As a non-native English speaker I've often wondered how you are supposed to pronounce "Hiero", the main character from the eponymous Hiero's Journey by Sterling Lanier: to my unlearned ear "HEE-ro" (just like "hero") sounds fine but it occurred to me that the name could also be spoken as "HI-ro" (like "hieroglyph", for example), so I'm uncertain which one is the correct pronunciation.

Could you help me solve this doubt?


1 Answer 1


"Hee-eh-ro" (probably).

The Appendix N book club added Hiero's Journey to their list of must-read authors in 2017. As part of their research they evidently spoke to several of Lanier's publishers to glean stories and info about his biography. This footnote is found at the end of the article.

Incidentally, Lanier insisted that Hiero is pronounced “Hee-eh-ro” and not “Hero” or “Hyro”, but he was also tweaking his final publisher Donald M. Grant at the time.

  • 1
    That's the way I always assumed it was pronounced. My assumption was that Lanier must have had his own good reasons for sticking in two vowels right after the H, and the most logical explanation was that he wanted each letter to represent a different sound in the finished product.
    – Lorendiac
    Commented Jul 21, 2020 at 14:04
  • My tendency to pronounce unknown words that look Japanese like they are Japanese pays off once again
    – Kevin
    Commented Jul 21, 2020 at 18:20
  • 1
    Too bad Lanier didn't spell it that way.
    – elemtilas
    Commented Jul 21, 2020 at 19:04
  • 2
    @elemtilas Which way?
    – Kevin
    Commented Jul 21, 2020 at 21:20
  • @Kevin Although Hiroaki (shortened to Hiro) Protagonist has to be pronounced the Japanese way in order for the joke to work.
    – Graham
    Commented Jul 21, 2020 at 22:10

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