An open letter to audiobook publishers
I am writing to alert you to a major flaw in your products that is causing pain, suffering, and potential death to legions of your customers around the globe.
I am talking, of course, to the horrible preponderance of mispronounced words that litter your offerings. Especially those offerings that are read by the books’ authors.
While commuting on the traffic-choked California freeways, I tend to leaven my journey by listening to audiobooks. Which is a lovely way to pass the time. Until a jarring mispronunciation shatters my idyllic reverie, causing me to cringe, shriek, or even jolt uncontrollably in my seat — which, clearly, could result in an unfortunate vehicular reaction. Even if such intrusions do not result in a traffic snafu (certainly a potential fatality), they cause me to grit my teeth, roll my eyes, sigh loudly in frustration, or occasionally blurt out “Moron!” I am certain I am not alone in these afflictions, so you can reasonably infer this pandemic extends to all your customers with even a modicum of literary finesse.
Here is a partial list of the erroneous spoken language that has so disrupted my life (I shall not name titles, in an effort to spare the wicked).
- “defibulator” (defibrillator)
- “excape” (escape)
- “Lo-ation” (Laotian)
- “athalete” (athlete)
- “eck cetera” (et cetera)
- “heighth” (height)
- “nucular” (nuclear)
- “pronounciation” (pronunciation — somehow this is fitting, isn’t it?)
You can save countless lives and alleviate untold angst if you could just please, please, hire an audio editor whose sole purpose in life is to ensure that the written word is not bastardized in spoken language.