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Thread: Local and regional mispronunciations

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Local and regional mispronunciations

    Last night while standing in the checkout line I was subjected to a conversation between two Texans who were evidently on vacation, or at any rate on a trip up north. One says to the other they would be stopping at the SALT locks tomorrow!!!! (no doubt when they get there will probably eat some paste-tees) I didn't correct them but the english teacher/regional pride guy wanted barge right in and say "NO NO they're called the SOO locks!" (and for the record, those meat pies known as pasties is pronounced "pass-tees")

    I'm sure I commit my own pronunciation sins, though, when I'm out of my element. I would like to travel to New Ore-leens some day. Should I go to N'awlins instead? (how do the locals actually say it?)

    What are some common mispronunciations you've heard of places and things in your region?
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian KSharpe's avatar
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    There's a bit of a weird accent that only some midwesterners have for particular words. Like "measure". They say "may-sure". My boss does this, so annoying!
    And "root" or "roof". They say it with insufficiently long o's (think "root" rhymes with "put".)
    Do you want to pet my monkey?

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    My brother and his family came to visit several years ago and drove through horse country in Kentucky (the so-called Blue Grass region near Lexington) and they passed through the town of Versailles, which they gave the appropriate French pronunciation of 'vair-sigh'. They refused to believe me when I corrected them by telling them it is pronounced 'ver-sales'. To this day they think I'm pulling their leg.

    Dubois County is pronounced du-boys.

    One of the Louisville metro communities is New Albany which is sometimes pronounced Knob Knee or, by long-time residents, as New All-benny.

    And, of course, we have the Lewis-ville, Lou-uh-ville, Lool-vull, Loueyville thing we argue about even amongst ourselves. (For the record, I subscribe to the last pronunciation, and in this I'm absolutely correct.)
    On pitching to Stan Musial:
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    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    I once took a flight to es.Can.a.ba. I almost missed it because I was going to ES.ca.na.ba!

    Of course there is HOUSE.ton street in NYC, and Hou.Ston in TX. Speaking of TX, they have ro.DE.os and in CA, people go shopping on ro.Day.o drive.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

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    Cyburbian Jen's avatar
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    When traveling I had a local Tennesseean actually compliment me on my correct pronunciation of Sevierville.

    I once incurred the wrath of the check out girl for mispronouncing Leppinks (a local grocer) I said LePinks, and its Lepp inks.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    From Central Texas:

    Burnet - BURN-it
    Elgin - EL-gin (as opposed to "EL-jin")
    Guadalupe (and this applies to the street in Austin only) - GWA-duh-loop

    From Oklahoma:

    Chickasha - CHICK-uh-shay
    Hobart - HOE-bert
    Altus - AL-tus (not "AHL-tus")
    Chautauqua - shuh-TAH-kwa
    Stoops - GOD

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    From my days in East Carolina....you could always spot a visitor if they referred to the city as New BERN. Locals all knew it should be pronounced NEW bern.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    Anyone pronouncing the letter "R."

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    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by TexanOkie View post
    From Central Texas:

    Burnet - BURN-it
    Common correction is - I'm from Burnet, durn it! Not from Dimmit, damn it!

    In grad school in Michigan, I used to hear about roof (Ruf,ruf, what are a you, a damn dog?) and garage (G'rage). The funny thing was that it came from two guys from Massachusetts. One was from Peabody (Pibidy) and the other from Worcester (Woosta).
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

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    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    In Montana there is a town named Froid (French for "cold"). The people pronounce it "Freud". I, being raised in south Louisiana and of Cajun ancestry, pronounced it for the first time as "Fr'wa."

    Which made it I suppose sort of a Froidian slip on my part.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

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    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    Of course there is HOUSE.ton street in NYC, and Hou.Ston in TX.
    Houston County, GA = HOUSE-ton
    Berlin, GA = BUR-lin
    Taliaferro County, GA = TALL-iver
    Ponce de Leon (road name in Atlanta) - Ponce-duh-LEon
    I found you a new motto from a sign hanging on their wall…"Drink coffee: do stupid things faster and with more energy"

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Oh, and I can't even begin to tell you how many people neglect to pronounce the implied possessive 's' that should follow various store names (e.g. Meijer's, Kroger's, Kresge's, etc.)
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian Richi's avatar
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    Cairo, GA is "kay roe"

    If you live in Havana, Fl you pronounce it like the city in Cuba. But the yokels from nearby burbs often say "Hay van a". The Town Manager corrected me lonmg ago.

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    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Oh, and I can't even begin to tell you how many people neglect to pronounce the implied possessive 's' that should follow various store names (e.g. Meijer's, Kroger's, Kresge's, etc.)
    "I'm going to the Kroger's."

