February 25, 2020

Patreon, the online service that helps creators develop a membership business, has a pronunciation problem. I can’t tell you how often I hear writers say that they don’t know whether to say Pah-tree-on or Pay-tree-on. I’ve heard more Brits say the former and more Americans use the latter.

The trouble is, this isn’t a generic word. This is a proper name. We the people don’t get to decide how it’s pronounced. Patreon gets to decide. And according to this YouTube video, they pronounce it Pay-tree-on.

Case closed.

​It’s the same with any proper name. My last name, Kier, sometimes causes difficulties. People have no problem asking me how to pronounce it (it rhymes with fear) so why do writers think they can pronounce Patreon any way they want? That’s just being lazy at best. Disrespectful at worst.

So please, the next time you hear someone mispronounce Patreon or any other proper name, gently remind them to use the official pronunciation.

What proper names have you seen consistently mispronounced?

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