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Spell My Name with an S
What's wrong with this picture?

The English Romanization of his name was a debated topic for quite some time, with interpretations including "Violenjiger", "Violent Jiger", "Violent Chigger", "Violen Jig-er", "Violin Juggler", "Bio Ranger Iga", "Valium Chugger", and "Crazy Engrish Fun-Man". The publication of The Ark II finally provided us with an official spelling.
The Violen Jiger article, TFWiki.net

This trope describes characters whose names are almost never spelled consistently, usually because of transliteration issues. This tends to happen in Anime and Japanese video games that haven't been officially translated into English, although it also crops up in other languages that don't use the Latin alphabet. Situations include anything from drama between vowel additions to unique-cipher dropping, due to phoneme sets and writing systems. English, for example, is famous for many ways and rules of spelling (e.g., Americans generally dropping extra vowels (e.g. color instead of colour)), despite having much fewer actual sounds they represent. Japanese has separate vowel-heavy syllabic and ideographic writing systems; since the latter overlaps with Chinese, sometimes there is a question of whether a name should be transliterated from the Japanese or the Chinese reading. Spanish has several familiar looking letter combinations intended to be pronounced in specific ways. Complicating the issue is some names simply become popular enough in other languages that they're modified to fit them better, and you can't be sure if it's actually intended to be meaningful. Another if the name is only ever shown in modified form, meaning we simply have to guess.

Assuming an official release settles the issue, some fans deliberately use one of the alternate spellings to establish their "credibility" as fans. In true fannish fashion, this often persists even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, such as Theme Naming, Meaningful Names, Prophetic Names, and direct proclamations by the work's creator. Eventually, this stops being cool and just starts making people angry, and the self-righteous morons hit the Fandom Berserk Button. (Where did you think the trope name came from?)

In some cases, official translated versions will adopt bizarre transliterations for the sake of Writing Around Trademarks and/or establishing new ones — because, when a Cash Cow Franchise gets imported, it's more useful to have character names that can be trademarked for the sake of selling licensed merchandise.

This can also occur in translations of ancient texts written in outdated forms of modern scripts. For example, Latin had no "J," but, as English has no consonantal "I", "J" is often used to signify such. To a lesser extent, this can occur when transliterating words that contain a thorn (), which is already well represented by "TH." In point of fact, it can even be seen in many English texts from before standardized spelling (yes, there was such a time), won ecksampel beeing is frais. And anore beeing is sentans. is won heer is a partickularlie gud ecksampel.

The trope's name comes from an Isaac Asimov short story, Spell My Name With An S, in which a pair of Sufficiently Advanced Aliens use The Little Shop That Wasn't There Yesterday to stop The End of the World as We Know It — by persuading an obscure scientist to change one letter of his name from Z to S, and watching Hilarity Ensue (until they realize that The Watcher will know that there was supposed to be an Earth-Shattering Kaboom, and so are forced to come up with an equally subtle Reset Button). Asimov was inspired to write the story after having his name misspelled — Azimov, or even Asenion once — one time too many. Incidentally, Isaac Asimov's original name in the Cyrillic alphabet was "Исаак Озимов" (Isaak Ozimov, with the initial "I" pronounced like "ee") and pronounced quite differently from how the American public and he himself pronounced it during his lifetime. Now in Russia, translations of his works use the spelling of "Айзек Азимов" Aizek Azimov) to better convey the American English phonetics, out of respect for the author.

This does not include minor differences in romanization systems, such as the various methods of indicating long vowels in Japanese, or the use of the apostrophe to indicate syllabic nasals.

Contrast My Nayme Is, which is the intentional misspelling of one's name.

The opposite of No Pronunciation Guide, which is when the spelling/writing of the name is unequivocal but people can't agree on how it's supposed to sound. The tlopes can ovelrap, howevel, if a celtain sound does not exist in a a pelticural ranguage.

May lead to a Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?.

Related to Adaptation Dye-Job (and/or other Adaptation Tropes, as the case may be).


