avert Which Me? by being as individual as was practical.
The same author uses this trope as a way to slip in very normal (at least pronounciation-wise), Earth-sounding names such as Jacen, Jorj, Billey, and Odonnl.
Winnie the Pooh has this a lot. Owl and Eeyore believe that the former's name is spelled "Wol", Tigger spells his name "T - I - Double Guh - err".
A Song of Ice and Fire, as part of its medieval setting, likes to vary the spellings of familiar names: Joffrey, Kevan, Jaime, Lysa, Jeyne, Margaery, Petyr... and that's not including all the slight variations (Eddard/Edmure/Edric, etc) and different spellings of almost homophonous names (e.g. Alliser/Alester, Arryk & Erryk).
Also done in the medieval setting of the Deryni novels: King Brion (Brian) Haldane, Lord Seisyll (Cecil) Arilan.
Used a great deal in Fiona Patton's Branion series: Ashlii, Jonathon, Duglas. Many female names end with variants of 'Lynn' — Saralynne, Terrilynne, Flairalynne.
In the ColSec Trilogy, the protagonist's surname is "MaKiy," which can be interpreted as a phonetic spelling of the traditional pronunciation of "McKay." (He's a Brave Scot played straight, and the setting is After the End, after all.)
David Sedaris writes in his book Me Talk Pretty One Day: "One evening we went to move an attractive young woman who found it charming to spell the name Kim with an h, a y, and two ms."
J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series does this constantly, featuring main characters like Rhage, Zsadist, and Qhuinn. The female characters mostly seem to escape unscathed but there is an Ehlena.
Polish writer Janusz Korczak (real name Henryk Goldszmit) wanted his pen name to be Janasz Korczak, as a reference to an obscure novel by Józef Ignacy Krasicki, but an editor thought it was a typo and changed to a Janusz, which is a popular Polish name.
Frasier:(noticing her necklace) Yes, I see. With an "I".
Candi: Yeah, I used to spell it with a "Y", but I wanted to be taken seriously, so I spell it with an "I", like 'Gandhi'.
Frasier: Yes... I believe that's why he changed it, too.
A memorable A Bit of Fry and Laurie sketch involved a character named Derek giving a report to a policeman. When asked to give his full name, he says "Derek" and then drops a cigarette lighter on the table. When asked to spell the name, he says " N I P P L hyphen E." Further Hilarity Ensues as his address involves a tap dance and a slap to a cheek.
Season 12 of The Amazing Race featured a team of two Goths by the names of Kynt and Vyxsin. Season 15 had the couple of Meghan & Cheyne (pronunced "Shane"). Season 16 had Caite (pronounced "Katie", not "Kate"). Season 21 had Jaymes...whose partner's name was James.
Stephen Colbert of The Colbert Report has been known to accuse Jon Stewart of this, adding an H to make it "John" because "that is how you are supposed to spell that." (It's short for "Jonathan" and so is perfectly valid.)
Coincidentally, the "Stewart" in Jon Stewart's name was originally spelled "Stuart".
In "Bad Wolf," the character Lynda clarifies that her name is spelled with a Y, not an I. Subsequently, the Doctor calls her "Lynda with a Y."
Lynda keeps saying "Lynda-with-a-Y" because she's a Big Brother contestant and there's another one, already evicted, who was Linda-with-an-I.
Later in the two-parter "Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks", a showgirl named Tallulah explains that her name is spelled "with three l's and an h". When she later asks the Doctor if he can save her fiance's life, the Doctor answers, "Oh, Tallulah with three L's and an H—just you watch me!"
Eerie Indiana: The main character's sister also spelled her name "Syndi".
In Family Matters, Lieutenant Murtaugh asks Rachel to call him Lou, spelled "L-i-e-u." He also reveals to Carl that he had his first name legally changed to "Lieutenant" when he became a lieutenant. When asked what his name was before that, he says, "Sergeant."
In the Sci-Fi Dom ComMeego, the lead gave his name as "P, L, X, a circle with four lines through it, and a triangle the size of my head." It's pronounced "Smith". One scene has him make out a cheque to the ice-cream man, signing his name, then putting "(triangle not drawn to scale)".
In the opening spot of one episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, Tom Servo announces he's decided to change the spelling of his name to Htom Sirveaux. Crow's response: "Well, Htom, why don't you hlick me?" After the commercial break, we see Crow deciding to change the spelling of his name to Cröe.
Kari Byron from MythBusters pronounces her first name "Carrie".
On NCIS, Abby's stalker ex-boyfriend's name is Mikel Mowher. It's pronounced "Michael M-ow-ur."
In one sketch, Jamie Foxx played a kid on a talent show. His name was spelled Q-U-E-V-Y-N-N-N, and pronounced like "Kevin".
In another sketch, Betty White played a woman whose name is pronounced as "Blarfengahr Blarfengahr" and written as "Lee Smith".
Subverted in an episode of the SitcomWings, in which a visiting socialite has a romantic fling with "Brian With An 'I'."
