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How do you pronounce the word "bufriedo"?
hungergameslessons hungergameslessons Said:


Prepare for an incredibly long and pretentious answer to a perfectly innocuous* question. 

I don’t know how to pronounce the word bufriedo, and since the word is made up and there is not (at least as of yet) any kind of standardized pronunciation, you can pronounce bufriedo more or less however you want and not be wrong. This is because books, at least in my opinion, belong to their readers, and the author’s opinion about how to pronounce words that s/he made up is not any more authoritative or interesting than the opinion of any other reader.

Like, I do not believe that an author has a privileged relationship with a story simply because s/he happens to have written it. Let us take, for example, the word quark. James Joyce uses the word quark in Finnegan’s Wake, and then the physicist Murray Gel-Mann (who along with George Zweig proposed the existence of quarks) appropriated the word to describe a fundamental constituent of matter.

But how to pronounce quark? Reading the text of Finnegan’s Wake, it could easily be argued that Joyce wanted quark pronounced to rhyme with the word Mark, but you could also argue—as Gel-Mann has—that he intended it to slant-rhyme with the word quart. I personally suspect that Joyce wanted us to say kark not kwork, but it doesn’t matter: We say kwork. We decided, collectively, how to pronounce the word, and that’s essentially what language is: It’s a group of people deciding which sounds will describe the world.

In the extraordinarily unlikely event that some future elementary particle is discovered and named the Bufriedo, we’ll decide how to pronounce it together, and my authorial wishes will rightly be dismissed. Until then, all defendable pronunciations of the word derived from the letters in it will be legitimate.

tl;dr: dunno.

* File under words I have to spellcheck every. frakking. time.

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