To mispronounce a name in broadcast is as bad as to misspell it in print.

Types of words which need pronunciation guides are proper nouns, as in places and people’s names, and more unusual words, as in “coup d’etat”.

The first time such a word appears in any broadcast story you must include the pronunciation in brackets, as in “Iraq (pron. I-RAHK, not EYE-RAHK)” and “Brisbane City Council’s David Hinchliffe (pron. HINCH-LIFF)”.

When looking for a pronunciation, first consult the AAP wires for any pronunciation guide and check on-line.

The ABC’s SCOSE guide (SCOSE stands for Standing Committee on Spoken English) is not available to anyone outside the ABC. If you know someone in the ABC then given them a call and ask for help.

Placename pronunciations are also found in Webster’s Geographical Dictionary.

The most important thing is consistency in pronunciation. If a name is pronounced one way in a studio intro, and another in a report, the program loses credibility, and listeners wonder whether they can trust the accuracy of what’s being reported.


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