“I absolutely do not pronounce SNES as "sness"...that's just madness.”
August 3, 2018 4:35 PM   Subscribe

Nintendo Finally Confirms The Correct Pronunciation For 'NES' [Nintendo Life] “The answer to this age-old conundrum comes from WarioWare Gold of all places, the latest entry to the mischievous Mario villain's series on Nintendo 3DS.
In the museum section of the Japanese version of Wario Ware Gold, you can unlock some slides showcasing the Famicom. Also included is a picture of the NES. Within the description, Nintendo themselves says that “NES” is pronounced “Ness”. ~ 05:42 - 3 Aug 2018 @Farmboyjapan
As you can see, according to Nintendo - via the Japanese version of the game's museum area - the true pronunciation is 'Ness'. The Japanese characters on screen suggest that it should have a soft 's' sound, as opposed to a harsher 'z' sound, and the idea of saying each individual letter is nowhere to be seen.”
posted by Fizz (65 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 


Well duh. And we prounced SNES as /sness/ in Sweden.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 4:39 PM on August 3


Nintendo is wrong
posted by incomple at 4:43 PM on August 3 [36 favorites]


Earthbound players are going to have a field day.
posted by Yowser at 4:43 PM on August 3 [4 favorites]


Well this is some bullshit
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 4:47 PM on August 3 [8 favorites]


It seems obvious that Nintendo's commercial interests means they cannot be trusted in this matter.
posted by biffa at 4:47 PM on August 3 [2 favorites]


We always pronounced it “Nintendo”.
posted by Rock Steady at 4:51 PM on August 3 [11 favorites]


I don't accept this. It's spelled "SNES," but it's pronounced "Super Nintendo."
posted by rhizome at 4:56 PM on August 3 [28 favorites]


But is Mario a sandwich?
posted by Fizz at 4:56 PM on August 3 [3 favorites]


And the inventor of GIF says it's jiff, and Chuck Jones says the Road Runner says beep-beep, and...

They're all wrong. All of them.
posted by rokusan at 4:59 PM on August 3 [22 favorites]


SNEEZE
posted by poffin boffin at 5:06 PM on August 3 [2 favorites]


But is Mario a sandwich?

Yes.

Anyway, it's "En-ee-ess," obviously, and "Ess-ness" for the Super Nintendo. N64 was pronounced "Nuh-six-four," but you'd try to minimize the vowel sound so it was more like "N'six-four," but it's not like you'd expel a kid from your Mario Kart league for saying it lazily. Next up we have the "Gamécubé," the "Why," and the "Why-oo." The "w" in Switch is pronounced in the Teutonic fashion, giving us "Svitch." GameBoy was just "Game Boy," of course, but the cool kids called them "Ludic Lads." 90s kids know I am right
posted by prize bull octorok at 5:08 PM on August 3 [17 favorites]


Nope.
posted by nikaspark at 5:10 PM on August 3


It's Enn-Eee-Ess, just like the walker is an Ay-Tee-Ay-Tee and not an "at-at".
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:12 PM on August 3 [2 favorites]


My mom called it the No-friend-o

Because she thought i played it too much and this was why I had no friends :(
posted by Doleful Creature at 5:14 PM on August 3 [29 favorites]


I pronounce it MeFi.
posted by Celsius1414 at 5:15 PM on August 3 [5 favorites]


I'm going full flat-earth on this. I don't care how much evidence to the contrary exists, I refuse to accept anything other than "EN-EE-ESS".
posted by TheCoug at 5:16 PM on August 3 [5 favorites]


PS4: Piss four.
posted by Brocktoon at 5:17 PM on August 3 [7 favorites]


PS4: Piss four.

Which reminds me of the Commode-door 64
posted by Celsius1414 at 5:20 PM on August 3 [3 favorites]


Ex Bee Oh Ex three hundred and sixty
posted by TheCoug at 5:26 PM on August 3 [2 favorites]


Both NES and SNES rhyme with VHS, duh.
posted by infinitewindow at 5:28 PM on August 3


What possible motive could they have for stirring up a bunch of controversy by boldly proclaiming that the official way to pronounce it is the wrong one?
posted by sfenders at 5:28 PM on August 3


The more troubling implication of this news is that the NESticle (trigger warning: balls) guys had the right pronunciation all along.
posted by droro at 5:31 PM on August 3 [9 favorites]


So... I was watching this 17 Best Old Nintendo Commercials video for confirmation that I had indeed, at multiple points, heard ads for Nintendo products or games that said "en ee ess." And it's true, multiple commercials produced by Nintendo partner companies, producing games for the system, pronounced it that way, with the Official Nintendo Licensed Product Seal or Official Nintendo Seal of Quality or some variation thereof displayed. So it seems likely someone, somewhere at Nintendo once probably saw these and if not approved the pronunciation, at least didn't sue those companies into oblivion.

