It is common to notate someone's lifespan using the syntax [year of birth] – [year of death]. When the subject is still living, you simply omit the death year, such as 1994 –.

When reading this aloud, is there a standard way to pronounce the unknown death year?

My hope would be that one is prescribed in a radio broadcast audio style guide, but I cannot locate any.

  • 6
    "Born 1994".... – Hot Licks Apr 14 '19 at 19:34
  • These should be answers, not comments! Especially if you can find some audio styleguide recommending this approach. – Jacob Ford Apr 14 '19 at 19:37
  • 1
    That would require work. "Work!!!" Settle down, Maynard. – Hot Licks Apr 14 '19 at 20:45

Obligatory "I am not a radio broadcaster" (but I am a native American English speaker)

In all cases, when describing human life spans, I've read and heard this phrase read as:

"Nineteen-ninety-four to present" (or "the present" or "the present day").

Other common options include:

"Born in 1994, currently living"


"Born in 1994, not yet deceased"

I would go with the option in bold if I were reading something aloud. Another really common option is simply not to say anything about the death year, implicitly stating that a death has not occurred.

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