Examples

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    Fanfic 
  • Parodied in Those Lacking Spines, where when facing down a rabid group of Fangirls the main characters invoke this trope by getting them to fight over the spelling of Final Fantasy VII character names, ranging from the classic Aeris/Aerith to eventually Gratuitous Japanese like Vincent/Binsento.
  • My Immortal. Who can forget the many spellings of Ebony's name: Enoby, Evony, TaEbory, Tata, Tara...
  • Starkits Prophecy features a wide variety of misspellings of character names. At times, it's hard to tell what the correct spelling of a character's name is supposed to be.
  • Parodied in �The Labyrinth Fanfic Academy� when writers of bad Labyrinth fanfiction are forcibly restrained by sets of Helping Hands nicknamed �Sara� (Sarah), �Jereth� (Jareth), �Pluto� (Ludo), and �Hoggel� (Hoggle).
  • In many Harry Potter fanfics, this tends to be the norm: the authors write "Kreature" instead of "Kreacher", "Virginia" instead of "Ginevra" (admitedly, that one was not known until the fifth book came out), and there have been cases of "Author" instead of "Arthur" (Weasley) and, memorably, "Manava" instead of "Minerva" (McGonagall). "Griffindor" instead of Gryffindor is also painfully common.
  • The backdrop for the Cadance Of Cloudsdale story A Princess By Any Other Name, detailing the ridiculous lengths that Princess Cadence will have to go through to change her name to Princess Cadance (which is infinitely better than her old, identical-sounding name, she insists). Hilarity Ensues.
  • In Glee fic, Brittany's name is regularly misspelled. "Britney" is the most common misspelling, though more imaginative alternatives have been known to show up from time to time.
  • Zack from Bones is very prone to this in fics. It probably doesn't help that fanfiction.net lists him as "Zach A." Also there have been a few cases of his first name being mentioned as "Zachariah" - most likely a Mondegreen of his first and middle name, Zachary Uriah.
  • Littlepip, the main character in Fallout: Equestria, suffers heavily from this. Misspells like Little Pip, LittlePip, Lil' Pip, Lilpip and others are painfully common, even in This Very Wiki and after the author herself stated how it's written. There is hardly a single piece of Recursive Fanfiction that gets her name right.
  • Pokeumans: Larry the Loudred MC has a variety of spellings used for his surname - examples include Bellowitch, Belowich and Bellowich. No-one's entirely sure what's correct, but the pun is apparent.
  • In Mega Man: Defender of the Human Race, ProtoMan is one word with two capitalizations. In this 'verse, it's a shortening of Wily's suggested "Prototype Man" name.
  • The Slender Man fic By the Fire's Light pays tribute to the many variations on Slender Man's name, including Slender Man, Slenderman, and slenderman at different points in the story coming from different characters.
  • In Celestia VS Cleverbot, Cleverbot misspells Celestia's full name and title as "Princes celestia" in the original conversation (chapter 2).
  • The Grassside Girls of Welcome To The World Of Pokemon are intentionally spelled with a triple 's' sequence.

    Films 
  • In Foreign Correspondent, the Deadpan Snarker Brit reporter has the utterly ridiculous last name of "ffolliot". Yes, two lower-case Fs.
  • Practically any monster from a Godzilla movie — including Godzilla (originally Gojira) himself.
    • Angirasu/Angilas/Angurus/Anguirus (the last finally being registered as a trademark in the 90s).
    • Kingu Gidora/Ghidrah/Ghidorah; also Death Ghidorah/Desgidora.
    • In almost all English versions except Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993), the monster Radon (from "pteranodon") is called Rodan. Speculation as to why it was changed includes confusion with the element radon and a conflict with the name of a British brand of soap; nobody's exactly sure why.
    • Kingu Shiisaa/King Seesar/King Caesar — especially problematic because it implies a false Meaningful Name (Caesar = Roman emperors) while clouding its real one (Shiisaa = Okinawan mythic lion-dog).
    • In Godzilla vs. Destoroyah, the monster's name was deliberately changed from "Destroyer" because a descriptive name like that is hard to trademark.
      • Also, Destoroyah has been called Destroyah.
    • Don't forget about Minya/Minilla/Minira/Milla.
    • Likewise there's Kamacuras/Gimantis and Kumonga/Spiega.
    • It is Lampshaded in the American remake.
    "It's 'Gojira', you moron!"
    • And referred to exclusively as "Gojira" in the accompanying novelization.
  • In Ralph Bakshi's The Lord of the Rings, Executive Meddling led to Saruman's name being changed to Aruman, because the studio thought that viewers would confuse his name with "Sauron". However they only used the new name about half the time, making everything that much more confusing.
    • The potential for confusion between their names is actually noted in the universe — while viewing an 'S' painted on an enemy's shield, one of the characters wonders if it stands for Sauron; another character quickly points out that Sauron's minions don't call him by name, and besides, Sauron never uses elf-runes. So it could only be Saruman.
    • Lampshaded in DM of the Rings here.
  • In Animal Crackers, Captain Spaulding has the first name of "Jeffrey" in the film credits and in the script of the play, but "Geoffrey" in a newspaper headline also displayed at the start of the film. (Spaulding's name originally lacked the U, but was changed to avoid coincidental resemblance to persons living or dead.)
  • Randall Graves is not a clerk at RST Video. Randal Graves, however, is.
  • Depending on the source, the heroine of King Kong spells her name as either Ann or Anne.
  • The tablet owner from Night at the Museum's name is popularly spelled Ahkmenrah, but other spellings exists as well. In the Nintendo DS Licensed Game of the movie's sequel, they added the spelling "Akmenrah" and "Akhmenrah", which was mentioned during the beginning, when Jedediah called Larry on the phone.
  • Blazing Saddles: It's HEDLEY!
  • The Hangover: Is it rufilin or roofalin?
  • Qo'noS is titled "Kronos" in Star Trek Into Darkness. The script for Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country had used the "Kronos" spelling, and background references mention that it is the anglicanized version of the Klingon word.
  • Some of the rip-offs of Emmanuelle spelled her name as "Emanuelle" to avoid law-suits for copyright infringement.