    That one kills me.
    I found you a new motto from a sign hanging on their wall…"Drink coffee: do stupid things faster and with more energy"

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    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    What about wor-sh instead of wash. I had a teacher in HS that even said wush pronounced like "rush"

    Gedunker, I learned to pronounce is as Lool-vull, but I was taught by a couple Memphis Tigers alums that hated the Cardinals...
    Of course, the town of Louisville near Boulder, CO is pronounce Louis-ville (and you can spot non-locals at this...)

    Quote Originally posted by Maister
    Oh, and I can't even begin to tell you how many people neglect to pronounce the implied possessive 's' that should follow various store names (e.g. Meijer's, Kroger's, Kresge's, etc.)
    My grandparents did this, and I wonder if it is something from your area, Maister. They came to South Bend from Hungary and that is where they learned English. We'd always gets calls from Grandma to "Pick something up from Safeway's on your way over"
    She would even pornouce various parts of the family in such a way. Something like, "On Easter, Andy's is coming over..." Meaning, my uncle Andy and his family will be attending the family dinner.
    I wonder if it is an Eastern European thing, or an English as a second language thing.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Bubba View post
    "I'm going to the Kroger's."

    That one kills me.
    No no no, not THE Kroger's, just Kroger's, as in "Honey, I'm stopping by Kroger's to get some bread and eggs and afterwards I'll go to Hudson's to return that sweater. Is there anything else you need while I'm out?"
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    No no no, not THE Kroger's, just Kroger's, as in "Honey, I'm stopping by Kroger's to get some bread and eggs and afterwards I'll go to Hudson's to return that sweater. Is there anything else you need while I'm out?"
    It's both Kroger's and The Kroger's down here (a regional variant, I suppose). Both make me want to scream. I would rather hear folks say they're going to "the stow" (store).
    I found you a new motto from a sign hanging on their wall…"Drink coffee: do stupid things faster and with more energy"

  18. #18
    Quote Originally posted by zmanPLAN View post
    Gedunker, I learned to pronounce is as Lool-vull, but I was taught by a couple Memphis Tigers alums that hated the Cardinals...
    zmanPLAN -- they must have spent some time down to the strip clubs along Wide Wide Dixie Highway in the southwestern part of the metro because the lazy tongue pronunciation of "Lool-vull" is centered there. About what I'd expect from Memphistos

    Off-topic:
    It cuts both ways, I suppose. There is a town in Brown County Indiana by the name of Gnaw Bone. Scholars think it was named after Narbonne, France and got Hoosier-fied along the way.
    On pitching to Stan Musial:
    "Once he timed your fastball, your infielders were in jeopardy."
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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    In the Cleveland area, there's a local chain of coffee houses called Arabica.

    Locals pronounce it "air-uh-BEE-ca" instead of the more standard "uh-RAB-uh-kuh"

    Buffalonians are notorious for saying EVERY business name in the possessive case, even if it's not a family name; they're far worse than the Detroiters I've met.. "I'm going to the Home Depot's to get some new light fixtures for the basement, and then to the Rite Aid's to get a prescription." In Buffalo, you've got ...

    The Kmart's
    The Home Depot's
    The Rite Aid's
    The Blockbuster's
    The Wal-Mart's
    The Outback's (steakhouse)
    The Barnes and Noble's
    The Bed Bath and Beyond's

    You get the idea ...

  20. #20
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    In the Cleveland area, there's a local chain of coffee houses called Arabica.

    Locals pronounce it "air-uh-BEE-ca" instead of the more standard "uh-RAB-uh-kuh"
    Could be worse, I suspect some folks in Arkansas would probably pronounce that AY-RAB-ick-uh
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Gedunker View post
    less concerned with what old ferts like me think.
    I saw this in another thread. How is fert pronounced in your area of the country?
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

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    Cyburbian Otis's avatar
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    Calais, ME pronounced CAL-lass

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    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    I live in the South, so I hear many variations of many words. Two cities that are spelled the same:

    Albany, NY = ALL-ba-ny
    Albany, GA = al-BAN-ny

    Beaufort, NC = BO-fort
    Beaufort, SC = BU-fert

    Another one...is it ca-RIB-be-an or care-ri-BE-an
    "Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
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    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    If you're ever travelling through the very Hispanic San Luis Valley in Southern Colorado, you came upon a town called Del Norte.

    Now, before you go off thinking of pronoucing it in a very Spanish way, remember that you are travelling through what the locals call Del Nort- Just leave it at that.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  25. #25
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Planit View post
    I live in the South, so I hear many variations of many words. Two cities that are spelled the same:

    Beaufort, NC = BO-fort
    Beaufort, SC = BU-fert
    You just answered a question I've had for months.

    BU-fert?

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