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Neopet Pronunciations: A Research Experiment


by klarevoyant

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Many of us have owned adorable Neopets since we only small children, eagerly collecting paintbrushes to spruce up our lovely pets. Some of my first pets included a shadow Shoyru and purple Poogle – but I had no idea how to pronounce the names of my pets or others’ pets with strange colors and specie names. It is Neopia after all and we have many exotic pets of all shapes and sizes!

Though many Neopians have played for a long time, it seems that many of us have been pronouncing the most of basic of names incorrectly for years and years, according to The Neopet Team’s official pronunciation guide, which can be found here: www.neopets.com/pronounce.phtml. A board was created on the PC on The Second Day of the Month of Sleeping, Y15, which expressed the concern of the original poster as to the different ways to say “Aisha.” Many fellow Neopians commented that many of the ways they said the species names were incorrect — and there were a lot of different ways.

To investigate, I sent my baby chomby, Putchey, out on a mission to find the truth: the pesky words that most of us say wrong on a daily basis. Putchey has always dreamed of becoming a research scientist, complete with a professional clipboard for all his data-taking needs and a robot to help him sort out numbers and er… other data things. Among his findings, I’m sure you’ll discover some common misinterpretations of Neopet specie names. I think you will find the list to be quite shocking. Most of those surveyed have been saying at least one name wrong for years! Are they worth correcting, or should we just continue to say it the way that we prefer most?

Key: The numbers within parenthesis are the number of Neopians that said they pronounced the name as such when they were surveyed.

Exhibit A

Aisha:

Real way to pronounce it: eye-shah (12)

Ways Neopians pronounce it: Asia (2), Ay-shah (11), Ash-iya (1), Eye-EEE-Shu (1), Ay-ee-sha (6), eye-ee-shuh (5), Ah-ye-shah (2), Ah-shah (1), A-shy-a (1), Ash-ee-uh (3), Ash-ah (1), eyyy-sher (1), Eye-ay-sha (1), Aaee-shah (1).

76% of people surveyed said it incorrectly

Exhibit B

Eyrie:

Real way to pronounce it: ear-ree (14)

Ways Neopians pronounce it: Eye-ree (7), Eye-wre (1), 
Eee-ree (3)

44% of people surveyed said it incorrectly

Exhibit C

Lupe:

Real way to pronounce it: Loop (16)

Ways Neopians pronounce it: Loop-ay (7)

30% of people surveyed said it incorrectly

Exhibit D

Elephante:

Real way to pronounce it: Ellie-fant (4)

Ways Neopians pronounce it: Ellie-fon-tay (5), , Eh-leh-fant-ay (14), El-eff-en-tay (2) Ele-fant-ee (1), ele-phont-a (1)

85% of people surveyed said it incorrectly

Exhibit E

Cybunny:

Real way to pronounce it: Sigh-bun-ee (19)

Ways Neopians pronounce it: Ki-bunny (1), cee-bunny (1), kai-bunny (1), Sai-bunny (1), ci-bunne (1).

21% of people surveyed said it incorrectly

Exhibit F

Xweetok:

Real way to pronounce it: zwee-tock (10)

Ways Neopians pronounce it: Ex-wee-tok (8), ex-wee-tck (1), ksee-tok (1), swee-tok(3), Kswee-tohk (1), Squee-tok (1), We-Tok (2), zuee-tok (1)

64% of people surveyed said it incorrectly

Exhibit G

Pteri:

Real way to pronounce it: Ter-ree

Ways Neopians pronounce it: Puh-te-ree (6), peet-reet (1), petri( 3), puh-terry (6), Pa-tare-eh (1), Terry (8), Peet-rii (1), Pea-tree (1), p-tree (2)

100% of people surveyed said it incorrectly

Exhibit H

Mynci:

Real way to pronounce it: Mwn-sea (1)

Ways Neopians pronounce it: mun-cy (1), mine-see(2), Min-See(10), mince-ee (3), Minx-ee (1), men-see (1), Mean-see (1), min-key (2), Men-key (1).

96% of people surveyed said it incorrectly

Exhibit I

Usul:

Real way to pronounce it: Ooh-sul (6)

Ways Neopians pronounce it: use-ewl (1), Uh-sul (1), oo-zool (1), usual (1), Uh-zul (1), you-sull (7), You-sool (1), Use-ul (2) us-ool (1), Use-al (1).

74% of people surveyed said it incorrectly

Exhibit J

Gelert:

Real way to pronounce it: Gell-ert (13)

Ways Neopians pronounce it: Gl-ur-t (1), Jell-urt(3), Gel-Art (1), Guh-LERT(5) Gill-ert (1).

46% of people surveyed said it incorrectly

Exhibit K

Kyrii:

Real way to pronounce it: Ki-ree (10)

Ways Neopians pronounce it: Key-ree (11), Kier-y (1).

55% of people surveyed said it incorrectly

Exhibit L

Kiko:

Real way to pronounce it: Kee-koh (18)

Ways Neopians pronounce it: Kick-o(2), Kee-kow(2)

18% of people surveyed said it incorrectly

Putchey adjusts his crooked glasses, grins and proudly declares, “So, many had pronunciation errors of Neopians, but luckily none with my humble species.” As shown, pteris seem to be the most challenging to pronounce, since the ‘p’ is silent. The runners up are myncis and elephantes, which both seem easy to say, but are actually quite tricky. Aishas seem to have the most variation in how they are pronounced, because the ‘ai’ at the beginning is taken for either an ‘I’ or an ‘A’ sound. And that’s 12 pets in all with difficult names.

Personally, I pronounce the Pteri as “puh-te-ree” but I do manage to call “aisha” by the correct name. Maybe you say it differently, who knows! The point is, there are many mistaken ways of pronouncing these Neopet species. Note that this survey was taken many months ago as well and was only recently reanalyzed by the expertise of Putchey, so popular pronunciations may have changed since. Perhaps you never knew that you were not saying them properly. Perhaps you have known all along and don’t care.

Guess now we can all continue being thankful that we infrequently read Neopets species names aloud. It’s hard enough saying individual pet’s names correctly, especially on top of these complicated species names. It’s part of what makes Neopia so wonderful and unique. Who needs phonetic specie names, anyway?

In conclusion of this research proposal, Putchey would like to thank you for being the kind recipients of months of hard work practicing for his job as a research analyst. He loves numbers.

Note: Thank you to the Pound Chat for their inspirational confusion on the matter and their input.

Note 2: Also of interest: Tyrannia is pronounced “ti-rain-ee-ah” not not “ty-ran-ee-a” and “Borovan” is pronounced “borrow-van” not “bor-oh-vin.” Maybe it’s just me.

 
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