Awhile ago, I took a clickbait internet quiz to see where I was from based on how I spoke. Did I say, “Coke” or “soda” or “pop” for a sugary, carbonated beverage? “Ay-pri-cot” or “a-pri-cot” to describe a fuzzy fruit? “Rooooof” or “ruhf;” “crick” or “creek;” “malk” or “melk” or “milk…”
The neat thing about this highly-scientific and accurate test was that the designers included a map with a target-type graphic. Every answer I gave sent the reticule to one location or another around the United States. And, believe me, mine was flying all over. My saying one thing suggested East Coast; another said somewhere in the ocean; perhaps the program was trying for England? I felt a bit proud that I couldn’t be placed -probably a relic of my younger years when I really wanted to be a secret agent.
Recently, however, my friend corrected how I said, “Appalachian.” I’d learned to say the ‘a’ before the ‘chian’ with a long vowel sound: “A-ppa- lay-shan.”
“How’d you say that?” she demanded. “It’s ‘A-ppa-lah-shan.'”
I thought to correct her. This had to be an accent thing since she’s from The South. Then, I used my ol’ phonetic skills and thought, Ya know; I think she’s right…
Still, I’ve heard how the newscasters have been throwing around, “Ne-vah-da” and “Or-eh-gone” lately. I can be smug in knowing those are “Ne-va-da” and “Or-eh-gun.” Right?
It’s true that certain regions pronounce certain locations a certain way. There’s good reason for that know-how with some of those. For example, I have no idea how to say, ‘Worcestershire.’ Of course, visitors to Utah are sure to butcher ‘Mantua’ or ‘Tooele.’ Do you know how to say them?
Besides honing my spy skills further, I’m curious: what are some strange names of cities or landmarks near you? What are some odd ways your community pronounces some everyday words?
Tuesday, December 29: Shared “We-Resolution” to encourage more humorous limericks.
Thursday, December 31: Wrote another update on Coronavirus life at home. You know, now that I’m not at home so often.
Sunday, January 3: Poemed whilst in a dismal mood. Cancer sucks.
Monday, January 4: Shared a quote by Glennon Doyle.
I also posted random thoughts of mine on my motherhood site.
©2021 Chelsea Owens