Venom recently had a trailer drop, and with it came fan reactions aplenty. Interestingly enough, not a whole lot of the conversation revolved around the film itself, but rather the pronunciation of the word symbiote. For years, most fans that I’ve heard have pronounced it sim-bee-oat, but in the trailer, Jenny Slate’s character went with sim-bye-oat.
Needless to say, many people online were not taking this injustice sitting down. Here are some of the reactions.
So apparently zero people making the Venom movie care enough about the character to know how to pronounce "symbiote"
Which is also just an actual word
— Derek 6: The Song of Dyke (@DerekOfTheDykes) April 24, 2018
For those wondering if Venom connects to MCU Spider-Man, it doesn't.
It's set in an alternative universe where no-one can prounounce the word symbiote…
— Dave Flynn (@Dave_K_Flynn) April 24, 2018
SYMBIOTE IS ALREADY A REAL WORD WITH A REAL WORLD PRONUNCIATION!!!!!#Venom
— Bob Chipman (@the_moviebob) April 24, 2018
I definitely understand where they’re coming from. It’s very hard to pronounce something one way your entire life, only for the film to come in and muck things up. There is one problem with many fans lambasting the movie for its pronunciation: sim-bee-oat isn’t the only way to pronounce the word.
One of the best and worst aspects of the language is that the actual pronunciation of words are ambiguous, and can be pronounced multiple ways. Such is the case with symbiote.
Below is a dramatization of how things went down for me upon seeing the trailer for the first time:
“Oh weird, I didn’t know symbiote was pronounced that way.” *looks up the words*. “Oh, it IS pronounced sim-bee-oat. No, wait, it can also be pronounced sim-bye-oat. Cool.”
Don’t believe me? Check out Merriam-Webster’s pronunciation key.
So yes, while sim-bye-oat may be the less common way of pronouncing the word, no, it is not wrong. Sorry. Good news is you can still hate the trailer without hating how they pronounce the word. Or you can still hate the way they pronounce the word with the full knowledge that it’s not technically wrong.
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SOURCE: Various, Merriam-Webster