    Literature 
  • The Star Wars Expanded Universe is known for being remarkably consistent and continuous, as expanded universes go. However, there are plenty of times, particularly early on, when authors don't bother looking up things like whether characters have already had first/last names or specific spellings. This is usually retconned by giving some characters either two first names or a middle name. Derek "Hobbie" Klivian, whose name was frequently misspelled "Klivan", lampshades this in Starfighters of Adumar by telling a reporter this.
    Derek: Everyone calls me Hobbie. And I'll get back to you on my last name. Lots of people misspell it.
  • Night Watch - in the books, the head of the Day Watch is romanised as Zabulon, while the movies spell it Zavulon. They also can't agree on Egor or Yegor.
    • Different volumes of the series also variably spell the name of the head of the Night Watch as Gesar or Geser.
      • Word of God says: "I took 'Mythological Dictionary', opened it randomly. There was Geser. I read the discription and it kinda fit. Second time it came 'Zavulon'. Honestly"
  • Another Asimov short story, "Unto the Fourth Generation," is centered on variations of Levkovich (Lewkovich, Lefkovitz, and so on) and a peculiar form of sort-of time travel. Mostly, it's about family, as the name suggests.
  • Animal Farm has Mollie/ Molly.
  • The title character of the Anne of Green Gables series is constantly reminding people that she prefers her named to be spelled with an E. Apparently, it looks more dignified. She is so adamant that at various points, she will introduce herself as "Anne Shirley. Anne spelled with an 'E'". Of course, this is after she requests to be called Cordelia....
  • The Baby-Sitters Club: It's Stacey, Jessi, and Mary Anne, not Stacy, Jessie, and Mary Ann/Marianne/Mariann/Maryann/Maryanne/Mary-Ann/Mary-Anne/etc.
  • The Badass Spaniard's name in the book The Princess Bride is written "Inigo Montoya", thus the preferred spelling in the English-speaking world. A Spaniard will be quick to point out that it should be written "igo" (and in fact, Inigo would be pronounced like e-nee-goh, while for igo, you stress the , and you pronounce the like in... um... this). And will write it as igo.
    • Iigo if he/she's not bothering with the accents. Inigo only if the keyboard is broken or something.
    • For browsers who can't display this name correctly: Inigo is properly written as: I with acute accent, N with tilde, I, G, O.
  • Whenever the main character of Bill the Galactic Hero interacts with those of higher rank than him, they insist on calling him "Bil" because only officers have two L's.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, characters have archaic or unusual spellings of common English names, such as Jaime (Jamie), Eddard (Edward), Brynden (Brendan), and many more.
  • On the back cover of the Petsitters book The Cat Burglar, the cat's name is spelled as "Sophia", but the book itself spells the name as "Sofia".

    Live Action TV 
  • There are multiple possible ways to spell the surnames of the Second Doctor's companions Jamie and Zoe (the credits only show their first names). Jamie's surname has largely stabilised as "McCrimmon", but Zoe's has swung back and forth between "Heriot" and "Herriot" over the years. The BBC's own Doctor Who episode guide uses both spellings on different pages.
  • In the American version of The Office, Pam's last name has had several different spellings.
  • In Stargate SG-1, Colonel O'Neill has very specifically stated that his name is spelled with two Ls on several occasions. At one point he specifically addressed why he was so concerned about it. Apparently, there's another Colonel Jack O'Neil in the fictional version of the USAF, one with "No Sense of Humor". This is an in-joke and lampshading of the fact that Kurt Russell's version of the character in the movie (spelled with one L in the credits) was significantly less funny.
    • For the record, the name of Daniel's wife in the movie was Shau'ri, while in the series was spelled Sha're. The pronunciation changed accordingly.
      • This is because Michael Shanks (the actor playing Daniel) had trouble pronouncing the diphthong in "Shau'ri". Strange, considering Daniel is supposed to be a linguist fluent in dozens of languages.
    • Jack similarly corrects the spelling of Teal'c's name during the first episode following the series pilot.
    • Major Dr. Janet Fraiser, the base doctor, says the trope name verbatim in a featurette on the DVD release of Season Three. (Yes, this does count: the featurette is framed with the audience in the role of a consultant for the Pentagon, and Gen. Hammond and Dr. Fraiser are in character.)
    • In one episode, the characters correct an official report on the aliens by claiming that the word is spelled "Goa'uld", not "Gould"... except they almost always pronounce it "Gould", except for the resident alien Teal'c. Even the local linguist pronounces it incorrectly.
  • Engine Sentai Go-onger has some possible variations on the name of the species of biomechanical creatures that act as the Rangers' familiars/Humongous Mecha. Most commonly rendered simply as Engines, the name is actually a bilingual pun on the English word "engine" & the Japanese word En-Jin, roughly meaning "Fire God". Another possible rendering is Endjinn or N-Djinn, which arguably conveys the pun better to a western audience.
  • Regarding Power Rangers Samurai, initially, there were some disagreements about how to spell Deker's name. Other early spellings included "Dekker" and "Decker", although some fans still adopted the other spellings due to Rule of Cool.
  • Lizzi in Greek is one the producers always get right. The fans, critics, and non-Greek personnel, however, usually add the "e" at the end.
    • "That's Lizzi with two Zeta Beta Z's...and no 'e'"
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel:
    • It's either Wesley Wyndam-Pryce or Wesley Wyndham-Price... or possibly Wesley Wyndam-Price. Just take your pick...
    • Warren's surname was never seen written down on screen, or included in credits or publicity material. The comic spin-offs have now confirmed it as "Mears", although at least one published shooting script had previously given it as "Meers", and much fanon had it as "Meres" to make it a Punny Name for a character defined by his rage at being a "mere" human.
  • Godric from True Blood has been given every spelling possible: Godrick, Godrich, Godrik, Goderic, Goderick, Goderich, etc.
  • Demetri Noh on FlashForward gets this a lot (even on TV Tropes): Dimitri, Demitri, Dmitri, Dimetri, etc. Good thing his last name's pretty easy.
  • In 24, the name of Jack Bauer's brother was spelled "Graham" on the show's captions before the official website revealed that it's actually "Graem".
  • The Survivors frequently slaughter the spellings of each others' names at Tribal Council. To give one example, Sonja Christopher's name was misspelled as "Souna" on the first ever Tribal Council vote.
  • Fans of The Kids in the Hall disagree bitterly over the recurring garage band, Rod Torfulson/Torkelson/Torfasson/etc.'s Armada Featuring Herman Menderchuck.
  • Is it Nazca like the lines, or Nasca like it says on the memory? It's still pronounced the same either way, but still...
    • The name of half of the titular hero has gone from Phillip (in early publicity material) to Philippe (in the data stream that surrounds him when he enters the Gaia Library) to Philip (the spelling they ultimately seem to have settled upon.)
  • Every incarnation of the Degrassi franchise spells it as one word. Real Life De Grassi Street in Toronto is two words, capital "G". The real street signs are used in establishing shots from time to time.
  • No one ever decided whether the Alpha Bitch's name in Lizzie McGuire was Kate Sanders (with a short a sound) or Kate Saunders (Sawn-ders). Every other episode, it was pronounced differently and her name was never listed the same way in the credits. Ethan Kraft/Ethan Craft is similar in this way.
  • The Red Green Show: Is Glen's last name Brackston, Braxton or Brachston?
  • Once Upon a Time spells it "Rumplestiltskin" instead of "Rumpelstiltskin."
  • Saturday Night Live once did a Weekend Update bit where they listed all the acceptable spellings for the Lybian dictator, Muammar Gaddafi, owing to the fact that no two newscasts or newspaper ever spelled it the same way.
  • Supernatural has Castiel's nickname officially written as "Cass", however, fans prefer to spell it as "Cas". Makes sense, since his name only has one s.
  • The Thick of It has Ollie/Olly Reeder: early episodes credit Chris Addison as playing "Olly Reeder", which is later changed to "Oliver Reeder", while The Missing Do SAC Files has him sign himself as Ollie.

    Manhwa 
  • Tower of God:
    • The Zahard family� or the Jahad?
      • Especially Androssi/Endorthy/Endorothy Zahard/Jahad
      • And Eurasia Anne/Enne Zahard/Jahad
    • Len/Ren
    • Hatsu/Hatz
    • Koon/Kun
    • Lahel/Rachel

    Music 
  • The Japanese band Bow Wow later switched the Latin spelling of their name to Vow Wow. This might have been to avoid confusion with another band named Bow Wow Wow.
  • Most of her CDs Romanize her name "Shna Ring", but she's gone through plenty of other Romanizations, so almost nobody humors her and instead goes for the literal Romanization, Shiina Ringo.
  • Florence and the Machine, or Florence + the Machine, or even Florence + the machine? Nobody can decide.
  • Woven Hand or Wovenhand? He's released albums as both.
  • An In Living Color sketch featured a man whose spelled out his name as (approximately) "Q, E, P, H, F, E, N, N, N, N ... N." He then revealed that it was pronounced "Kevin".
  • How many times has the media spelled Meat Loaf's name as one word, "Meatloaf"? Don't ask.
  • Keri Hilson, Kerri Hilson, or Kerry Hilson? Someone might even go as far to spell it Kari Hilson. The first of those names is correct.
  • Isao Tomita's album Snowflakes Are Dancing and its title track appear to be named for a translation back into English of the Japanese name for this track. Debussy's name for it was The Snow Is Dancing.
    • A more subtle example is Golliwogs' Cakewalk from the same album. Debussy named this piece Golliwogg's Cakewalk, referring specifically to the heroic character created by Florence Kate Updike, and not the generic archetype (particularly not Enid Blyton's racist version).
  • Record Producer Dann Huff's name is frequently misspelled with only one N.
  • There have been so many different spellings about how to write *NSYNC's name, that they finally had to comment on it on Twitter.
  • Fall Out Boy's name is frequently written as "Fallout Boy" or even "Falloutboy."

    Newspaper Comics 
  • In Over the Hedge, the name of Verne's nephew constantly alternated between Plushie and Plushy.
  • In Garfield, Pooky the teddy bear's name was misspelled "Pookie" at least once.
  • In earlier strips of Dogs Of C Kennel, Will's name was originally Willy, before finally just going by Will.

