I have a client whos business name is TradOut — pronounced like “Trade Out”. What would be the best way to show that the pronunciation should sound like “trade” and not like “trahd”?

We looked into using a diaeresis (so TrädOut), but we found conflicting statements about what that diacritic means. I’ve having trouble finding a clear answer, so I thought I’d ask here.

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    Why not put an 'e' after the 'd'? Or an 'i' or 'y' before the 'd'. Or spend a zillion dollars on an ad campaign to teach the world the correct pronunciation. -Or change the name. – Jim Jul 21 '14 at 16:43
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    @Jim I hope you realise that you're implying that the English language is more important than BUSINESS. – Edwin Ashworth Jul 21 '14 at 16:50
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    @MIchael: are you sure you don't mean TradMark issues ? – High Performance Mark Jul 21 '14 at 16:57
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    Or you could say "it sounds like trade doubt". If you're concerned by spelling issues, try using a macron over the A: TrādOut. If they have a logo, make the macron big and thick on it. – John Lawler Jul 21 '14 at 17:19
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    What @JohnLawler said - except I didn't know it was called a macron - I call it the "long A" line. I've seen other logos use that successfully, like the pipe-clearing product, "Drāno". – Kristina Lopez Jul 21 '14 at 17:25

One - totally forget the diaeresis. It's completely ridiculous in a commercial setting.

Two - If you really want to do alternate spellings for legal reasons (as we say in advertising ... it's "advertising spelling"), you should go with:


which is quite good. No charge! :)

Three - Honestly, I think TradOut is just fine, it's an OK name. The simple fact is this: Nobody's going to confuse it with "trad" (as in, say, "traditional" jazz).

So I encourage you to stick with


Your next stop is godaddy.com :)

Hope it helps.

For anyone reading, the reason american companies in most states are called things like "QuikStik" rather than "QuickStick," is: if they were called "QuickStick" they'd be instantly litigated against, if, the product did not actually stick quickly. It's that simple.

{I always find it kind of ... odd, humorous ... that in say France "weird" spelling is often used of English words in brands/slogans, for a different reason; to avoid having to provide translations of English words used in advertising, as is, generally, required legally!!}

Finally, OP, one of the most valuable entertainment brands of all time -- Led Zepplin -- in fact the reason they spelled it "Led" was that simple reason, same as your enterprise ... so that people would not mistakenly think it was "leed" -- wild eh ?!

  • great answers and comments everyone!! They already have the site and everything. They are sticking with the name and may be interested in the macron. You guys rock!! – MIchael Jul 21 '14 at 18:19
  • They did not go quite so far as to advertise-spellify the second part of their name as Zepplin, though. ;-) – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jul 21 '14 at 20:57
  • Also, given the right context, TradOut will obviously be read as Trade Out. But my first thought when I saw the word, before the right context was established, was of a folk music festival. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jul 21 '14 at 20:58
  • Hi Janus! lol right. Just FTR though, for any new-English readers reading, "Zepplin" (regardless of the spelling) is only pronounced one way, and means only one thing. But "Lead" in English is a heteronym {I had to check that :) }-- it can be "lead" as in "lead guitar" ("leeed"), or it can be "lead" as in "the metallic substance, Pb" ("ledd"). Interestingly note that in typography, you have "ledding". (That comes from the metal, lead, also.) Indeed, some people (very annoyingly!) think that is "leeding" and they pronounce it "leeding" rather than "ledding" ! – Fattie Jul 22 '14 at 8:47

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