Spell My Name with an "S"

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The English Romanization of his name was a debated topic for quite some time, with interpretations including "Violenjiger", "Violent Jiger", "Violent Chigger", "Violen Jig-er", "Violin Juggler", "Bio Ranger Iga", "Valium Chugger", and "Crazy Engrish Fun-Man". The publication of The Ark II finally provided us with an official spelling.

This trope describes characters whose names are almost never spelled consistently, usually because of transliteration issues. This tends to happen in Anime and Japanese video games that haven't been officially translated into English, although it also crops up in other languages that don't use the Latin alphabet. Situations include anything from drama between vowel additions to unique-cipher dropping, due to phoneme sets and writing systems. English, for example, is famous for many ways and rules of spelling (e.g., Americans generally dropping extra vowels), despite having much fewer actual sounds they represent. Japanese have separate vowel-heavy phonetic and symbolic alphabets; since the latter overlaps with Chinese, sometimes there is a question of whether a name should be transliterated from the Japanese or the Chinese reading. Spanish has several familiar looking letter combinations intended to be pronounced in specific ways. Complicating the issue is some names simply become popular enough in other languages that they're modified to fit them better, and you can't be sure if it's actually intended to be meaningful. Another if the name is only ever shown in modified form, meaning we simply have to guess.

Assuming an official release settles the issue, some fans deliberately use one of the alternate spellings to establish their "credibility" as fans. In true fannish fashion, this often persists even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, such as Theme Naming, Meaningful Names, Prophetic Names and direct proclamations by the work's creator. Eventually, this stops being cool and just starts making people angry, and the self-righteous morons get Gannon Banned. (Where did you think the trope name came from?)

In some cases, official translated versions will adopt bizarre transliterations for the sake of Writing Around Trademarks and/or establishing new ones—because, when a Cash Cow Franchise gets imported, it's more useful to have character names that can be trademarked for the sake of selling licensed merchandise.

This can also occur in translations of ancient texts written in outdated forms of modern scripts. For example, Latin had no "J," but, as English has no consonantal "I," "J" is often used to signify such. To a lesser extent, this can occur when transliterating words that contain a thorn (þ), which is already well represented by "TH." In point of fact, it can even be seen in many English texts from before standardized spelling (yes, there was such a time), won ecksampel beeing þis fras. And anoþre beeing þis sentans. Þis won heer is a partickularlie gud ecksampel.

The trope's name comes from an Isaac Asimov short story, Spell My Name With An S, in which a pair of Sufficiently Advanced Aliens use The Little Shop That Wasn't There Yesterday to stop The End of the World as We Know It—by persuading an obscure scientist to change one letter of his name from Z to S, and watching Hilarity Ensue (until they realize that The Watcher will know that there was supposed to be an Earthshattering Kaboom, and so are forced to come up with an equally subtle Reset Button). Asimov was inspired to write the story after having his name misspelled—Azimov, or even Asenion once—one time too many. Incidentally, Isaac Asimov's original name in the Cyrillic alphabet was "Исаак Оссимов" and pronounced quite differently from how the American public and he himself pronounced it during his lifetime. Now in Russia, translations of his works use the spelling of "Айзек Азимов" to better convey the American English phonetics, out of the respect for the author.

This does not include minor differences in romanization systems, such as the various methods of indicating long vowels in Japanese, or the use of the apostrophe to indicate syllabic nasals.

Contrast My Nayme Is, which is the intentional misspelling of one's name.

The opposite of No Pronunciation Guide, which is when the spelling/writing of the name is unequivocal but people can't agree on how it's supposed to sound.

May lead to a Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?.

Related to Adaptation Dye Job and Adaptation Decay (and/or other Adaptation Tropes, as the case may be).

Examples of Spell My Name with an "S" are listed on these subpages:
Spell My Name with an "S"