But the really weird thing? Check this out! This Tetris ad uses video of the Pruitt-Igoe demolition in St. Louis. It must have been public-domain footage or something!
posted by limeonaire at 5:45 PM on August 3 [2 favorites]


Wow, that Dr. Mario advertisement has not aged well, not at all. Yikes.
posted by Fizz at 5:56 PM on August 3 [2 favorites]


Earthbound players are going to have a field day.
posted by Yowser
Wait until you find out where Ness's name came from.
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:56 PM on August 3


Scotland!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:58 PM on August 3 [3 favorites]


Snēz
posted by vogon_poet at 6:06 PM on August 3 [2 favorites]


(shouting) SEGA!
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:08 PM on August 3 [10 favorites]


I pronounce it like knees. With a hard K.
posted by Nanukthedog at 6:30 PM on August 3 [2 favorites]


(shouting) SEGA!

Alternately pronounced [SEE-guh] in some parts of the world.
posted by dances with hamsters at 6:48 PM on August 3 [2 favorites]


lol no
posted by littlerobothead at 7:28 PM on August 3


My mom called it the No-friend-o

Never have I wanted my own children more than to be able to use material like this.
posted by rhizome at 7:48 PM on August 3 [7 favorites]


In Nintendo Power articles, whenever a character needed to be named by the player, and didn't already have a canonical name (eg Link or Samus), they named their characters Nestor, as I recall. The name also got you better stats in Dragon Warrior, but that might've just been because it hashed nicely. Anyway, the clues were there, if only we had been willing to see it!

En Ee Ess, by the way. It's an acronym!
posted by dbx at 8:03 PM on August 3 [2 favorites]


We'll see what Super Nintendo Chalmers has to say about this.
posted by ZaphodB at 8:30 PM on August 3 [9 favorites]


My mom called it the no entiendo.
posted by Dr. Curare at 8:50 PM on August 3 [2 favorites]


Wow, those old Nintendo commercials barely show the games at all.
posted by smelendez at 9:39 PM on August 3


I'm generally of the opinion that companies who name their products get to canonically declare what the pronunciation of that name is, although I carve out a GIF Exception to this. If they were calling it "ness" internally, that's what it's called. (Pronouncing acronyms like this, even if it's awkward, is apparently pretty common: the CSIRO, Australia's government research labs, are known externally as "C-S-I-R-O" and internally as "siro".)
posted by Merus at 9:49 PM on August 3


I'm generally of the opinion that companies who name their products get to canonically declare what the pronunciation of that name is

Hyundai on line one.

Anyway. As stated upthread, in their heyday, NES was pronounced “Nintendo,” and SNES was pronounced “Super Nintendo.” Occasionally, mainly in advertising or when they’d done something to anger their mom, they were called by their full names. If you look at the video evidence of official Nintendo retrospective and reissue stuff, they have always been referred to in either of those ways or as “en-ee-ess” and “ess-en-ee-ess.”

This “ness” business is complete bullshit. But it got us talking about Nintendo like it’s remotely worth giving a crap about, so, hey, mission accomplished.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:53 PM on August 3 [1 favorite]


We'll see what Super Nintendo Chalmers has to say about this.

Well I'm from Utica and I've never heard anybody call it a "steamtendo".
posted by cortex at 11:19 PM on August 3 [14 favorites]


Hyundai on line one.

This might be the trick: it's very common for Americans to be given different pronunciations to other countries without you realising it, and this is a Japanese source. If localised, they might well change it to N-E-S to match what American consumers have apparently been saying, and then we'll have a thread of Americans complaining that everywhere else says it different?
posted by Merus at 1:05 AM on August 4 [1 favorite]


If localized, they’d have no reason to include furigana because English text doesn’t generally feature kanji. Instead, the localization would have a picture of a Famicom anyway.
posted by DoctorFedora at 1:44 AM on August 4


The more troubling implication of this news is that the NESticle (trigger warning: balls) guys had the right pronunciation all along.

Sure, as long as he pronounced it En-ee-ess-tickle like I did.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 4:08 AM on August 4


En Ee Ess, by the way. It's an acronym!