    Religion and Mythology 
  • Nobody seems to know whether "Xenu" or "Xemu" is the correct spelling. At least, nobody who's willing to talk about it.
  • The name of inn/Odin/Oden/Woden/Wotan is spelled differently in basically every Germanic language. This is in part due to Norse having a distinct letter for the voiced "th" sound, transliterated in modern English sometimes as th and sometimes as d, and in most Scandinavian languages as dh or d. And the Romans called him Mercury
    • There's also Freyja/Freya/Freia/Freja/Frya/Freyia.
  • God. He's OK with being called God, since it's clear that He's the only one to which a Christian or Jew would refer, but... YHVH or YHWH? Is the name more closely Anglicized as Yahweh, Jehovah, or something in between? It's not supposed to be pronounced. Nobody but the high priest knew how the word is pronounced, and even modern religious Jews misspell it on purpose because they're not allowed to write it. There is some debate about what exactly the word means, but it's likely related to the root 'to exist'.
    • YHWH/YHVH are the same transliteration, since the letter that was pronounced "w" in ancient Hebrew has changed into a "v" sound in most modern Hebrew pronunciations (some exceptions exist, e.g., Yemenite pronunciation preserves the "w"). Vowels weren't introduced in Hebrew until the Middle Ages, but we're pretty sure "Yaweh" is correct because we have Greek magic papyri with invocations to one "Iaoue". (The Greek alphabet doesn't have letters for Y or an H that isn't at the beginning of the word.) "Jehovah" is a Christian butchering of the name by a scribe, unfamiliar with the custom of taking the name you substitute in prayer ("Adonai") and putting its vowels on YHVH as a reminder, smooshing the two words together. Also, Jews aren't forbidden from writing G-d's name...they're forbidden from *destroying* something with G-d's name written on it, however, which makes writing G-d's name on something kind of a big deal.
    • The way I heard it, it is supposed to represent the sound of breathing. Something about the symbolism of all living things praising his name at all times or something.
    • It's quite often translated in modern versions of the Bible as "I am".
  • Arthurian Legend: Guinevere can be Guenever, Gwenwhyfar, Guenivre, Guanhumara (!), or Wenneuereia (Flat "What."). Similarly for Isolde / Iseult / Isolt / whatever.
  • The obscure Catholic Saint Winwaloe. Or possibly Gunol, Winwallus, Guingalois, or Vinguavally. Or maybe Ouignoualey, or Bennoc, or dozens more.
  • The Greek names of figures of Classical Mythology may be subject to this, as Greek has a different alphabet from most other European languages such as English.
    • The name of the legendary hero of Greek mythology can be spelled either as Herakles or Heracles. That Other Wiki seems to prefer the latter, as does the Glory of Heracles video game series.
    • The three-headed guard dog of the underworld the above had to slay as part of his labors can be romanized as either Cerberus or Kerberos, with the latter being used for a computer network authentication protocol.
  • There are multiple accepted ways to write "Hanukkah" in Roman letters.
  • There are dozens of different ways to spell "wendigo." About the only consistent traits between the spellings are that most of them start with a W and are three syllables long.
  • The holy book of Islam, given that Arabic script doesn't transliterate very precisely to the Roman alphabet, has been identified as the Quran, Qur'an, Koran, Al-Coran, Coran, Kuran, or Al-Qur'an, among others.

    Stand-up Comedy 
  • Achmed the Dead Terrorist, spell his name with A-C-* Phlegm* ...
  • Brivolbn7q Regan: "Anyway I met his woman, her name was ah, Amy, you know, so I go 'Oh, A-M-Y?' She goes 'No, A-Y-M-I-E'. 'Ughhh... I have to take a nap! I'm Brian, B-R-I-V-O-L-B-N, the number 7, the letter Q, — 'Brennemenahgah!!!' Look at my name tag, it's, it's big."

    Tabletop Games 
  • The drow chief god in some Dungeons & Dragons settings is either spelled Lolth or Lloth.
  • Chess has many names from Russian examples: the Petroff defense, the Petrov defense, the Russian defense (1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nf6); The Tchigorin defense, the Chigorin defense (1d4 d5 2c4 Nc6)

    Theater 
  • The play "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" had audience members spell words. Sometimes audience members would be given the word "kumis", fermented goat milk. If the audience member spelled the word c-u-m-i-s, the announcer would say the correct spelling was k-u-m-i-s (both spellings are correct).
    • This could be deliberate, as half the comedy in the show derives from the announcer trying to eliminate audience members at any cost.
  • The Merchant of Venice contains a character called, depending on the editor, "Launcelot" or "Lancelot." This doesn't seem so bad...except that the folios call him "Launcelet" or "Lancelet", and spell his last name, Gobbo, alternately as "Jobbe" or "Job."

