How Nevada is pronounced

Ann

The TV hosts and their guests are driving me crazy. The way the first a/"va" is pronounced is not like the "ca" in avocado. It's like the "a" in cat. In Colorado, it's the same; the a is like the a in cat.

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

Nevada and Colorado are both Spanish words. In Spanish a is always pronounced “ah.” Growing up in MN we said “ah.”

In Canada a is almost universally pronounced like “cat” in any word. I say pahsta and Canadians say passta for pasta, as an example.

It’s just different regional accents, I would imagine.

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foodonastump

I say Nevada like cat, but Colorado does not roll off my tongue with the same A. Feels affected when I try. So I don’t. I don’t want to sound like non Long Islanders trying to sound like “us” by saying Lawn Guyland. Which, by the way, I’ve never actually heard a Long Islander say.

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patriciae_gw(07)

In Washington State the locals get all exercised about how to pronounce Spokane or Puyallup but I don't care. I am amused by people who don't know how to pronounce Gautier Ms. For mispronouncers you cant beat the British. It is like it is intentional. I assume it isn't but it does seem that way. Who could mispronounce Paella? Pi-el-a.

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foodonastump

Pi-el-a... I hope that was the “making fun” pronunciation? Just making sure!

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patriciae_gw(07)

No food, that is how they pronounce it. I cant tell you why. Then again why do we say Danube when the river is the Donau? Not in the least unpronounceable.

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blfenton

I;m either doing something very wrong or right. Avocado, Nevada and Colorado are all pronounced like the a in cat. But then I'm from Canada where a's are in abundance and I don't think about it.

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foodonastump

Hmmm. I’m thinking you say either “cat” or “avocado” weird!

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matthias_lang

In Missouri there is a town called Nevada. In the town, they say Ne-vay-da, with "long A".


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cattyles

I’ve always said Nevahda and Colorahdo.

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foodonastump

Yeah but they don’t know how to pronounce Missouri, either.

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

I use the Spanish pronunciation of Nevada and Colorado . . . and Tejas, Arizona, and Nuevo Mexico.

*

I am really annoyed by mispronunciations of bruschetta.

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terezosa / terriks

Yes, Nevada and Colorado come from Spanish, but that's not how the locals pronounce them

And BTW it's O-ree-gun, not O-re-gone

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lurker111

Like potato and tomato. I'll stick with what we learned in school and used for the last 50 years. Colorado is like the John Denver song, Rocky Mountain High, and we use the ah for Nevada. The other way just doesn't sound right.

Edit: We say Or-again. :^)

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Ann

Well, the Nevada caucus is next Saturday. Later in the week, once the people from the state of Nevada are all over the news, I'm sure we'll regularly hear the correct pronunciation of the state.

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Ann

Regarding Colorado, I found this in an article from our local 9News source. I'm most definitely in the "rad" group and I am one whose parents, grandparents, and even a great grandparent was born in the state (in the 1870s).

"Rich Sandoval, a linguist with MSU Denver, says pronouncing the middle of the word like "rad" (rhymes with bad) is habit of locals, or "natives."

We saw that a lot in our feedback after this story aired. Many viewers who say they were born here, and say their parents and grandparents were born here, told us they pronounce it with "rad." But that's not true for all natives. Two members of the Next team, who are from Colorado, pronounce it like "rod.""

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Ann

Terezosa, I'm glad to know that. I thought it was Or-uh-gun.

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

I pronounce Oregon like lurker does, possibly with more “in” than “an” at the end (depends on how s/he says “again”!)

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Ann

Googling Oregon, one local wrote OR-ih-gen (with the OR purposely capitalized to show stronger emphasis on that syllable). I thought that looked pretty good because another local in that same discussion ended it with "gun" but then said the u was a bit lighter than in gun.

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terezosa / terriks

Or-uh-gun is fine. It's the last syllable that is usually pronounced incorrectly. It does not rhyme with gone.

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Toby

There's no gun in Oregon. It's Or-i-gin with a hard g.

I also say ah in Nevada and Colorado.

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arthurm2015(Micro-Climate, Zone 10b Sydney, Australia)

I suspect that the average Australian would say Nevahda. Why???? Maybe just copying how it is said in American Movies or TV programs.


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terezosa / terriks

I live in Oregon, and the way that Oregonians pronounce the last syllable is gun. I've seen bumper stickers like this one for as long as I've lived here.