When Monty Brown joined WWE, he was given the stage name Marquis Cor Von ("Marquis" pronounced "Marcus", not "Marquee" as one might expect). That lasted all of about a week; the next week, he was Marcus Cor Von.
Nathan Barley features the individual "15 Peter 20" and "Jonatton Yeah?"
Also, an artist named Djave, who pronounces it Dave ... and is a woman.
In an episode of Flight of the Conchords, the main characters argue over the the name of their new love interest, one saying it's Barbara and the other "Brahbrah" (to which the first replies that no one is named "Brahbrah"). At the end of the episode, "Brahbrah" is indeed revealed to be her name.
Mr. Raymond Luxury-Yacht, which is pronounced "Throatwobbler-Mangrove."
In the Bookshop Sketch, a man keeps asking for books with titles from Charles Dickens, but spelled differently and by different authors, such as David Coperfield and Knickerless Nickleby by Edmund Wells and Rarnaby Budge by Charles Dikkens. The exasperated bookseller tells him he has none of these books, nor "Carnaby Fudge by Daries Tikkens or Stickwick Stapers by Miles Pikkens with four Ms and a silent Q."
At least one article has mentioned how the professionals on Dancing with the Stars, especially the likes of Edyta, Ashly, Kym, Dmitry, and Maksim, seem to have a dislike of vowels.
Hollyoaks the UK soap featured a character called Mitzeee. She made sure you knew it was spelled with 3Es.
One common "joke" (referenced in, and possibly stemming from The Simpsons) consists of asking a someone to spell AC/DC. Their answer will invariable be "Ay, see, dee, see," or, if they're particularly clever and wary "Ay, see, slash, dee, see." Both of these answers, are wrong, since it's spelled with a lightning bolt, not a slash.
Inverted with LouisLuigiLudwig van Beethoven, who signed his works in the language of his target audience.
And Georg Friedrich Händel George Frederik Handel. Actually pretty common among well-travelled artists pre modern era. (John Bach?)
Owen from The Birthday Massacre used to spell it O-en because he wanted a nickname that wasn't 'Waffles'.
Marillion's song "Kayleigh" was named after lead singer Fish (Derek Dick)'s ex-girlfriend Kay Lee. The song was such a hit (at least in the UK) that parents started naming their daughters Kayleigh in Real Life.
Viktor Vaughn, a character adopted by Daniel Dumile (MF DOOM) on his album Vaudeville Villain. As he says in the song G.M.C, "Party people know the name: Vik with a 'K', if it's all the same."
The lead singer "Nic." in the Swedish band "Nic And The Family" pronounces his name "Nick dot".
A HUGE number of rappers and hip-hop artists use stage names with unusual spellings. There's actually a very good reason for this: such names are much easier to defend as trademarks.
The avant-gard gospel ensemble The Danielson Famile.
The first word in metal band Machinae Supremacy's name is apparently pronounced like "machine".
Halestorm's lead singer is Elizabeth "Lzzy" Hale.
There is a group called "!!!" (it's pronounced "chk chk chk").
The band Sunn O))) pronounces their name "Sunn". If you're wondering, they're named after a brand of amplifiers, and the "O)))" part of their name is meant to look like a symbol used in said company's logo.
The joke about "Hen3ry" is more famously associated with Tom Lehrer.
The Christian rock band White Heart had a running gag in their album credits in which subsequent albums spelled lead singer Rick Florian's first name as Ric, Rikk, Riq, Ricke, Rhic, Rikcq, Ricque, etc.
Gordon Gano of the Violent Femmesinverted this trope when he decided to phoneticize his surname (original spelling: Gayneau).
Shane MacGowen is an odd example. In Ireland people mix and match their names all the time, depending on whether they're speaking English or Irish. The convention is generally to translate the name directly, thus Seán Mac Gabhann and John Smith would be understood to be the same person. However, Shane Mac Gowens parents instead decided to transliterate his name into an Anglicised spelling of the original Irish name. Though the result gives people familiar with English phonetics a hand with the pronunciation, to Irish people it looks about as weird as Kendra with a QU.
J-Pop group AAA is pronounced as 'Triple A'.
Roky Erickson's first name is still pronounced "Rocky". It's a nickname that sort of stems from his full name, Roger Kynard Erickson.
Tom Lehrer once mentioned a man who was so eccentric he insisted on spelling his name with a silent 3 in the middle of it.
Brazilian band J. Quest was supposed to be pronounced in English, "Jay Quest". Given the fear of a lawsuit by Hanna-Barbera for the Jonny Quest inspired name, they decided to rename themselves with what the people were already saying, Jota Quest ("Jota" being "jay" in Portuguese).
In Dino Attack RPG, Pterisa's name is an alternate spelling of the more common given name Teresa. In this case, it isn't just a funny spelling but also a Punny Name, since this spelling references Pterisa's pterosaur-based genetics. (Incidentally, "Pteroessa", meaning "winged", an epithet of the Greek goddess Nemesis, is pronounced like "Teresa" in Modern Greek, except that Greek pronounces the P.)
