Hey, it’s Susan Berkley from with The Inside Voice-over video training blog, and today for the new year, happy new year, we’re going to talk about two words that give people a lot of trouble and that is the difference between pronounce and enunciate. Now what some people do is they make up a word, pronunciate, which doesn’t exist at all. Or they might say conversate, which also is a non-word. So that’s just a heads up. So let’s start with pronunciation. The definition of that is to make the sound of a word in a correct or particular manner. And for example, with a place name, I used to live down around Sarasota, Florida and there’s a town nearby called Bradenton, Florida. A lot of people who aren’t from the area pronounce it Bradenton because it’s spelled B-R-A-D-E-N-T-O-N.

Then of course you have Lima, Ohio. I’m sorry I got that wrong. It’s Lima, Ohio and Lima, Peru. Or people’s names. So what about that actress, Saoirse Ronan. Nobody knows how to pronounce her name. Now to enunciate is to say or pronounce something clearly. Our coach, Randy Dean, talks about what he calls the sliding scale of enunciation. If you have too little enunciation, it’s a hot mess. You sound like you’re mumbling, like you don’t know what you’re talking about, like you’re really uneducated. But if you overeat annunciate you sound uppity and snobbish because you are saying every word perfectly.

So actually we want to move that sliding scale of enunciation somewhere in the middle. Now here’s a tip, if you want to sound more casual, more natural, move the sliding scale over to the side where your enunciation is a little more casual, a little less precise. And if you want to sound a bit more professional, move it the other way, such as if you’re doing medical narrations or some corporate work. I hope that’s helpful. I’m Susan Berkley and I’ll be back next week with more Inside Voice-over.