Regional pronunciations the locals really care about

I lived in Portland, Oregon for about 35 years and one of the eccentricities of the locals is that they can get almost apoplectic about what they view as incorrect pronunciations. 

The first thing you learn about Oregon—probably even before you move there—is that the correct pronunciation of "Oregon" does NOT rhyme with "hexagon." There seems to be a range of good pronunciations, but what they all have in common is that the final syllable is not pronounced like the final syllable of "hexagon." A lot of Oregonians will say it's pronounced or-y-gun, but many Oregonians will just kind of swallow the final vowel in a pronunciation that goes something like OR-uh-gn.

If you move to Portland, the river that runs through it is the Willamette River. Obviously a French word originally, do NOT give it a French pronunciation. No. It's pronounced will-am-it.

Portland street names can be baffling, too. Couch Street is pronouonced "cooch," and Glisan Street is pronounced exactly like the last name of Jackie Gleason. 

In terms of pronunciation, living in Portland, Oregon was a bit like living in an alternative universe.

What makes Oregonians, and Portlanders in particular, so fussy is hard to say. After all, Texans don't correct people when they don't pronounce "Texas" like a Texan. But there are other places where you can be corrected for not a name like the locals. When in New Orleans, Louisiana, you will soon learn to pronounce the combination nawlins, loosiana.

Are there any regional pronunciations that the locals are sensitive about in your area, or in some area you know about? (Let's limit this to English-speaking areas, please.)

Tags: pronunciations, regional

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Oh for the days of elocution!  Fah-thers cahr is a jag-you-ahrr   hehehe

The capital of New Hampshire, Concord, is often mispronounced and it irks me.  I don't know why I would expect anybody from outside of New England to get it right, but I am always amazed when someone pronounces it like 'Concorde'.  It is clearly pronounced just like 'conquered'.  I am sure I heard it pronounced before I moved to New England in the 7th grade, as Concord, Massachusetts was one of the towns involved in the initial engagement of the Revolutionary War.  Confusingly, people in NH pronounce Concord Massachusetts the same way as Concord New Hampshire, but people from Concord Mass. are more likely to pronounce both as Conkid.

Even so, the Concord grape is rightfully pronounced like 'Concorde' by people from both Concords  , I think.  

If only we could get some sort of concordance on the matter.

I concur.

I don't know why this isn't in the thread already:


....and we say herbs, because there's a fucking H in it. 

Love it!

No pronunciation difference in the key word of THAT sentence!

That's "N'awlins," if you please! I was married to a Loosiana girl for a time --

RE: "(Let's limit this to English-speaking areas, please.)" - that's a bit constraining! So Illinois is out (French), Oklahoma, N. and S. Dakota (Native American), Texas (Tejas) and New Mexico (Nueva Mexico), as well as Arizona, California, Colorado and Florida (Spanish) - I could go on --

And the apostraphe in N'awlins signifies what? a slight pause?


No, it represents a contraction of two words - ain't you got no learnin'?

So, as long as we're talking about pronunciation and not spelling, I was largely right.


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