Thursday, February 25, 2010

What's in a Name?

Whenever I visit a school, I'm always asked how to pronounce my name for the introduction. And more than half the time, the teacher's or librarian's or principal's face falls, as she or he realizes that everyone in the school has been pronouncing my name wrong throughout their entire preparation for my visit. (Not that I would have corrected them unless they asked - if teachers and librarians have gotten the student body enthusiastic enough about my visit to read my books, they can pretty much pronounce my name any way they want and I'll just smile.)

But wouldn't it be helpful for a teacher or librarian to know how to pronounce my name when first introducing my books to students?

The nice people at had me make an audio recording of the way I pronounce my name, and also invited me to tell you a little bit about my name. Click here to listen to it: Elaine Marie Alphin.

Now, as long as you think dolphin when you think about me, you'll never have trouble pronouncing my name again! I really must write a book about dolphins someday, I suppose....


  1. I've been saying Ale-fin for years... Thank you!
    P.S., your book Simon Says changed my life.

  2. Thank you, Jessica - Simon Says is a very personal, important book to me. I'm so pleased that it meant so much to you. And feel free to pronounce my name any way you like as long as my books move you so much.

  3. Thanks for your pronunciation tip. For the last several years my way came out sounding like All-fin. Sort like above. I've had similiar problems with teachers or people in general. I had both my first and last names mispronounced in many different ways.

  4. Sorry to be so slow to respond, Eliza! I've been hard at work on my new novel, Permanent Record, and going over the galleys of the reissue of Ghost Cadet, my first novel!

    It's amazing how creatively people can pronounce our names. As long as they like my books, however, I can't complain. : )

  5. I was tickled to read the tutorial on how to say your name. My last name is Allphin (98% mispronunciation rate) and I've always used the "rhymes with dolphin" trick too--people remember it.

  6. Nice to see another clever person with the same "dolphin" trick, Anonymous Allphin!