    Web Comics 
  • A minor character in Men In Hats was called Ramath the first and only time he appeared, and called Ramas in the only other strip to refer to him.
  • The Order of the Stick's prequel book, Start of Darkness, revolves around the villains and often has the main villain, Xykon, correcting other people's misspelling of his name (most commonly as Zykon). It's unclear how he can recognize this, since both names are pronounced the same way, which is also lampshaded. Also, a group of adventurers attempting to hunt Xykon down wind up stumbling into the lair of a completely different villain with a similarly-spelled name. It is believed that this was author Rich Burlew's way of poking fun at the constant misspelling of Xykon's name in the comic's fan forums.
    • Additionally, one of the spirits involved in Vaarsuvius's Soul Splice has been referred to in the comic as both "Haera Bloodsoak" and "Haerta Bloodsoak". There has been no indication of which of these is supposed to be correct.
    • For some strange reason, some forum goers tend to misspell Haley's name as Hayley.
  • Nothing Nice To Say has a character referred to by the comic strip's creator as outside the comic as a variation of "Chris or Charlie or whatever" due to the interchangeability of his names within the strip.
  • The above mentioned Aeris/Aerith controversy is mentioned in this Loserz strip.
  • In the webcomic Blue and Blond, Blond is able to tell when people refer to him as "Blonde". Whenever this happens, it always annoys him.
  • The Blobby minion in Building 12 has had his name written as both Slauf and Slough.
  • Apparently part of the Sluggy Freelance fanbase regularly spells Gwynn's name as "Gwen". Which is odd because not only are those two really pronounced differently, but you're reading it in the comic, not listening to it. But there you go. This may have been spoofed in the comic itself when Gwynn was being referred to as Gwen to thinly disguise her identity.
    • Also odd since the correct spelling of her name has plot relevance — since Y is only sometimes a vowel, you could say that her name has no vowels at all, thus tying her to K'Z'K, the Vowelless One. Also? That's the worst pickup line in the history of the world.
  • Drow Tales: Is it Snadhya'runes or Snadhya'rune? Ven'nedia or Ven'ndia? No one knows...
  • Slightly Damned. 'Carrie Susan' is a fairly reasonable attempt at 'Kieri Suizahn', all things considered.
  • Shadowgirls; Charon's name is pronounced "Sharon". Naturally, people tend to spell it with the standard "S."
  • Final Fantasy VII: The Sevening: Aeris/th again, parodied in this exchange:
    Aerith: I'm Aerith Gainsborough, pleased to meet you.
    Cloud: ...Ahem.
    Aeris: Hmm? ...Oh geez, fine, I mean AERIS.
    Cloud: Good, I don't care if it's a play on 'Earth', I don't want to sound like I have a lisp whenever I say your name.
  • In Girl Genius, the surname of the family which has served the Heterodynes for generations as seneschals is variously rendered within the comic as "Von Mekkhan", "Von Mekkan", and "Von Mekkahn."

    Web Original 
  • Happens among Noob fans. Note that the series is set in a MMORPG and basically everyone is literally walking around with their Online Alias hanging over their head, making the right spelling a Freeze-Frame Bonus at worse.
  • The subs for Vaguely Recalling JoJo series spell Avdol as Abdul.

