Here Is the CORRECT Way to Pronounce Dr. Seuss (and 17 Other Popular Author Names)

Most people mispronounce Dr. Seuss (hint: it doesn't rhyme with moose). Learn the correct way to say his name, plus these 17 other famous literary names.

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We all accept a few universal truths about Dr. Seuss and his universe—Horton definitely heard that Who; The Grinch was more of a Lent type of guy; Ham should NEVER be green—But there remains one Seussian sticking point that continues to baffle readers of all generations, and shows no sign of peaceful resolution. And that is the pronunciation of the Doctor’s name.

If you are in the majority, you pronounce “Seuss” to rhyme with “Zeus.” (Maybe you even say “Zeus,” and consider that acceptable.) But according to humorist Alexander Liang, one of the Doctor’s college pals, the correct pronunciation was always “Soice,” rhyming with “voice.” Liang even wrote up a little rhyme to drive the point home: “You’re wrong as the deuce/ And you shouldn’t rejoice/ If you’re calling him Seuss./ He pronounces it Soice (or Zoice).”

Seuss himself eventually relented and adopted the rhymes-with-moose pronunciation, unable to control his own legend. But he was far from the first or last author to be chronically mis-addressed by the reading public. To set the record straight, here are 17 other popular authors whose names almost everyone says wrong without realizing.

Roald Dahl

Here-Is-The-CORRECT-Way-To-Pronounce-Dr.-SeussTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com

Don’t say: Rolled Dahl, or Role Dahl

Correct pronunciation: ROO-all Dahl

Dahl’s unusual name gets a Norwegian pronunciation, as the Willy Wonka author hails from a Norwegian family, and was named after Norwegian polar explorer Roald Amundsen.

J. K. Rowling

Here-Is-The-CORRECT-Way-To-Pronounce-Dr.-SeussTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com

Don’t say: Row-ling, or Raw-ling

Correct pronunciation: like "rolling"

Jo admits she answers to both pronunciations, and that Rowling is a “fairly horrible” name anyway.

Diana Gabaldon

Here-Is-The-CORRECT-Way-To-Pronounce-Dr.-SeussTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com

Don’t say: Gabble-don, or Guh-BALL-don

Correct pronunciation: GAB-uhl-dohn (last syllable rhymes with “stone”)

From the Outlander author’s website: “For reasons unknown, people from New York City… invariably pronounce it to rhyme with ‘mastodon.’  One of these days, I’m going to put the accent mark over the 'don' that the name probably had when it came from Spain back in, and see if that helps”

Chuck Palahniuk

Here-Is-The-CORRECT-Way-To-Pronounce-Dr.-SeussTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com

Don’t say: Pa-LAW-nee-uk

Correct pronunciation: PAHL-a-nik

Louis Sachar

Here-Is-The-CORRECT-Way-To-Pronounce-Dr.-SeussTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com

Don’t say: Satcher, or Suh-kar

Correct pronunciation: Sacker (“like someone who tackles quarterbacks or someone who stuffs potatoes into sacks,” says the author’s website)

Vladimir Nabokov

Here-Is-The-CORRECT-Way-To-Pronounce-Dr.-SeussTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com

Don’t say: NAH-ba-kof

Correct pronunciation: na-BOE-kof

Ayn Rand

Here-Is-The-CORRECT-Way-To-Pronounce-Dr.-SeussTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com

Don’t say: Ann

Correct pronunciation: INE

Goethe

Here-Is-The-CORRECT-Way-To-Pronounce-Dr.-SeussTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com

Don’t say: GOH-thee, or GO-thuh

Correct pronunciation: GUR-tuh

Junot Diaz

Here-Is-The-CORRECT-Way-To-Pronounce-Dr.-SeussTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com

Don’t say: HOO-note Diaz

Correct pronunciation: JOO-no DEE-as

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