Voiceover Voice-over or Voice Over?

5

August 22, 2012 by Emily Lepore

OK, so we’re the people reading the copy not the people writing it. But isn’t there a way we can unite on how to spell what it is we do!? I know we use the spelling “Voice-Over”, “Voice Over” and “Voiceover” interchangeably. We understand the idea behind the spelling, which is what really matters, and you never hear, “it’s not what you say it’s how you spell it”. But I find it interesting how interchangeably people are using these spellings, even within one document!

I’m certainly no English major or accomplished playwright but I’d like to know when I’m not using proper grammar and spelling (common mistakes I make-which is why I’ll continue to READ and not WRITE for mass publications) but really now…what’s the proper spelling for “VO” work?

My agent’s website refers to it as Voiceover.

CESD one of the biggest talent agencies here in NY lists the tab on its website: “Commercial Voice-Over”. The header of that page says: “Commercial  Voice Over” with a visual design in the background displaying “Voice-over”.

SAG-AFTRA refers to us a Voice Over Performers.

In a link on the SAG-AFTRA website there was a workshop announcement with “Voiceover” in the title, stating this was a class for ‘Voice-over talent” taught by a “Voice actor“.

The Mirriam-Webster online Dictionary made me laugh. When I looked up “Voiceover.” I was  directed to the word “Voice-over” with a hyphen. Then a Google generated ad for “Voice Overs” popped up between the Word and its definition. Aahh!

I suppose I’ll never know the answer to this age old debate – are we Voiceover Talents? Voice-over Performers? Voice Over Actors?  Or maybe just VO Worker Bees?

In the end it really is not what you say it’s how you say it. I guess that’s why we’re the ones saying it and not determining the standard English-American way of spelling it! Good thing we are because if were weren’t good at our craft we might have been dubbed as Voice-Unders.

5 thoughts on “Voiceover Voice-over or Voice Over?

  1. vo artist says:

    It happens that way for SEO reasons.

    VO is not web friendly due to VOiP services and the multiple spellings accommodate global spellings of the term in different cultures.

    Ie. This is behavior of a global standard.

  2. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video
    to make your point. You definitely know what youre talking about, why
    waste your intelligence on just posting videos to your weblog
    when you could be giving us something informative to read?

  3. windhound says:

    I think it would be great to be known professionally simply as ‘the Voice’. Although when inserted as a middle name it could make you sound a bit scary as in Emily ‘the Voice”……..When hounds give voice everyone follows so maybe this is the better image. I too like your the writing.

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