What is so hard to pronounce about the word “paladin”?
I do not exaggerate when I say that probably 50% of all people I’ve ever played D&D with pronounce it puh-LAD-in. I used to fanatically correct them, but now I don’t generally bother. What’s alarming is not that people pronounce it incorrectly; it’s that years of exposure to the incorrect pronunciation of the word is starting to finally get to me: in my most recent D&D game, I came this close to saying it myself.
Gaming has a bizarre sort of vocabulary, so I suppose it’s not too surprising that a lot of that vocabulary tends to get mispronounced. A few examples from my own storied gaming career:
- for at least several years after I was first introduced to the term, I pronounced elite as “ee-light.”
- I also pronounced melee as “mee-lee” for many, many years. In fact, I’ll be honest: I still don’t really know how to pronounce that word. I usually aim for a vaguely sophisticated, French-sounding “may-lay.”
- one friend of mine (who is hopefully not reading this blog) consistently pronounced “salvo” as “slave-oh.” That’s not so much a mispronunciation as a complete misreading of the word. I never outright corrected him because I didn’t want him to lose face, but I did try to conspicuously use the word “salvo” in conversation (not the easiest task in the world) in an effort to correct him. To this day, I don’t know if it worked or not.
- and of course, there’s the classic “My character is a level 5 halfling rouge.” That’s one I see spelled incorrectly all the time, although most people pronounce it properly in spoken dialogue.
- (I won’t even get into “Cthulhu” and his ilk, because those are supposed to be unpronounceable.)
Any classic wordplay goofs that I’m missing?by