    Western Animation 
  • While most uncertainties relating to Transformers names are of Japanese origin, there's a few pure Western examples.
    • Elita One has had her name spelled Elita-One, Elita-1, Eleta-1 and Aleta-1 officially, and a couple of more variations unofficially. This confusion was brought on because of her debute in an unwritten medium, so people could only guess what it was spelled like. Given how much the cartoon made a point of her being equal to Optimus Prime, it is somewhat odd (the correct) Elita One (Prime/One, get it?) was dismissed as a viable option for so long, although the Orion Pax-Optimus Prime & Elita One-Ariel link understandably caused "Alita"-confusion. Since those days, script material and the production bible have become available to reveal her name as Elita One, but for varying reasons her name continues to be a source of debate. Most noticeably in that is that other franchise incarnations of Elita One have their names spelled differently: Elita-One for the Movie and Transformers: Shattered Glass versions and Elita-1 for the Transformers Animated and Revenge Of The Fallen versions, which may lead to trademark claims that affect the name under which another Elita One version is released.
    • A similar thing happened with the computer "Teletraan I", also debuting in the cartoon. Aside from the spelling, its pronunciation also varied to include "Teletron-1", a fact that was lampshaded in the series finale of Beast Wars.
    • Hun-Grrr has had about four different spellings of his name: Hun-Gurrr, Hun-Grrr, Hun-Grr and Hun-Garr. Canon seems to have settled on the most meaningful (guy's got some violent eating habits): Hun-Grrr.
    • Not to mention Tarantulus/Tarantulas from Beast Wars.
      • The former spelling is the most recently used as it's a a trademark dodge, since "Tarantulas" can be interpreted as the plural of "tarantula" and thus couldn't be trademarked.
    • Similarly, Scorponok is often erroneously spelled Scorpinok by some, particularly because his Beast Wars incarnation was really called that in some foreign versions of the show and because one Transformers Energon episode title card also made this blunder.
  • The Five-Man Band's resident computer geek in Code Lyoko is Jeremy Belpois. Or was it... Jrmie Belpois? Apparently, either spelling is acceptable, and fans of the series accept either spelling equally.
    • It doesn't help that within the show itself, in his specific Eye Catch it is spelled "JEREMIE" in Season 1 and "JEREMY" starting Season 2.
  • The name of a character from the underrated movie Help! I'm a Fish... Is it Fly or Kai?
    • Yes, the first one is meaningful. He turns into a flyfish once he drinks the fish potion.
  • From The Fairly Oddparents: Juandissimo Magnifico's first name begins with either "Ju" or "W", but even the end credits and the people making the merchandise aren't sure.
    • Official production art from the Frederator Blog, as well as a draft script for "Wishology" refer to him as Juandissimo. Maybe that will clear things up.
    • Considering that the character is either a Spaniard or Latino, his first name most likely derives from the Spanish name "Juan," making Juandissimo correct. Besides, ask any Spanish speaker how often they use "j" vs. "w" on a daily basis.
      • However, this interpretation ignores the fact that "Wandissimo" is a pun off of "wand", which fits with the theme of the other fairy characters' names.
      • Neither interpretation makes sense in a vacuum. "Juandissimo" ignores the "wand" pun and "Wandissimo" ignores the "Juan" pun. The question should not be which preserves the pun, because neither do.
      • Mind you, if the name is based in Spanish, neither name makes sense as it would be Juanissimo, and as the pun doesn't work it seems like a simple mistake.
    • Meanwhile, lots of "fans" seem to think Vicky's name is spelled "Vicki", despite The Villain Sucks Song clearly spelling it out at the beginning.
    • As well, Timmy Turner's Dad's Sitcom Archnemesis family is spelled as both Dinkleberg and Dinkleburg.
  • Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers fans can't seem to decide on one spelling for the name of Gadget's Hawaiian lookalike. Apparently, the official spelling is "Lahwhinie", but it was never stated anywhere that the audience was likely to see it, and several variations are in common use amongst fans of the show.
  • A recurring visual gag in Home Movies is that Jason's last name is spelled differently every time its shown. The spellings "Panopolis", "Popodopolis", or "Penopopolis" had all been used throughout the show and the close captions for one episode even spells it "Penopolis".
    • Mr. Lynch's first name was revealed in one scene to be "Ronald" and in another scene to be "Donald". Both scenes occurred on the very same episode.
    • The name of Brendon Small's metalhead friend who composes most of the music in Brendo's movies is either, "Dwayne" or "Duane".
  • Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go! fans have several spellings for their red monkey's name, both his full name and the nickname. SPRX-77, SPRX77, Sprx, Sparks, Sparx, and there are probably a few more spellings if one looked around the fanfic archives long enough.
  • Fievel in An American Tail, who is listed as "Feivel" in the beginning credits of the first movie, which is the actual Yiddish spelling. The spelling was changed to "Fievel" to avoid confusing American audiences who might otherwise pronounce it as "Fay-vel", but in other countries where the movie was released the "Feivel" spelling was left intact.
    • Ironic because that's actually how it's pronounced in Yiddish too.
  • Kyle's surname in South Park is usually Broflovski, but it has appeared as Brovlofski, Broflofski, Brofloski, and Broflowski.
    • While the show is notorious for discontinuity, perhaps falls under the inconsistent spelling rules of names from Slavic nations into English.
    • Also, Stan's sister's name is officially spelled Shelley, but fans (and even the character filter at Fanfiction Dot Net) often forget the second e.
    • Kenny's surname is usually spelled McCormick, but the opening used from late season 4 to season 5 and the episode "Kenny Dies" used McKormick.
    • Mephesto's son's name is either spelled Terrence or Terrance. Some use the former spelling to differentiate him from the Canadian character.
  • Charles Foster Ofdensen/Offdensen/Ofdenson from Metalocalypse. Fans are starting to think Brendon Small is fucking with them on purpose.
    • After two seasons, Charles Foster Offdensen's name was revealed by Word of God to be spelled with TWO f's instead of one, rendering most spellings of his name in fanworks (and on this very wiki) incorrect.
    • From the same series, Mr. Salatcia/Selatcia/Salacia/Selacia/who freaking knows. And unlike Offdensen, there are no written confirmations one way or the other.
  • Phineas and Ferb: The surname Doofenshmirtz does not have a C in it.
    • The Intern, Carl, was also inconsistently spelled with a "K" during the credits. However, a later episode confirmed his name was in fact Carl, and later episodes finally began using his full name in the credits: "Carl Karl."
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, the character names are in the credits (and for Aang, in the British title) but that doesn't mean that their names will occasionally go mis-spelt as 'Eyroh', 'Touf', 'Socka' and other wacky spellings.
  • In the Powerpuff Girls episode Superfriends, the titular 'puffs make friends with the daughter of their new next-door neighbours. She's only in the one episode, but has become a feature of many PPG fanfics (probably because of convenience, she does live right next door to them). But even ten years on, fanon still can't decide if her name is spelt Robin Schneider or Robyn Snyder (or anything in between).
