The Venom movie shockingly doesn't seem to know how to pronounce the word "symbiote". Fan concern that Sony's Spider-Man spinoff film would bungle presenting a comic book-accurate version of the supervillain was alleviated in the final moments of the new Venom trailer when Tom Hardy's Eddie Brock fully transforms into the creature, complete with a razor-sharp array of teeth and his infamous prehensile tongue. But while the movie thankfully gets Venom's look just right, they somehow dropped the ball on how to properly say what is perhaps the most pivotal word in the entire piece.
At first, it seemed like the oddest sounds in Venom were going to be Hardy's American accent and the voice he creates to portray his frightening alter ego (which is quite different from the memorable accent Hardy affected as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises). That is until Jenny Slate's character introduces herself to Eddie Brock as a scientist from the Life Foundation and explains: "We found something. We call them symbiotes." Oddly, Slate pronounces the word as "sym-buy-oats".
Related: Tom Hardy's Venom Looks Spot On
Now, "symbiote" isn't a fictional word invented by Marvel, though the term gained widespread fame among comics fans when Venom was introduced in Spider-Man comics 30 years ago. In the source material, Venom is an alien creature who originally took the form of Spider-Man's black costume before the hero rejected its attempts to control him. The symbiote then split from Peter Parker, bonded to his rival Eddie Brock, and became his adversary, Venom.
However, according to the dictionary, "symbiote" is pronounced "sim-bē-ˌōt", with the final syllable clipped, as opposed to Slate saying the second and last syllables as if she's purchasing a breakfast food.
The funny thing is, fans have known how to pronounce "symbiote" correctly for decades, which is why hearing Slate's mispronunciation is so jarring. Nor is it a one-off; just as there are multiple symbiotes in Venom, Slate incorrectly says "symbiote" repeatedly. Now, this could just be a particular quirk of the actress and/or her character. After all, it isn't the first time a famous word from the comics was mispronounced by an actor. For instance, in Superman: The Movie, Marlon Brando's Jor-El was infamously incapable of properly saying "Krypton" as "Crip-TON." Brando repeatedly clipped the second syllable and pronounced it "Crip-TIN." Meanwhile, everyone else in Superman said "Krypton" the correct way, so that was clearly a fault of the Oscar-winning actor.
However, from what we've seen in the trailer, Slate's mispronunciation of the word isn't contradicted by any of the other characters. So for now, it seems that this is officially the way the word "symbiote" is pronounced in the film. Who'd have thought the biggest suspension of disbelief need for Venom would be pronunciation?
- Venom (2018) release date: Oct 05, 2018