Take Two®

News and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by A Martínez

Can Wikipedia's Voice Intro Project solve name pronunciation debates for good?

by Take Two®

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South African-born Hollywood actress and UN Messenger of Peace Charlize Theron attends a press conference on July 29, 2013, at the Unions Building in Pretoria. STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN/AFP/Getty Images

One of the biggest challenges for a radio host is getting people's names right, especially in Hollywood.

The director of "Wolf of Wall Street" is Martin Score-SEZZ-ee, Not Score-SAY-see. And that award-winning South African actress Charlize Theron? Did you know her last name is pronounced "Thrown" not "There-On"? Don't even get us started on the Icelandic volcano, Eyjafjallajökull. 

Luckily, Wikipedia is here to help. The non-profit recently announced something called Voice Intro Project, an audio database of celebrities, scientists, and other notable people introducing themselves in short audio files posted to the website. The project is in its very early stages right now, but eventually it could help create a permanent record of correct name pronunciations. 

For more on why something like this might be really helpful, we're joined now by Kee Malesky, who served as librarian at NPR for three decades. 

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