    • It's Robin Schneider in the credits and book adaptation, so that's the official spelling.
    • This happened to the Girls themselves, intentionally in a Cartoon Network promotional cartoon where they break into The Legion of Doom's headquarters (as in, the villains from the old Super Friends cartoon) to rescue Aquaman and Wonder Woman. (The Network did promotions like this all the time.) Lex Luthor makes the mistake of calling them "the Powderpuff Girls"; needless to say, the three heroines are not amused.
  • People constantly spell Lois from Family Guy name as Louis despite the fact that Louis is pronounced quite differently than Lois.
    • Not just Family Guy, Lois Lane of Superman fame gets the Louis Treatment way too often on multiple forums for it to be a simple spelling error
    • Another one of Seth MacFarlane's works gets this as well; Hayley is quite often misspelled as Haley, and Klaus sometimes gets misspelled as Claus.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has a lot of this.
    • Despite Apple Bloom's name hardly ever being spelled as Applebloom, many fans use the latter spelling.
    • The spelling of Big McIntosh's name was eventually confirmed through its use by the toyline, by show creator Lauren Faust on deviantART and by show writer M.A. Larson on Twitter, but the trading cards, Hasbro's My Little Pony Facebook page, The Hub's website, the closed captions for the show, and even his old European toyline releases have all spelled it as Big Macintosh. "McIntosh" is the official spelling of the apple, which works well for a pun; however, most people are more well accustomed with "Macintosh" due to the Apple Macintosh computer series, and many fans use the latter spelling.
    • The name of Discord's species, draconequus, has had its spelling confirmed by the trading cards, by Hasbro's My Little Pony Twitter account, and by show creator Lauren Faust on deviantART, but it's been spelled as Dragonokis on The Hub's website and as draconequis in the closed captions for the show.
    • The spelling of Nightmare Moon's name was eventually confirmed through its use by the toyline and by the trading cards, but multiple other sources have either spelled it as Night Mare Moon or flip-flopped between the two.
    • The name of Owlowiscious has had its spelling confirmed by his trading card by show creator Lauren Faust on deviantART, and by show director Jayson Thiessen on Twitter, but various other sources have spelled it as Owloysius, Owlicious, or even just Aloysius.
    • Pinkie Pie's name has very rarely been spelled as Pinky Pie.
      • And Applejack as Apple Jack.
      • Rainbow Dash as Rainbowdash.
    • Princess Cadance's name has been spelled as Princess Cadence a comparatively small number of times. The spelling was apparently changed from the latter to the former late in development, as most uses of Cadence are older and a few of them were later changed to use Cadance.
    • And no one can decide if the name of the high class pony that befriends Rarity in Canterlot is named Fancypants or Fancy Pants.
  • The short-lived official website of My Dad The Rock Star spelled the name of Willy's female friend as Alissa. Everyone else spelled it as Alyssa, which stuck given that the original site is no longer around and had low traffic when it was.
  • The premise of the TV show My Gym Partners A Monkey was that Adam's last name was misspelled as Lion instead of Lyon, which is why he got sent to a school of animals.
  • Happens a few time regarding the Recess characters:
    • The official spelling of T.J.'s last name is Detweiler, though Urban Dictionary (as part of the definition for Whomp) spells it as "Detwhiler"
    • Gus's last name is spelled Griswald in most episodes and on the merchandise. However, in two episodes, and to a few fans, it's "Griswold".
    • The official name for the filing assistant boy is Menlo. Some fans continue to spell it as "Menlow".
    • One of the biggest examples of the trope comes to the gang's fourth grade teacher. The correct spelling of her last name, as seen in the credits and merchandise is "Grotke", NOT "Grotky", "Grotkey", or "Grotki".
  • The Monster of the Week in "The Phantom Ninja" episode of Sym-Bionic Titan is spelled "Xeexi" according to the credits, although some spell it as "Xishi," among others.
  • Superjail! has had a few cases of debated names:
    • Before any official spelling was given, Jared's Distaff Counterpart was usually referred to fans as Cherice, Cherise (as a pun for her red/pink color scheme and the French word for "cherry"), and numerous other alternatives including the odd case of "Jarice". Adult Swim's site would later show her name to be spelled as "Sharice", while the DVDs gave the spelling of "Charise". The third season would wind up confirming the latter, though alternative fan spellings can persist. Some even Take a Third Option between "Sharice" and "Charise" and spell it "Charice".
    • The assistant of the Prison Mogul has been referred to by fans as Gerald, Jarrell, Jarel, or even Jarum. The season 1 DVD used "Gerald", but since his name has not been used elsewhere (and that DVD had a few grammatical errors in subtitling), it still remains a bit of debate in fanworks.
    • The ancient fighting civilization (in the episode "Combaticus") is referred to as "Pamelonia" on the season 1 DVD, but Adult Swim's video site uses the spelling "Pummelonia", which further enforces the pun in the name.
    • The Twins' father's name was either spelled "Ozal" or "Ozoe" in fansites and fanworks. The season 2 DVD and the creators confirmed its spelling to be "Ozzal".
    • Jacknife's name is said to be spelled with just one "k", though a few fans and even one episode have spelled it "Jack Knife".
  • Some Tiny Toon Adventures fans spell Hamton as Hampton.
    • Or Furrball as Furball.
    • Or Fifi la Fume as Fifi le Fume.
    • They sometimes do this with Animaniacs characters as well. The Warner Brothers' names are spelled "Yakko" and "Wakko", not "Yacko" and "Wacko".
  • The ring-tailed lemur in the Madagascar franchise and spinoff The Penguins of Madagascar? King Julien, not Julian.
  • It's understandable, given the language it's translated from (Gaelic), but The Secret of Kells's fairy girl is "Aisling", though it's pronounced like "Ashley".
  • Abraham Simpson is officially known as "Grampa", but a lot of people use the proper spelling when referring to him.
  • Shreeky from Care Bears likes to shriek, so fans spell her name as "Shrieky". The show almost never spells her name, because the credits just list all the voice actors without their characters. The official spelling does appear in the name of the second-season episode "The Wrath of Shreeky", as it appears on the title card.
  • For Frozen, there's Prince Hans' All There in the Manual last name, Westerguard... except considering the fact that Jennifer Lee never directly stated in her post how to spell it, it's been spelled as Westerguard, Westergard, and even Westergaard. Considering she didn't correct the poster who asked the question though, it can be assumed that Westerguard is meant to be correct.

She's a Man in JapanLocalization TropesSubbing versus Dubbing
Something Completely DifferentThis Index Is Not An Example"Stop Having Fun" Guys
Spanish LanguageLanguage TropesSpell My Name with a 'The"
The Song Remains the SameTranslation TropesSpice Up the Subtitles
One-Man ArmyOverdosed TropesCross Over
Spell My Name with a BlankNaming ConventionsSpell My Name with a 'The"
El Spanish OImageSource/PhotographySpotting the Thread

alternative title(s): Transliteration Trouble
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