Nevadans that I know pronounce the first A like in ad(vertisement), not ah, despite it being a Spanish word.

This pronunciation guide is from the UNLV website

https://www.unlv.edu/news/article/you-say-nevada-i-say-nevada

And

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=oXNKQW7QQFc



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wildchild2x2

Nev-Ad-a. The Ne-Vah-da sounds like something an east coast transplant wold say trying to be "correct".

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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

'For mispronouncers you cant beat the British. It is like it is intentional.'

People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

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lurker111

Dictionary.com gives both pronunciations so it really doesn't matter.

Nevada[ nuh-vad-uh, -vah-duh ]

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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

A miracle. First time I've ever agreed with lurker. It really doesn't matter.

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foodonastump

Yeah at a certain point you have to accept that there are multiple pronunciations; it’s often a regional thing. So when we start hearing national news about Ne-vah-da it’s not because the correspondents are ignorant.

With foreign words it’s sometimes difficult to decide if it’s an accepted Americanization or if it’s ignorance. Now I know how to pronounce the broo-skeh-ta mentioned above, but there’s a good chance that if I ask for it even at an Italian restaurant, I’ll be repeating it a few times before they’re clear on what I’m requesting. Same with yee-rōs. My wife’s family would throw olives at me if they heard me talking about a jai-rō but ask for a yee-rō at the Greek diner and you’ll be repeating yourself.

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ohiomom

What tickles me is when TV personalities and others try to pronounce Cuyahoga, slips off my tongue but for out of towners it is funny to hear them try to say it.

Don't sweat the small stuff (^_^)


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foodonastump

Now GPS, definitely ignorant!

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queenmargo

Here some say Miss-ur- rah or some say Miss er ee. I say Misery;)

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Toby

The last syllable in Oregon is not a distinct "gun" sound. My friend who has lived in the Pacific Northwest her entire life, forty of those years in Oregon, says Or-ih-gin. Pay attention to the shape of your lips when you say the final syllable, not the sound it makes. Is it an e, an i, or a u?

Ann was close here, but the final syllable is closer to gin:

Googling Oregon, one local wrote OR-ih-gen (with the OR purposely
capitalized to show stronger emphasis on that syllable). I thought that
looked pretty good because another local in that same discussion ended
it with "gun" but then said the u was a bit lighter than in gun.

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Ann

I don't think the proper pronunciations of some of these states is a matter of debate or choice. Go to Nevada and say Nevahda and the locals will smile and correct you, as is appropriate. Same thing if you say Colorahdo. Clearly, ORihgin is another example, so why would I want to go to Oregon and say Oregone. Being "stubbornly" wrong is still wrong (and a bit silly).

I recently went to Buenos Aires and the way I butchered Aires previously, I quickly changed. Same situation with Beaufort, SC.

I'm happy to learn the correct pronunciation and you won't hear me say, "The way I pronounce it is....", if the way I've pronounced it was the wrong way. That's a strange choice. While it may be a "regional thing", I think it's often more a "regional mistake", when it comes to the choices of those from other regions. But, I think by the time Saturday rolls around, we just might be hearing less on the news about "Nevahda" and more about Nevada:)

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terezosa / terriks

I don't think the proper pronunciations of some of these states is a matter of debate or choice. Go to Nevada and say Nevahda and the locals will smile and correct you, as is appropriate. Same thing if you say Colorahdo. Clearly, ORihgin is another example, so why would I want to go to Oregon and say Oregone. Being "stubbornly" wrong is still wrong (and a bit silly).


Absolutely correct.


Here is a pronunciation guide for Oregon


https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WtAPSR6KNT4


Nevada


https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=oXNKQW7QQFc


Colorado


https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=GQEF0worOwM


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Toby

I hear Or-ih-gin when he says it in his natural voice. Then when he pronounces by syllables, he changes the final to "gun". Funny!

I do say Nev-a-da, not Nev-ah-da. But I say Co-lor-ah-do, so I do pronounce them differently. Not sure I've ever heard anyone say Nevahda.

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Ann

I think when you slow most multi-syllable words down to individual syllables, each pronounced alone, they come out "stronger" than they do when the word is pronounced naturally and without any particular emphasis. For example, when I slow down Colorado, I tend to pronounce the second syllable more like oh and when I say it naturally, I tend to pronounce the second syllable more like uh. But, in both cases, I correctly pronounce the third syllable as ra (like rad) rather than ro (like rod) :)

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dublinbay z6 (KS)

"Go to Nevada and say Nevahda and the locals will smile and correct you, as is appropriate."

