I’ve been thinking about how differently we all pronounce certain words. (I don’t know why. Just roll with me here) I often wonder why it is, really, that we DO pronounce them differently. Why is it that here in the US, when we want to apologize, we say “saw-ree” and you up in the north say “sore-ee”? We aren’t all that different, are we?
Then you get people in the same country… take a certain kind of pie that (most) people seem to like. I pronounce it “pe-CAHN”, whereas my friends down south pronounce it “PEE-can”. Then there is the word pie: I say “pyee”, and Southerners say “paaah”.
Sometimes it doesn’t seem to matter where you are from, you just pronounce it however your family does. Take the word creek. I am usually adament that it is pronounced “creek”, not “crick” as many people will. However, when I am talking about a certain small community in southeastern Idaho, it is most definitely Mink Crick. Even if it is spelled Mink Creek.
The town I used to live in during my high school years has a nice name: El Dorado. A beautiful, Spanish sounding name, right? WRONG!!! In that town, it is not pronounced “Elle Doe-RAH-doe”, as it is anywhere else in the world. Here it is “Elle Duh-RAY-doe”.
When I lived in Maine, you knew who the tourists were because they would call our little city “Bang-urr”. It is spelled Bangor, and it is pronounced “Bang-GORE”. Or, if you had a really thick, Down East accent, it is “Bang-ah”. Here in Arizona, the out-of-towners (or out-of-staters, really), pronounce Prescott wrong by saying “Press-SCOTT”. When you come visit, you will sound knowledgeable because I am telling you it’s actually pronounced “PRESS-kit”.
In Nevada, we say “Ne-VEH-duh”, NOT “Ne-VAH-duh”. Just to make that clear. When we moved East, we had to constantly remind people it is “Ore-e-GUN”, not “Ore-e-GONE”, and I don’t know why so many people can’t understand that the “s” is silent in Illinois.
So, pretty much, I’m thinking of place names more than other words. Hmm. What common mispronounciations do you hear where you are? Or what major differences have you heard (with neither actually being “correct”, just different) in your many travels?