Parodied by the late great George Carlin (Classic Gold): "Your name can be spelled S-M-I-T-H and you can pronounce it 'Jenovsky' if you want to, you know? What's your name? Jenovsky. How's that spelled? S-m-i-t-h. What?! They're all silent, nevermind..."
Katt Williams wondered what the point of the silent letter is by using this as an example. "Hello, my name is Bob, that's B-k-o-b."
Juston McKinney, himself an example of the trope, discusses all the problems this has caused in his life, such as people spelling it Justin, and how he can't say it's "Justin with an O" because people then think it's "Jostin".
That's like having a kid named Tim with an o. "So, it's Tom?" "No it's Tim, my parents were real ballbusters. This is my little brother Steven, it's with a ph, it's at the beginning. It's P-H-S-T-E-V-E-N-N, there's two N's at the end. The last one's capital, yeah they screwed that up too.
Almost all of the suggested human names in fourth edition Dungeons & Dragons are differently spelled variations of regular names.
A number of characters from Jak and Daxter, mostly because the setting is a Fantasy Counterpart Culture that resembles Earth. Jak and Daxter themselves are the obvious examples. Others are Erol, Rayn and Ximon.
To spoof how the word "gnome" is spelled with a silegnt "g," all the gnomes in Kigngdom of Loathigng sprignkle their speech and gnames with silegnt "g"s before the "n"s. For example, "Hagnk" ignstead of "Hank", and greetigng you with "Greetigngs, advegnturer!" ignstead of "Greetings, adventurer!".
Maggey Byrde from Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Justice for All, for plot reasons. Her first trial as a murder suspect revolves around the victim writing her name wrong (using the more common spelling of "Maggie").
In the original Japanese version, her name is Mako Suzuki. In this case it revoles around the victim using the wrong rendition of the surname (Victim wrote: 鈴木, the more common rendition. The actual rendering: 須々木, which is non-standard)
Indeed, forgeries being identified through misspelling of names is a common thread in mystery fiction.
Psymon Stark of the SSX series. There isn't exactly a story behind it, but as you migh have guessed, he's a bit of an oddball. The kind with serious mental health issues, that is.
It's a remarkably common occurrence in Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume. While the protagonist's name, Wylfred, isn't common enough that spelling is an issue, it does pop up with other potential party members including Phiona, Rosea, and Heugoe. Seriously, Heugoe?
Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri has Conservator Lular H'minee, leader of the Manifold Caretakers, has an apostrophe. (This may actually be the only way to express her name in some sort of human language, as the Progenitors communicate via field modulation.)
The second missile silo in Thwaite is manned by a woman, and her name is Staisy.
While names like Ceilidh (kay-lee) and Ciaran (keer-un) are traditional Scottish names, Avalon's characters largely use the less common spellings of their names, although Phoebe prefers her name pronounced "feeb".
Blond from the webcomic ''Blue and Blond'' is very particular about the fact that his name does not have an 'e' on the end, and will know if you spelled it that way in conversation.
Grrl from Cat and Girl is this, in order to contrast with Girl.
The Noob parodies the high rate of this in MMORPGs (where multiple characters with the exact same name are not allowed). Ohforf visits an elven city where all the males are named variations of Legolas (Legolass, Leggolas, Legolaus) and all the females are Arwen (Arwyn, Arrwen, Arwhen). Ohforf also runs into this problem when first naming his character and tries Aragorn. When the game tells him it's taken, he then tries about ten misspellings of it while the computer makes fun of him for the attempt.
Writer T Campbell is fond of this trope. Fans! has Rikk (instead of Rick) and Alisin (instead of Alison/Allison); Penny and Aggie has Cyndi (Cindy) and Lynda (Linda).
Two stories on Not Always Right actually invert this. The person is actually trying to give a fairly normal spelling, and gets a completely new name back. In one, he says his name is "Stephen with a Ph" and gets called Pheven. In the other, a girl is Jessika with a K, and gets called Kessica.
Family Guy: The episode "Peter's Two Dads" sees Peter forced to wait in line at the airport as Robert Loggia taking his time spelling his name, using annoying superlatives about himself. (Purportedly to make sure the ticket clerk has it correct. When Peter complains, the clerk loses his place and Loggia starts again, further annoying Peter!)
J'onn J'onnz is a Martian. From Mars. His odd name is probably excusable. And when he pretends to be a human, he calls himself John Jones. So.
In the cartoon short "Jack-Jack Attack" (based on an unseen incident in The Incredibles) Kari the babysitter says her name is like Carrie, but spelled with a K, one R and no E. And pronounced Car-E.
In the Gary the Rat, Gary's regular cheese delivery man (named Bud), was sick one day and replaced with his cousin "Bud with an L". After a moment of silence, he mentions that the L is silent. Don't ask how you spell Bud with an L.
In Planet Sheen, Doppy says him name is spelled, "D-O-P-P-tralalalalalalalalalala-Y." The tralalalalalas are silent, but felt.