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  1. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    How would you spell out IO?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by spklvr, Aug 28, 2011.

    I'm writing a long short-story I've been playing out in my head for a while. One of the characters is called by her initials, IO. It sounds good in my head, but I really don't like writing the initials like that. I'm not sure how I should be spelling it out to get the right pronunciation though. Like Ayoe or something?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I. O.
     
  3. Faust
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    Faust Contributing Member Supporter

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    Aioh, maybe?
     
  4. Batgoat
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    Batgoat Senior Member

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    If I and O are her initials, it would most likely be written I.O., as Cogito posted previously. I wouldn't use words like Aioh or Ayoe if the person is being referred to by their initials. Maybe if I didn't use I.O., I'd settle for simply calling her Io. Or IO, but the use of capitals might be migraine inducing.

    At the end of the day, it is your choice, your story. And you can change it to any configuration you see fit during any draft you compose.

    That is the power of writing.
     
  5. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, I have kind of already decided I do not want to spell it I. O. (and I knew there was supposed to be punctuation, but my timezone is in an hour not meant for thinking right now). I just don't know the best way to spell it to get it to sound right. The reason I want this is both for esthetic reasons (I simply don't think it looks good with capital letters all over) and because in my head, the other characters say it as if it was a word and not two letters.
     
  6. cobaltblue
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    cobaltblue Member

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    I think that if the intent is for the character to be called by her initials then you write it as initials - don't try to spell it out phonetically because different readers will read it in a different way and possibly miss that it's a name made from her initials. (Does that make sense?)

    I had been thinking that I'd rather read OI as opposed to O.I. to make it easier but I've been typing out other sets of initials commonly used as names and I think the punctuation helps. For example: T.J. or TJ A.J. or AJ

    Also if you just use OI, the reader might think it's pronounced Oy!

    Just my thoughts, use or discard.
    Blue
     
  7. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you establish in narration that she's called Ayoh or something as a nickname based off her initials, that's fine. For example I have a friend we call Jay Kay even though those are his initials and he's actually a Johnathan. But we spell it that way though :)
     
  8. Mr. Sweet
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    Mr. Sweet New Member

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    Frankly, I don't understand what the problem with "Ayoe" instead of I.O. would be. Many authors "write" accents into their work (Ex: what're ya tookin' aboot thur, laddie?), and I don't see how this would be any different. You're favoring the sound of the word over the technical spelling, which is a flair I personally think is pretty cool.

    Just be careful not to overdo it.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it wouldn't be a problem if the reader is clued in to the fact that her initials are 'I.O.' before the spelled out version is used... like this, for instance:

     
  10. SeverinR
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    SeverinR Contributing Member

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    O.J. Simspson
    J.K. Rowling
    K.C. and the Sunshine band.
    FDR
    JFK
    JJ (Goodtimes)
    W

    If using their initials, I would leave it their initials. Rather then try to spell it out.
    Some people did spell out dubbya for Bush, but it wasn't popular as just W.

    IO
     
  11. MarmaladeQueen
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    MarmaladeQueen Senior Member

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    I agree with the posters who say if her name is I.O., that's how you should use it in your story BUT I think having a character's initial as a name risks distancing your reader from that character. I can see there are a few famous examples where initial are sufficient to identify someone (JR for example, or JFK), but they're not exactly cozy. JFK was Jack to his family and friends. JK Rowling is Jo to hers. I.O. makes me think of the Story of O for some reason, where the whole point was that the character of O was shorn of all sense of self.

    I think you're setting yourself up for problems with a name like I.O., unless the whole point is that she keeps her distance from everyone else and is almost unkowable.

    What difference to your story would it make if she were called Jane, or Mary, or Laura or Annabel?
     
  12. MarmaladeQueen
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    MarmaladeQueen Senior Member

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    I agree with the posters who say if her name is I.O., that's how you should use it in your story BUT I think having a character's initial as a name risks distancing your reader from that character. I can see there are a few famous examples where initial are sufficient to identify someone (JR for example, or JFK), but they're not exactly cozy. JFK was Jack to his family and friends. JK Rowling is Jo to hers. I.O. makes me think of the Story of O for some reason, where the whole point was that the character of O was shorn of all sense of self.

    I think you're setting yourself up for problems with a name like I.O., unless the whole point is that she keeps her distance from everyone else and is almost unkowable.

    What difference to your story would it make if she were called Jane, or Mary, or Laura or Annabel?
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i can't see how having initials for a nickname would be 'distancing' in any way... doesn't make sense to me that anyone would think it does... lots of people are addressed by initials and it's no different from any other nickname, imo...

    i also don't see why the op would need to use a phonetic spelling of the initials instead of just using the initials... but if it's thought to be necessary, then i suggest doing what i said in my previous post...
     
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    IO - I.O. seeing it without the punctuation, it looks like the number 10 and could be confusing.
     
  15. Blackgamen
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    Blackgamen Member

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    I think I.O. would be strange. I'd go with Ayo or something similar.
     
  16. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I wouldn't go with something like Ayoe, Ayoh, or Ayo. To me, those names are susceptible to different pronunciations and "I.O." isn't the first one that comes to mind. That's going to through the reader off throughout the story, and they'll probably just stop calling the character "I.O." in their head and resort to something like "A.O."

    If you're going to use a word to represent the pronunciation, then you should adopt the most clear, logical choice, and the one that is most likely to convey the intended pronunciation. To me, that is Io, which is in fact a name from Greek mythology and the name of a moon of Jupiter. The Greek pronunciation does not, as I understand it, match your desired sound, but the anglicized pronunciation does, and if you're writing in English that's what I would go with. Needlessly complicating things by coming up with some new, and less accurate spelling of I.O. when the name Io already exists makes no sense.
     
  17. colorthemap
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    colorthemap Contributing Member

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    Do not use I/O that means something completely different.


    I'd say IO.
     
  18. MarmaladeQueen
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    MarmaladeQueen Senior Member

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    My overwhelming reaction still is that you should entirely drop the idea of IO as a character name. It's going to cause you problems however you do it, and a character's name shouldn't have that much prominence in the story (unless in some way the story is primarily about their name). If it's holding up your writing, I would definitely replace it with a non-contentious name. Jane or Lizzie or Anne or pretty much anything that is a bog standard girl's name. The great thing about word processing is that you can do a "find / replace" and within seconds you've renamed your character.

    If you're determined to stick to IO, then posts some excerpt to the relevant forum trying out IO, Ayo etc and see how people react. It's easier to judge when you see it in the context of the story. I'd incline in favour of Ayo because it's more like a proper name. Definitely not I/O which means input-output to people like me.
     
  19. colorthemap
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    colorthemap Contributing Member

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    To add the only "IO" I ever knew was a man.
     

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