Sunday, October 28, 2007

Flashback: Pronunciation Poll results

A week or so ago, I reposted The Official Legion Pronunciation Poll (1995 version). Here were the results from back then, with today's results, from pollster MykePM. The formatting is kind of wonky, but it was much easier back then when everyone used a fixed-width font.

The numbers in black are from the original 92, the ones in red are the additional 18 from the comments here.



Well, here they are (finally), the results of The Official Legion Pronunciation Poll. This poll was posted to the Legion usenet newsgroup (rec.arts.comics.dc.lsh), the Legion mailing list (LSH-L) and the DC Online Legion bulletin board on America Online.

First of all, I'd like to thank all *92* people who participated. The response was far greater than I had imagined, and I really appreciate the support!

Special thanks go to Tom Peyer, Tom McCraw, and Jeff Moy of the Legion creative team for taking the time to cast their ballots. Since their choices are of particular interest, their initials appear next to their selections.

I'd like to point out that I do not, nor did I ever, expect the results of this poll to set any kind of a standard in pronouncing the included names. This was done just for fun. Besides, only 8 of my choices finished first, and I'm not changing the way I pronounce these names until the Legionnaires themselves land a time bubble in my apartment and tell me I'm wrong. :)

As you'll notice, the fact that many people were torn between two choices necessitated the use of half-votes when tallying up the results.

Enough of my jabbering; let's get to the results...

==============================================================

1) Vidar
f) vih-DAR -------------------------------------- 26.5 (TP) +3
b) VY-dar --------------------------------------- 17 +7
a) VEE-dar -------------------------------------- 20.5 +3
c) VIH-dar -------------------------------------- 18.5 (TM, JM) +3
d) vee-DAR -------------------------------------- 5.5 +2
e) vy-DAR --------------------------------------- 4

The first entry in the poll had the closest finish.

============================================================

2) Khund
b) kund ----------------------------------------- 61 (TP, TM, JM) +11
a) koond ---------------------------------------- 24 +5


WRITE-INS:
khoond (kh = kah - a) --------------------------- 1
koond ("oo" as in "book") ----------------------- 1
khund (like "kund" with throaty 'k' ------------- 1 +1
like "koond" but shorter ------------------------ 1
ke-hund ----------------------------------------- 1
kuh-hund ---------------------------------------- 1
(k)hund ('k' pretty much silent) ---------------- 1
Not quite Koond, but Khound, like in Kundera ---- 1

=============================================================

3) Darkseid
a) dark-side ------------------------------------ 80 (TP, TM, JM) +17
b) dark-seed ------------------------------------ 11 +1

WRITE-IN:
dark-sade (rhymes with "made") ------------------ 1

A number of people pointed out that the King, Jack Kirby himself, has declared "dark-side" to be the correct pronunciation in this case. I, too, personally consider this to be "the official word." I also believe they used this pronunciation on the Super Powers cartoon (formerly "Super Friends") quite a few years back. However, I still do catch myself saying "dark-seed" occasionally (right, Yeechang?).

===============================================================

4) Bgztl
c) BIGGS-tle ------------------------------------ 35 (TP, TM) +4
b) big-zittle ----------------------------------- 22 +3
a) bee-GIZZ-tle --------------------------------- 6.5

WRITE-INS:
Bugtussle --------------------------------------- 2.5
BUG-zittle -------------------------------------- 2
BUGZ-tel (e = schwa) ---------------------------- 1
BUGGS-tuhl -------------------------------------- 1
BUG-stull --------------------------------------- 1
BUGS-tle ---------------------------------------- 1
BUGS-tul ---------------------------------------- 1
BIGGS-ztle -------------------------------------- 1
BIGGZ-tle --------------------------------------- 1
big-IT-zil -------------------------------------- 1
big-ITTS-el ------------------------------------- 1
bee-git-zle ------------------------------------- 1
BIG-zle (silent 't') ---------------------------- 1
buh-jitz-el ------------------------------------- 1
bih-guh-zit-tle (less emphasis on each vowel) --- 1
big-zull ---------------------------------------- 1
bug-still --------------------------------------- 1
bg-ztl (attempted pronunciation with no vowels) - 1
buh-GET-sl -------------------------------------- 1
b'GIZZ-tle (schwa for first vowel) -------------- 1
big-zeee-tall ----------------------------------- 1
b'g-stle (with the ' representing a schwa sound)- 1
BOOGzuhtuhl ------------------------------------- 1
beh-GIZZ-tle ------------------------------------ 1
bij-ih-zuh-tuhl (not sure how to properly do
    the phonetic spelling) ---------------------- 1
I just say "Bgztl" ------------------------------ 1
big-GIZZ-tle ------------------------------------ 1
Buh-getz-til ------------------------------------ 1
Ba-GIZZ-tle ------------------------------------- 1
BUGZ-til (I've heard it's supposed to be "bugtussle") -- 1
b@gz-t@l (where @ represents the schwa sound) --- 1
BIGGS-til --------------------------------------- 1
buh-GIT-zle (I know, that doesn't even match the
    spelling, but its stuck in my head now) ----- 1


