How J.M. Coetzee Says His Name (BBC)

Catherine Sangster of the BBC Pronunciation Unit on how to pronounce J.M. Coetzee’s name:

… But the trickiest name is probably that of South African author JM Coetzee. The first syllable is pronounced kuut (uu as in book); debate rages about the pronunciation of the “ee” at the end. Many South Africans, whether Afrikaans speakers or not, pronounce this as a diphthong EE-uh, as in the word “idea”.

Indeed, kuut-SEE-uh was the Unit’s original recommendation in the early 1980s, based on the advice of the South African Broadcasting Corporation and his London publisher, Secker and Warburg. However, that vowel can also be pronounced as a monophthong (kuut-SEE), especially by those from the south of the country, and this is the pronunciation that the author uses and prefers the BBC to use too.

We have a letter from JM Coetzee himself in our files, written in response to our query, making this very clear and, as our policy is always to say people’s names in the way that they wish, that is what we have recommended ever since.

[source]

thanks to Sandra Shattuck (@rosequark)

Advertisements

send a private message to the editor

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s