How to say aloud "Lord D——'s private chapel"?
November 6, 2011 6:35 PM   Subscribe

How would you go about reading aloud a story with names redacted?

Frequently in older fiction you come across years and names being redacted, as in the following example:

'You know roughly, both of you, that this expedition of mine was undertaken with the object of tracing something in connexion with some old painted glass in Lord D——'s private chapel. Well, the starting-point of the whole matter lies in this passage from an old printed book, to which I will ask your attention.'

I understand fairly well the reasons for redaction but if you were reading this story aloud to a group, how would you handle that? Is there an accepted convention for such? I'm sure it's been handled in a hundred different audiobooks, right?
posted by komara to Writing & Language (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I would just say "Lord D's private chapel."
posted by ottereroticist at 6:39 PM on November 6, 2011 [8 favorites]

Yes, that's how I've always heard it done and that's how I do it too. "Lord D."
posted by tomboko at 6:44 PM on November 6, 2011

Yes, saying "Lord D" would probably be the most elegant way of handling this, but I think it would be more entertaining to put one hand across your mouth every time the name comes up and mumble "Lord Drmblbrfcblrkdbbdrklbrr..."
posted by neroli at 6:47 PM on November 6, 2011 [7 favorites]

I have always said as ottereroticist suggests, "Lord D's private chapel," as has every Victorian Lit prof I've ever had.
posted by Felicity Rilke at 6:57 PM on November 6, 2011

Looks like that's a consensus then. Thanks!
posted by komara at 8:34 PM on November 6, 2011

You also occasionally hear it in audiobooks with the initial strung out e.g. "Lord Deeee's private chapel", or "Lady Emmmm's chambermaid".
posted by Pinback at 8:42 PM on November 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

I just listened to Foucault's Pendulum, and when the name of Belbo's childhood village would come up, the reader just paused slightly and said "name omitted" in a slightly different tone of voice. However, that probably doesn't work very well when you're trying to read a possessive.
posted by neushoorn at 10:51 PM on November 6, 2011

You sometimes hear 'Lord Dash' or 'Mr Dash Blank', as in the following passage from Michael Innes's Appleby's End (1945):

"I was born on the thirtieth of July, nineteen hundred and dash."

"What do you mean -- and dash?"

"Isn't that the way stories begin? Ranulph's always did. Nineteen hundred and dash, in the village of dash in dash-shire."

posted by verstegan at 12:00 AM on November 7, 2011 [4 favorites]

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