ABSTENTIONS ------------------------------------- 4 (JM)

This entry really made me regret allowing space for write-ins. :)

As you can see, there were a comparatively large number of abstentions in this case. KryptoPup's pronunciation was "Tinya's homeworld". Other comments among abstentions included "unpronounceable", "I couldn't even begin to tell you", and Neil Hogan's "I just read it and go 'oh yeah, Tinya's planet'. It's as bad as Mxyzptlk." Technically, I could have included Mxyzptlk (his descendant appeared in Adventure #310), but opening a can of worms that big seemed overly masochistic. :)

===============================================================

5) (Thom) Kallor
b) KAL-lore ------------------------------------- 44 (TM, JM) +8
a) KAL-ler (rhymes with "Valor") ---------------- 23 (TP) +7
c) kal-LORE ------------------------------------- 23 +1
d) kuh-LORE ------------------------------------- 1 +1

WRITE-IN:
KA-lore ----------------------------------------- 1
Kay-lore ---------------------------------------- 1

===============================================================

6) (Tasmia) Malor
b) MAL-lore ------------------------------------- 39.5 (TM, JM) +6
a) MAL-ler (rhymes with "Valor") ---------------- 24 (TP) +7
c) mal-LORE ------------------------------------- 18.5 +2
d) muh-LORE ------------------------------------- 7 +3

WRITE-INS:
MAY-lore ---------------------------------------- 3

===============================================================

7) Querl (Dox)
c) kwerl ---------------------------------------- 95 (TP, TM, JM) +16.5
b) rhymes with "squirrel" (2 syllables) --------- 9 +1.5
d) Carol ---------------------------------------- 3
a) curl ----------------------------------------- 1

WRITE-INS:
QWAIR-ul --------------------------------------- 1
KWAIR-el --------------------------------------- 1

Two people split their vote between "kwerl" and "rhymes with squirrel", saying they pronounce the name with two syllables.

================================================================

8) Jan (Arrah)
b) Jan (Brady-like) ----------------------------- 101.5 (TP, TM, JM) +17
a) yon (swedish-like) --------------------------- 2

WRITE-INS:
jahn -------------------------------------------- 2
yan --------------------------------------------- 2 +1
zhan -------------------------------------------- 1
John -------------------------------------------- 0.5

===============================================================

9) (Jan) Arrah
b) are-uh --------------------------------------- 37 (TM) +5
a) air-uh --------------------------------------- 22 +11

WRITE-INS:
uh-RAH ------------------------------------------ 4 +1
ar-RAH ------------------------------------------ 3
ARE-uh ------------------------------------------ 2
ar-ruh ------------------------------------------ 2
ah-rah ------------------------------------------ 2
A-rah ------------------------------------------- 2
arr-AH ------------------------------------------ 1
arr-rah ----------------------------------------- 1
arr-ah ------------------------------------------ 1
AH-ra ------------------------------------------- 1
AH-rah ------------------------------------------ 1
ahh-rah (softer sound than "are-uh") ------------ 1
air-ah ------------------------------------------ 1
air-AH ------------------------------------------ 1 (TP)
AR-uh ------------------------------------------- 1
ARE-ruh ----------------------------------------- 1
are-ah ------------------------------------------ 1 (JM)
are-ra ------------------------------------------ 1
ah-RAH ------------------------------------------ 1
ar-uh ('a' like in "ack") ----------------------- 1
a-RA ('a' as in "cat", "RA" as the sungod) ------ 1
era --------------------------------------------- 1
uh-rah ------------------------------------------ 1
arr-UH ------------------------------------------ 1
Air-Ah (Well, really aiRAH, generally) ---------- 1

Obviously, I should have worked harder at developing more options for this one. Oh well.

===============================================================

10) Kara (Supergirl)
b) car-uh --------------------------------------- 51.5 (TM) +4
a) care-uh -------------------------------------- 33.5 (TP) +14

WRITE-INS:
something like the name "Carrie" ---------------- 1
CAR-err ----------------------------------------- 1
kar-uh ('a' as in "ack") ------------------------ 1
kahr-a ------------------------------------------ 1
kah-rah ----------------------------------------- 1
car-ah ------------------------------------------ 1 (JM)
KA-ruh ------------------------------------------ 1

Gwen Horton pointed out that the winner was also the pronunciation used in the Supergirl movie. This was actually a very close race for a while, until "car-uh" pulled away at the end.

This was the most lopsided result that went against the original 1995 vote.

===============================================================

11) Tinya (Wazzo)
a) tin-yuh -------------------------------------- 70.5 (TP, TM) +15
b) tine-yuh ------------------------------------- 5 +1

WRITE-INS:
teen-yuh ---------------------------------------- 5
TEEN-yuh ---------------------------------------- 2 +1
TEEN-ya ----------------------------------------- 2
teen-ya ----------------------------------------- 2 (JM)
teen-yah ---------------------------------------- 2 +1
tin-yah ----------------------------------------- 1.5
TEENYA ------------------------------------------ 1
tee-nyah ---------------------------------------- 1

I should have anticipated the use of 'teen' as the first syllable. This was actually the second most popular choice.