Acronyms by definition are pronounced as a single word rather than sounding out the letters.
posted by biffa at 4:17 AM on August 4 [1 favorite]


This “ness” business is complete bullshit.

It is on the grand scale of things to care about, fairly small. But I'm always interested in hearing how language/slang works in other parts of the world, in other regions. Language is so elastic and fluid, stuff like this is fascinating to discuss, at least to a nerd like me.
posted by Fizz at 4:39 AM on August 4 [1 favorite]


En Ee Ess, by the way. It's an acronym!

Sure, just like it's pronounced ay-eye-dee-ess. Or gee-eye-eff. It's an acronym!

(ness, sness, come on, it's self-evident!)
posted by Dysk at 5:09 AM on August 4


Everything about this timeline wrong. Everything.
posted by srboisvert at 6:32 AM on August 4 [2 favorites]


Here in Portugal I've never heard it other way other than nés and çnés, but at that time they were also a complete non-factor in the market.

So, is this the new Gif vs Jiff ?
posted by lmfsilva at 7:00 AM on August 4


people use "acronym" to refer to the subclass "initialism" frequently enough that it should just be understood, as it reasonably can be in context here, as a metonym rather than prompting pedantry for pedantry's sake send tweet
posted by cortex at 7:27 AM on August 4 [6 favorites]


Zelda is the princeness.
posted by adept256 at 8:47 AM on August 4 [4 favorites]


Animal Crossing:

"Heh heh hehhh hoorf! April Fool! Super Tortimer isn't an NES game."
posted by Brocktoon at 8:50 AM on August 4 [1 favorite]


Sitting. How can you do that while standing?
posted by deezil at 9:47 AM on August 4


Ok, Nintendo, you can pronounce words your own special way, but N.E.S. is an acronym for Nintendo Entertainment System. And we the people shall decide how we pronounce that! And even when you tried to have "Ness" as a character, he had an extra S! Should have named it the Nintendo Entertainment Super System!
posted by lubujackson at 12:45 PM on August 4


people use "acronym" to refer to the subclass "initialism" frequently enough that it should just be understood, as it reasonably can be in context here, as a metonym rather than prompting pedantry for pedantry's sake send tweet

no they don't
posted by biffa at 3:32 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


And the inventor of GIF says it's jiff...

I have here a gift to give her when she comes to her senses.
posted by Twang at 3:34 PM on August 4


It's pronounced "Supa Famicom." In Japan.
posted by zardoz at 3:56 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


hurf durf actually it’s “famicon” in Japan because Reasons

Seriously though this whole thing is a pretty silly controversy overall, and the only thing it tells us is that Japan gets America roughly as well as America gets Japan
posted by DoctorFedora at 4:39 PM on August 4


>I have here a gift to give her when she comes to her senses

Gee whiz, this topic really seems to have hit a nerve. Something, something ginger, giraffe. (I am not good at segues today.)
posted by Greasy Eyed Gristle Man at 5:23 PM on August 4


I have here a gift to give her when she comes to her senses.

What a ginormously generous gesture!
posted by rhizome at 5:30 PM on August 4


I’m surprised there’s any ambiguity about the pronunciation of “jraphics interchange format”
posted by DoctorFedora at 7:21 PM on August 4 [3 favorites]


In an effort to rerail, just last week someone from Connecticut complained to me about how Long Islanders can’t be relied on in Nintendo party games because they insist on pronouncing Mario “Mare-ee-oh.” And I have a childhood buddy who called Capcom “Compum” and honestly still might do so.

But it’s still en-ee-ess, rhymes with vee-aitch-ess.
posted by infinitewindow at 7:32 PM on August 4


> hurf durf actually it’s “famicon” in Japan because Reasons

Ok, now you've done it. You've forced me to be pedantic when I should be doing other things. The original Nintendo--circa early 80's--is the "famicom" a portmanteau of "family computer." The SNES is "super famicom."
posted by zardoz at 5:36 AM on August 5


For super families, presumably.
posted by rokusan at 10:21 AM on August 6 [1 favorite]


Who want to have a picnic at Loch sNes?

(I'm quite sorry.)
posted by redrawturtle at 7:01 PM on August 6


Zardoz, I welcome you to Come At Me Bro, but I am a Japanese-English translator who has lived in Japan for a decade, and I have long held a pretty deep interest in this whole topic, so you may wish to up your Well Actually game. ; )
posted by DoctorFedora at 8:10 PM on August 6


« Older Quicksilver, helping improve Wikipedia's science...   |   My son, Osama: the al-Qaida leader’s mother speaks... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments