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You’re Saying It Wrong: Celebrity Names Edition

June 9, 2014

In which Uncle John corrects widespread grammatical and language abominations. Here are a few celebrity names that you may be pronouncing wrong. Can you name any others?


The world’s most famous Icelander and swan dress-wearer pronounces her name “b-yerk,” not “b-york.”

J.K. Rowling

“Row” is a British word for “fight,” and you might get in a row if you don’t pronounce the name of the Harry Potter author correctly. It’s “row-ling,” as in “row a boat,” and not “row” as in “a fight in Britain.”

Matt Groening

He created The Simpsons and Futrama and the first syllable of his last name sounds more like “grain” than “groan.”

Dr. Seuss

We thought it would be appropriate to use some rhymes for this one. Theodore Seuss Geisel took his pen name from his middle name, which was his mother’s maiden name. It’s not pronounced so it rhymes “juice,” it’s pronounced “soyce,” so it rhymes with “Joyce.”

Randy Bachman

Time we took care of business. Bachman, of the Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive, pronounces his name “back-man,” not “bock-man.”

Neil Peart

Another Canadian rocker with a mangled name, the drummer for Rush says his name “peert,” and not like it rhymes with “curt.”

Shia LaBeouf

The actor best known for Transformers and having meltdowns would appreciate it if you pronounce the last syllable of his name like “buff” and not “boof.”

Steve Buscemi

The quirky character actor is often referred to as Steve “boo-shem-me,” but he prefers to be called Steve “boo-sem-me.”

Maya Angelou

The name of the late great poet and memoirist was often misstated. It’s “an-jell-oh,” not “an-jell-ooo.”

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