I always pronounced it with a hard "g", like "begin gold" without the "be"..

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This is the first I've heard of "moan-ell". I'll have to remember that. 

For those of you who are not aware, Randy is it my given name. My given name is somewhat unusual. I've been going by Randy for years socially and professionally, but I still use my given name for legal reasons. 

One of the reasons I don't use my given name very often is that while it's not difficult to pronounce at all, people insist on mispronouncing it. Even if I introduced myself with my given name, they'll use a different pronunciation. I can correct them, and they'll still do it. 

I used to work in IT. A woman that I worked with who had many years of IT experience could not pronounce "LAN" no matter how many times she heard it. She would always pronounce it "land". 

So, no, it doesn't surprise me in the slightest that people reject the correct pronuciation of Mon-El. 


Commander Benson said:

Interesting, not only in the differing ways we pronounce certain words from comics, but in the fact that I think there's a tendency to presume everyone else says it the same way one himself does.  For example, it never occurred to me that some folks might pronounce these differently than I do:

gingold (jin-gold)

Sub-Mariner (sub-MARE-in-er)

Jameson (as in "J. Jonah") (JAME-son)

Magneto (mag-NET-o)

"Mon-El", which I originally construed as "MUN-el", was the only one for which I ever saw a precise pronunciation.  In the letter column of Action Comics #  382 (Nov., 1969), Richard Jochner of San Leandro, California, wrote:

What is the correct pronunciation of Mon-El?  My friend and I have different ways of pronouncing it and would like to know the correct one.

To which, Mort Wesinger (or, more likely, E.Nelson Bridwell) responded:

It's pronounced "Moan-Ell"---you know, "moan"---like the Editor does when he sees a batch of letters pointing out boo-boos. 

From the moment I read that, back in '69, I immediately changed the way I pronounced "Mon-El" to the way that editorial response indicated.  After all, it came from the best authority.  But what has always surprised me is how some folks, who pronounced the name differently, after I informed them of how the Superman editor established the proper pronunciation, insisted that their pronunciations were still correct.

It goes back to how people can be illogically stubborn about things connected with grammar, even tangentially.  Continuing to pronounce "Mon-El" differently from how DC said it was pronounced is the same thing as telling the sixth president, John Quincy (who pronounced the "c" like a "z", as "Quinzy") Adams that he was wrong and his middle name was pronounced "Quin-see".

But, barring any sort of official establishment of the proper pronunciations for "gingold" or my other examples above, I'll gladly allow it's a matter of individual taste.  And if, somewhere, an official pronunciation has been established, and it's different from mine, I'll gladly change mine.

On the “Flash” TV show, Gingold is a brand of gin, and is pronounced accordingly. In 1960s “Flash” comics it was a soda pop, so it may have been different. Even so, I pronounced the soft G in my head.


I don’t know about today’s comics.

For what it's worth, the Supergirl show had the MON pronunciation.

I’ll back that up. The show pronounced Mon as I had always expected, as in Monday. But weirdly, every once in a while a secondary actor would pronounce the name mu-NELL. I just figured thy hadn’t gotten the memo.

There used to be an English actress named Hermione Gingold, but I'm not quite sure how she pronounced her name; the little pronunciation guide in Wikipedia suggests, if I understand it correctly, that she said it "Ging (hard g) old". She was in the movie version of "The Music Man" (1962), which I've heard a lot about but never seen.

My brothers and I always pronounced Mon-El as "mahn-EL" (iambic).

Being old as dirt, I used to see Hermione Gingold on the Tonight show, etc.

Her name was always pronounced with the hard G.

While we're at it, where does the Martian Manhunter get the idea that "J'onzz" is pronounced "Jones"? I'm sorry, but the phonetic pronunciation of "J'onzz" is "Johns."  His Martian name is "J'onn J'onzz" and, for whatever reason, I accept that the alias he chose was "John Jones," but it should have been "John Johns" (or DC should have spelled his Martian name "J'onn J'oenzz" or something).

Does Geoff Johns pronounce his name "Jeff Jones"?

ClarkKent_DC said:

I remember reading somewhere that if you hear someone pronounce a word incorrectly, it's probably because they learned it from reading and not from hearing it aloud. 

I can attest to that---by telling a tale on myself.

From the beginning of the 1950's until the end of the '70's, there was an actor, Cesare Danova.  Tall, handsome, suave, continental, with that all-important charisma with the screen.  He played a lot of foreign counts and barons and a fair amount of romantic rogues.  On YouTube, there's a screen test of his audition for the part of Messala in Ben-Hur (MGM, 1959).  That was about the time when I became familiar with him.  (From other films and television appearances; obviously, he didn't get the part of Messala.)

As soon as I was old enough to read, I was an inveterate credit-reader, and I noted his name.  I was a youngster then, and not the worldly wise fellow I would become---heh!---so I mentally pronounced his forename as "See-ZAIR"  For five or six years, he was "See-ZAIR" Danova to me.

Danova's peak years of performing were the mid-'60's to early '70's, with his biggest hit coming when he played the lead in the unfairly underrated film Chamber of Horrors (Warner Brothers, 1966).  It wasn't too long after that when Danova appeared on The Tonight Show, and I was watching as I heard Ed McMahon's booming voice announce Johnny's guests for the evening, and when he got to Cesare Danova, he pronounced Danova's first name as "Chezz-a-RAY".

Boy, did I feel like a moron.  I was familiar with the Italian forename of Cesare.  I had heard it many times in films and on television.  But I had no idea how it was spelt---until that night.

And here's the funny thing:  while I hardly had occasion to speak his name, when I did, from then on, I pronounced it properly as "Chezz-a-RAY", but it took years for my brain neurons to erase my mental pronunciation of "See-ZAIR".

Embarrassing, but not as embarrassing as it was for my mother the time I heard her tell a gathering of friends about a social gaffe she had made at work by describing it as having committed a "fox pass".

Sounds like quite a debacle! But we've all had those experiences when we were young and the epitome of naive. So relax, and we'll have a drink with a bit of Worcestershire sauce.

I always pronounced it like it had four syllables: "Juh-Onn Juh-Onzz"

Jeff of Earth-J said:

While we're at it, where does the Martian Manhunter get the idea that "J'onzz" is pronounced "Jones"? I'm sorry, but the phonetic pronunciation of "J'onzz" is "Johns."  His Martian name is "J'onn J'onzz" and, for whatever reason, I accept that the alias he chose was "John Jones," but it should have been "John Johns" (or DC should have spelled his Martian name "J'onn J'oenzz" or something).

Does Geoff Johns pronounce his name "Jeff Jones"?

Yes, but did you say "Juh-Onn Juh-Owns" or "Juh-Onn Juh-Ahns"?

NOTE TO ALL: It was Bob who "taught" me the proper pronunciation of "Jarella." Prior to a particular phone conversation, I had been placing the accent on the first syllable (instead of the second) since childhood. 

I had the same sort of epiphany when not one but two older fans (separately) referred to "John Johns" back in the '90s. 

"Juh-Awn  Juh-Awnzz"

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