Jun 18 2012

How It Is Pronounced

There is an excellent chance you’ve already seen this video elsewhere on FreethoughtBlogs. I post it here as well, because you may not have seen it but still want to know how a bunch of us here talk about this when we get together. There is also one thing I’d like to draw your attention to.

A number of people have been mispronouncing my name lately on the radio and in Google+ hangouts and the like. They’ve been doing this despite me doing a radio show on which I introduce myself approximately every other week.

Now, I’m used to this. People who hear the radio show regularly still mispronounce my name. Still, if you want to know how it’s done, let this discussion be your guide.

Just make sure you pay attention to how I pronounce it, not how that Meyers guy does.


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  1. 1

    I actually played that part a couple times to try to get it ;p

  2. 2

    The relevant introduction is just after 04:50, for those wondering. :)

  3. 3

    /zə’væn/, yes?

  4. 4
    Stephanie Zvan

    To the extent I’ve translated the phonemes correctly, yes, although the schwa is only just there.

  5. 5

    I seed what you did there. ;)

  6. 6
    Stephanie Zvan

    Oh, good. I’m glad someone did. :)

  7. 7
    Robert B.

    Hm, thanks. I was pronouncing it as though Dracula were trying to say the word “swan.” (Also I thought Dan Fincke’s E was silent.) The things you learn from audio!

  8. 8
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    So, totally NOT like the name of a red-skinned alien piloting a giant space robot. Gotcha. :)

  9. 9
    Jason Thibeault

    First name’s Zephanie, right?

  10. 10

    How come Greg Lah-den mispronounced his name?

  11. 11

    Jason… what’s his surname? Throb-a-lot?

  12. 12
    Jason Thibeault

    According to Mallorie Nasrallah, Thibi-dibi-doo.

  13. 13
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    “Thibi-dibi-doo” is actually sort of catchy… you could do a little dance with it.

  14. 14

    “Thibi-dibi-doo”…..They wouldve gotten away with it too, if it wasnt for those pesky Free Thought Bloggers

  15. 15

    /zə’væn/, yes?


    (How does the schwa get in there?)

  16. 16
    Stephanie Zvan

    The schwa is introduced mostly because it’s not comfortable for primarily English-speaking mouths to hold the Z all the way to the V. It’s come by honestly, though, since the name is a “corruption” of le vin. There are other versions of the name that are spelled Zevan.

  17. 17
    Ophelia Benson

    A bit like Siobhan, perhaps – the schwa is barely there in that name, too.

  18. 18

    Apologies for the on-air mispronunciation

  19. 19
    Stephanie Zvan

    No worries, Becky. It really does happen all the time.

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