I’m read­ing The Hobbit to the girls at bed­time, and then read­ing the an­no­ta­tions from The Annotated Hobbit af­ter they go to bed. The au­thor, Douglas Anderson, re­cently wrote about an old book he found ti­tled What’s the Name, Please? A Guide to the Correct Pronunciation of Current Prominent Names.

I im­me­di­ately found a copy on archive.org and skimmed through look­ing for fa­mil­iar names. Here are the names that I’ve been pro­nounc­ing in­cor­rectly:

Willa Cather
Rhymes with gather”
You ask for the name of Lord Cholmondeley: / I pon­der the mat­ter quite dol­monde­ley; / For surely you know it, / And don’t need a poet / To tell you it rimes well with *comely*.
Padraic Colum
pau’­drig col­umn
W. E. B. Du Bois
dew boys
Lord Dunsany
Mohandas Gandhi
mo-han-dahss gahn-thee
Vladimir Horowitz
Alfred Knopf
Rhymes with tassels”
Emmuska Orczy
em’­moosh-ka or’t­sey
Thomas Taliaferro
John R. R. Tolkien
P. G. Wodehouse

Also of note, the epi­graph is a few fun lines from the poem The March to Moscow”, pok­ing at the dif­fi­culty English speak­ers have with Russian names:

And last of all an Admiral came,
A ter­ri­ble man with a ter­ri­ble name,—
A name which you all know by sight very well;
But which no one can speak, and no one can spell.