'Venom' Controversy: How Do You Pronounce "Symbiote"?

The official Venom movie trailer finally dropped, and needless to say, it's getting a pretty big reaction from Marvel fans. There have been a lot of debates about everything from Tom Hardy's NYC accent and characterization of Eddie Brock, to how the Venom symbiote looks and sounds. However, the biggest debate seem to be over semantics -- specifically, in how you properly pronounce the word "symbiote."

As you will be able to see below, a lot of Marvel fans are taking issue with the moment in the trailer when Jenny Slate's character -- a scientist working at the shady Life Foundation -- tells Eddy Brock that her corporation has discovered alien organisms known as symbiotes, which she pronounces as "Sym-BYE-ote." That line of dialogue is ruffling feathers with Marvel fans, who have always thought the term "symbiote" to be pronounced "Sym-BEE-ote."

Check out a sampling of the Twitter storm that followed:


For additional evidence, some fans are reaching back all the way to the '90s Spider-Man: The Animated Series, which delivered some spoken-word dialogue on the matter:

Of course, this isn't really a matter that should be left to Twitter debates: the word "symbiote" is actually a real word of the English language, and as such, there are already-established phonetic rules that govern it.

According to Dictionary.com, the official pronunciation is "sim-bee-oht" - which pretty much settles the matter, in terms of the pronunciation debate. However, there are two points to be made here:

  1. While a scientist should know the proper way to pronounce scientific words, it's not out of bounds to have Slate's character have a dialect that modifies the word.
  2. Two, one character's pronunciation doesn't mean the whole movie has dropped this ball! As one level-headed viewer puts it:
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We'll see how the film handles the term as a whole -- or if there will be some additional ADR recorded by the actors to correct the mistake. Still, the error in this first trailer is enough to put certain fans into the tailspin that Sony is making yet another Spider-Man universe movie that won't honor canon properly.

Venom comes alive in theaters on October 5th.