Unless you are in Nevada, Missouri (as mentioned above). In Missouri you will promptly be informed (with a bit of scorn) that that town is pronounced Nevahda (long 'a' in middle syllable). And that is the correct pronunciation of that town's name.

It's kind of like tourists in the Black Hills of South Dakota telling residents that they drove through the state capital--Pee-air (French pronunciation of Pierre). Sends the S.Dak. residents into convulsions of laughter. Everybody who lives in that state knows the state capital is pronounced Peer.

And I'll never forget a group of convivial born and bred southerners telling me one evening over stimulating drinks that I wouldn't be allowed to leave Texas until I learned to properly pronounce New Orleans. Not as I was taught in my northern home state--are-LEE-ons (3 syllables, second one accented), but OR-luns (2 syllables, first one accented).

Or, at least, that is what they said, though my phonetic spelling may not be as precise as I would wish. I do know that they taught me so well that I can hardly remember how to say it with 3 syllables.

Kate

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Toby

If it's a Spanish word, it should be pronounced with Spanish vowels.

The desperado in Colorado....

It seems the origin of Origin is in dispute.

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Toby

Now, when someone says axe instead of ask...

Blacks say axe. This might help you be more tolerant. I promise to be more tolerant of it too, now that I know.

The first thing to understand is that, for black people, “ax” has a
different meaning than “ask.” Words are more than sequences of letters,
and “ax” is drunk in from childhood. “Ax” is a word indelibly associated
not just with asking but with black people asking. That sentiment alone
is powerful enough to cut across conscious decisions about what is
standard or proper.

“Ax,” then, is as integral a part of being a black American as are subtle aspects of carriage, demeanor, humor and religious practice. “Ax” is a gospel chord in the form of a word, a facet of black being — which is precisely why black people can both make fun of and also regularly use “ax,” even as college graduates.

Yet nothing can stop people from hearing “ax” as illiterate, which makes the word a small tragedy in its way. When a black speaker gets the most comfortable, the most articulate, the most herself — that is exactly when she is likely to slide in an “ax” for “ask.” Immediately she sounds ignorant to any nonblack person who hears her, not to mention to quite a few black ones.

Yet I hope that my small contribution to the pro-axive literature might help some of us hear “ax” in a different way. The simple fact is that because “ax” is blackness, it has survived and will continue to.
https://www.latimes.com/opinion/la-xpm-2014-jan-19-la-oe-mcwhorter-black-speech-ax-20140119-story.html

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Toby

One regionalism that bothers me is "whenever" when they mean "when".

Whenever I go to the movies, I sit close to the screen.

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Nana H

Noboby who is actually from Toronto would ever pronoun the second " t" although I suspect the official pronunciation does include the second " t".

We say Torono . The American hostages in Iran who escaped posing as Canadian citizens were actually taught how to say Toronto in Canadian speak.

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lurker111

Yeah, I had a black coworker say "Let me ax you a question". I corrected him and he told me that black people couldn't say ask. I axed him if he could say mask...he could.

Edit: Blacks from my generation can and do say ask. I questioned a black lady who worked in the office about our coworker, and she was pretty let down with him. "OMG. That's bull." Tommy was an uneducated groundskeeper. I have a black relative who speaks perfectly.

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roxsol

What a fun thread!

Why do some pronounce height with a “th” sound at the end? It’s hite not hythe.

Or asphalt as “ashfault” instead of “assfault”?

Ha! And why doesn’t ratio rhyme with patio?

Or baseline with Vaseline?

Language is funny.

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roxsol

.....who is actually from Toronto....

And if you are from Calgary, you know it is pronounced “kalgree” not “kalgarry”.

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Izzy Mn(4)

In Minnesota I've heard it pronounced a few different ways by native Minnesotians. Northern Minnesota does have a regional accent, or at least different pronunciations of some words.

So is it:

Minnie-soda or

Minna-sota or

Minnie-sota

Minna-soda

I'm not sure if there is a "correct" way to pronounce.

I have a difficult last name to pronounce, I answer to whatever pronounciation.

There is actually a musical How to speak Minnesotan, it's could be better than some, pass the butter please.

But this isn't it.

https://youtu.be/vm-MrkoJPC8


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Toby

I corrected him and he told me that black people couldn't say ask.

