Sunday, May 17, 2009

How do you say it?

This, while actually taken in northern California last week, reminds me of my grandfather's farm in Oregon. He lived on Camp Creek Road. To locals this was pronounced Camp Crick and you could easily tell who was from the area or not by how they said it (Several Nevadans have jokingly called me a hick for saying crick). In Oregon you could tell an east coaster when they pronounced it Or-EE-gone instead of Or-a-gun and the tourists called the Willamette river Will-uh-met in instead of Will-am-et. In Nevada tourists do this too (Nuh-vah-dah vs Nuv-aa-duh).

I am of course not immune to doing this myself when traveling. I was corrected a lot in Copenhagen, Denmark. The local family I stayed with was insistent that it's not Denmark but rather Danmark. And I never did manage to get Copenhagen quite right, or even close really, to how it's said there.

How are your hometowns or places you live supposed to be pronounced instead of how they are? And how do you tell who the tourists are where you live?


  1. I'm from Oklahoma, but now live in Texas. Folks around her talk "southern." Their ways are southern. My neighbor thinks my carpenter, who hails from Pittsburg, is "peculiar." Women around here, (except me, perhaps, in sheer rebellion) put their makeup on before they take their morning walk, or go to their mailbox. I, on the other hand, find this rather peculiar.

  2. Yeah, it is a native thing for sure to do the pronounciation thing. Like He-LEAN-a instead of Helena. A-RAB instead Arab. And the most famous down south is Nawlins instead of New Orleans.

  3. I'm originally from Jersey, then lived in the Poconos for six years, after that Oklahoma for another six years, now I'm in Ohio. I am a veritable mess of idioms and mixed accents. Ohio has been the hardest to get used to though. I'm sorry but no matter how many people pronounce "wash" with an "R", they will never change the spelling. I once lived in a town called Marshalls Creek. We said creek, crik, as well. That was Pennsylvania.

  4. How many times did you hear Soo-slaw, during your time in Florence? :)

  5. Starlene - it was so bad when we lived in SW Colorado one of my students insisted there were in fact two different words - wash was what happened when it rained hard and the land flooded and warsh is what you did to clean something!

    I live in a town called Bemidji. It is native american (shortened) it is pronounced Be (short e sound) midge (like the name) E. with the accent on the Be sound... no one gets it right (i.e. telemarketers).

  6. Brenda - My sister always did the same thing to go to the corner convenience store. All the makeup and hair had to be perfect. I don't even wear it to work most of the time.

    Char - I love Nawlins. It sounds so much better!

    Starlene - I know what you mean about mixed accents. I get asked (in my home town, even) where my accent is from because I've managed to add New Jersey and London to my mixed bag. People look disappointed when I say "I'm from here".

    exalthim - Or people calling the town Yachts as yeah-chits instead of yaw-hots?

    Jules - Oh, telemarketers! I love how they mangle my last name too in a such a way that it's hard to tell just how they came to the idea of saying it THAT way!


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