===============================================================

12) Imra (Ardeen)
b) im-ra ---------------------------------------- 102 (TP, TM, JM) +16
a) ime-ra --------------------------------------- 4
WRITE-INS:
im-ruh ------------------------------------------ 1 +1
(h)im-rah --------------------------------------- 1
EEMrah ------------------------------------------ 1

"im-ra" was the highest vote-getter in the entire poll.

===============================================================

13) Gim (Allon)
b) gim (hard "g") ------------------------------- 49.5 (TP, TM, JM) +12
a) Jim ------------------------------------------ 41.5 +6

ABSTENTIONS ------------------------------------- 1

This race was also a lot closer than it seems.

===============================================================

14) (Gim) Allon
b) AL-lon --------------------------------------- 52 (TM, JM) +10
a) Allen ---------------------------------------- 31.5 (TP) +6
c) uh-LON --------------------------------------- 7.5 +2

WRITE-IN:
a-LON ------------------------------------------- 1

===============================================================

15) Mysa (Nal)
b) mice-a --------------------------------------- 44.5 +10
a) miss-a --------------------------------------- 17 (JM) +1

WRITE-INS:
MEES-a ------------------------------------------ 3
me-sa ------------------------------------------- 2
mee-sa ------------------------------------------ 2
meese-a ----------------------------------------- 2
my-suh ------------------------------------------ 2 +1
my-sa ------------------------------------------- 2 (TM)
my-zuh ------------------------------------------ 1
MY-zuh ------------------------------------------ 1
my-za ------------------------------------------- 1
MY-za ------------------------------------------- 1 +1
my-zhuh ----------------------------------------- 1
MIE-zuh ----------------------------------------- 1
MYZE-uh ----------------------------------------- 1
ME-sa ------------------------------------------- 1
MEE-sa ------------------------------------------ 1
mees-uh ----------------------------------------- 1
MEESA ------------------------------------------- 1
MY-sah ------------------------------------------ 1
MY-sa ------------------------------------------- 1 +1
mice-uh ----------------------------------------- 1
mi-ZA ------------------------------------------- 1
mee-ICE-a --------------------------------------- 1
MEESE-a ----------------------------------------- 0.5
meece-uh ---------------------------------------- 1
mize-a ------------------------------------------ 1
rhymes with Liza (as in Minnelli) --------------- 1
MY-zah ------------------------------------------ 1


ABSTENTIONS ------------------------------------- 1 (TP)

I think if I had anticipated the use of "me" as the first syllable, or "zuh" as the second, I could have saved myself a lot of work. Again, oh well.

Dan Dragon Man Williams offered "The Hag". Aaahh. The good ol' Adventure days.

Peyer's abstention was phrased "ya got me".

I was actually disappointed that "miss-a" didn't make a stronger showing. That pronunciation is one of my favorites. The true disappointment is yet to come at #17, however...

===============================================================

16) Mon-El
c) rhymes with "John L." ------------------------ 81 (JM) +14
b) moan-el -------------------------------------- 5 +1
a) mun-el --------------------------------------- 2 +3

WRITE-INS:
mahn-L ------------------------------------------ 1
MON-el (rhymes with "con" and "fell") ----------- 1
just how it looks ------------------------------- 1 (TM)

ABSTENTIONS ------------------------------------- 1 (TP)

Peyer took the hard-line approach by writing in "Valor".

There is actually historical support for all 3 of the original choices. The least popular of the three is arguably the most supported by canon. Since "Mon-El" was named after Monday, the day Superboy found him, "mun-el" would seem to be the implied pronunciation. However, in a 60's letter column (Troy McNemar pointed out that it was in Action #382), it is said to be pronounced "moan-el". Finally, in the original Who's Who series from DC, the pronunciation is given as "mahn-el", which is what I was striving for with the winning choice.

===============================================================
AND FINALLY...

17) Ayla (Ranzz)
b) rhymes with "Layla" ------------------------- 57.5 (TP) +13
a) Eye-la -------------------------------------- 33.5 (JM) +4

WRITE-INS:
A-la ------------------------------------------- 1 (TM)

ABSTENTIONS ------------------------------------ 1

Well, fellow "Eye" boosters, even though we won't surrender the war, we have apparently lost this battle. It wasn't even as close as I thought it would be.

Jim Drew, who claims to have never heard Eric Clapton's "Layla", asked "that is pronounced 'lie-luh', right?" It should be, my friend. It should be.

===============================================================

Reep (Erik) answered a mythical #18 with the selection "Kryptdeaux".

Two others answered a mythical #19 with "Thom" as Tom.

===============================================================

Well, that's it. Again, my thanks to everyone who took the time to respond. I hope to "see" you all very soon.

Mike Morris

2 comments:

Greg said...

I pronounced it hard-g Gim until I realized that his name was "Jim Allen".

It took me around twelve years to make that leap. I'm not that fast on the uptake.

Jonathan Miller said...

Unless, as I mentioned before, you look at it as having Hebraic roots--CB is Jewish, after all. :-) In that case, Gim (hard G) Allon (Ah-lawn) makes sense.

Or at least it always did to me...