It is actually a fact that some people who grew up with one language cannot make certain sounds from another language. An Assyrian friend of mine cannot say the W sound. She and her sons say V instead. Try rolling your Rs if you aren't a native Spanish speaker.

If you have a knowledge of linguistics and how we acquire language, you won't be so quick to judge how others pronounce words.

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Nana H

Don't get me going on Eyeraq and Eyeran...it is eeran and eeraq.

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Izzy Mn(4)

My son and I can not roll R's if our life depended on it.

Asian languages contains no L's.

I stand corrected, Chinese don't have L in their language, other Asian languages do.

Update----maybe it's the Japanese language I was mixing it up with, kind of.

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2009/09/more-on-ls-and-rs-in-japanese/27388/

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Ann

I can't roll an R either:)

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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

Many Asian languages contain an L sound. Not least Chinese.

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terezosa / terriks

Toby

Now, when someone says axe instead of ask...

Blacks say axe. This might help you be more tolerant. I promise to be more tolerant of it too, now that I know.


All, black people? I think not.

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chipotle

Louisville





New Orleans




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dublinbay z6 (KS)

I grew up close to the Minnesota border. We always pronounced it min-e-SO-d/tuh.

The d/t there is my clumsy attempt to indicate a "soft" t sound--almost like a soft "d."

Never heard anyone pronounce it differently.

I'm still confused on New Orleans--other than "orleans" is NOT 3 syllables--like I heard a weathercaster pronounce it not too long ago.

Kate : )

ETA: I can kinda manage a bit of a rolling "r" if I really concentrate hard on doing it. Sure doesn't come naturally or easily, however.

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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

Izzy, I think you've misunderstood me. Chinese does have L sounds, as do hosts of other Asian languages.

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patriciae_gw(07)

We all know that if we were transported back in time to Elizabethan England we wouldn't be able to understand anyone. language changes.

floral, you are right but I was just kidding. Americans are just as obstinate about how things are pronounced. We have multiple midwestern cities named after cities elsewhere in the world and who would ever figure how to say New Madrid or Lima or Pierre if they weren't local. My own pet peeve of mispronunciation is Pecan pronounced Pu con' not pee' can. There is an old joke down south about slop jars.

My own grannie lived in Piave Ms Locals said Pee' ahv or if you were old timey locale Pee ivory. It is French like Gautier which is pronounced Go' shay.

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woodnymph2_gw

If you don't want to hear "axe" for "ask", don't come to South Carolina!

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cattyles

New Orleans seems to enjoy strange pronunciations. They’ll correct you over BurGUNdy Street and Callyope (Calliope).

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queenmargo

If you don't want to hear "axe" for "ask", don't come to South Carolina!

That one really grinds my nerves lol lol

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chipotle

My own pet peeve of mispronunciation is Pecan pronounced Pu con' not pee' can.

I've only heard the pee can pronunciation in the south. It's always been puh chan for me.




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Kathy

Pronunciations can get very complicated depending on the language you are speaking. Here’s two interesting articles. One about AX spoken for over a thousand years and the other about pronunciations depending what language you are speaking.


https://youtu.be/1WilA0ALS18


https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/people-have-been-saying-ax-instead-ask-1200-years-180949663/


Like many of the words we use today, ask comes from an Old English word. In this case, the word is acsian, and it can be traced back to the eighth century AD. And, sure enough, it was pronounced ax-ian. As Old English evolved into Middle and then modern English, the word became asken and then ask.

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roxsol

That one really grinds my nerves

Now that made me laugh!

An “aks” to grind.

I like stuff like that.

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cattyles

Have we done this quiz before? It places your region by dialect.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/upshot/dialect-quiz-map.html

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roxsol

cattyles, I know I’ve mentioned this before, but every time I see your name, the voice in my head says cat tails with a southern accent:) cat-tyles

( I know it’s catty-les)

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

There’s a book called How to Speak Minnesotan too. It’s a riot.

I say minna-so-duh but I don’t have a strong MN accent, never did really. The old timer Scandinavians put a strong emphasis on the “o” sounds and kind of draw it out and that’s the stereotypical MN accent in movies etc. “Min a soooh duh.”

When people say Minnie-sota they are generally being goofy, in my experience, but I’m from the North so they could be poking fun of themselves, who knows?

I say “whenever” pretty much all the time, sorry Toby lol.

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

My inner voice says catalyst for cattyles!

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cattyles

My nickname is Les, or Lester, and I have too many cats. So I’m catty. 😇

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Ann

I'd like to take that quiz, but it's asking me to create an account first:(

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patriciae_gw(07)

Cattyles, how can you have too many cats? I have had in the past many cats but there were never too many.

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elvis

How about those idiots from Illinoys?

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wildchild2x2

If it's a Spanish word, it should be pronounced with Spanish vowels.

Well then don't forget to roll those Rs. I guess my home state would be Cal-ee-forrrr-nee-ah. Arnold had it right I guess but for the lack of R rolling. LOL

I am not a native Spanish speaker and I can roll Rs just fine.

I have spent a good deal of time both in Oregon and Washington. Never heard anyone say Ori-gin. Now let's discuss The Dalles, Oregon.

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batyabeth

yup illinois is pronounced without the last s. shi caw-go or shi-cah -go? I'm a third generation native and say shicawgo. And the city in texas, Houston, is different than the street in NYC, Houston, which is pronounced House-ton. I'm told a native New Yorker can always tell a tourist by how they say this one street name.

I teach English as a foreign language and lemme tellya, there are SO many things I just can't explain the reasons for, except to say, "that's the way it is". Not even going to touch the differences between American and british or any other countries' english!

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mudhouse

Just to loop back to the OP, I just heard Nevada Representative Dana Titus on television, discussing the upcoming Dem primary there. She was asked about the Iowa caucus problems, and she said, "Nevada" (pronounced just as Ann says) "is not Owa."

Owa? That's as close as I can get to how she said it. No, Owa might be what you say if you hit your knee, but it's not how you pronounce the state where I was born. The correct pronunciation is clearly closer to eye-oh-wah.

So Nevadans may be right about how they pronounce Nevada, but...

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Ann

I have to give liberal media far more credit than conservative media when they discuss Nevada. I watched quite a bit of MSNBC yesterday, and I'd guess about 75% of their reporters and guests pronounced Nevada correctly. I think we'd have to reverse that for what I've heard on Fox News.

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Ann

I wonder if liberal media ratings will get quite a surge in upcoming months (until a nominee is in place). I'm finding their coverage of Dem candidates more interesting/feisty/concerned than Fox News coverage of the candidates. I'm probably watching MSNBC at least as often as Fox News for now:)

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Nana H

I'll give you credit Ann, between the two of them I would have a screaming headache by bedtime.

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queenmargo

Nothing use to drive me more crazy then when I heard Obama say "Pahck-e-ston"

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Nana H

Actually I believe he was pronouncing it correctly. He also knew how to pronounce Iran ,Iraq and Afghanistan correctly.

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Toby

I had a neighbor from Colorado who said "code" for cold. I thought it was just her but we have a weather girl from Colorado on our local news who says it's going to be code this week. Maybe even coder next week!

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dublinbay z6 (KS)

I've often noticed the opposite in the upper midwest--omitting the "ld" when it precedes a negative contraction--as in, couldn't pronounced as "cou'n'" and wouldn't as "wou'n'."

I don't think the final "t" completely disappears--its more like it is "swallowed" and therefore only barely heard, at best.

Kate

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lurker111

Dudn't instead of doesn't is another.

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elvis

Agree, Batya. Definitely Shi-CAW-go.

Kate, I don't know how you define "upper Midwest", but I've never heard what you described^^^.

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foodonastump

I know exactly what Kate is describing but I’m not placing the accent associated with it. If you add in a glottal stop and a wagging finger I now see a black woman scolding, “Oh no you di’n!” Which makes me wonder if the “swallowed t” is heard in some southern accents? But again I’m not placing it, convincingly, in my mind.

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dublinbay z6 (KS)

I have no idea, Food. Interesting point, however.

Elvis, you do like to pick fights, don't you.

To me, upper midwest is, generally speaking, the Dakotas, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska.

However, if you want to claim part of that designation, I have no objection. I have never lived in the area you refer to, so I can't say I know for sure what they call themselves.

Or perhaps we are encountering another common "divide." Where I come from, the midwest is immediately west of the Mississippi River, whereas people to the east of it are vaguely "easterners." However, I've been told that people from the area immediately east of the Mississippi consider themselves to be Midwestern and they lump my "midwest" in with the "West."

Guess it all depends on which side of the Mississippi you are standing.

Kate

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Costly and often unnecessary, basements may become obsolete — if they aren’t already. Here are responses to every reason to keep them around
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