12/06/2012

Appalachia: It's all in how you say it

I saw this clip in a link on a local tv station's website.  Once you get past that she kind of looks like Waterboy's mom, it's pretty interesting.



I've always heard the word pronounced with a short "a" in the middle.  You can tell when people aren't from the area by how they say the word.  When we lived in Georgia, it used to drive me crazy to hear people say "Chattnooga" for "Chattanooga".  That was a sure way to tell if the person was local or not.  I would think that if you live in the area, you would adopt their pronunciation of certain words.

So, how do you pronounce "Appalachia"?  Are there words in your region that are mispronounced by visitors?

8 comments:

  1. Well, I definitely pronounce it wrong! But I've never heard the correct pronunciation for it, that I know of.

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  2. Interesting post - I hope I can remember to come back and see what others have to say about it. ;-)

    There are three towns in my area that are mispronounced by visitors: New Madrid, MO Cairo, IL New Athens, IL

    New Madrid is pronounced Mad-rid (not Muh-drid, like the city in Spain). Cairo is pronounced Kay-ro (not Kie-ro, like the city in Egypt). And New Athens is pronounced with a long "a", not a short "a" (like the city in Greece). Visitors will pronounce those towns like the well-known cities ... giving away the fact that they're not from this area. ;-)

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  3. I guess I've always pronounced it incorrectly also--using a long a. However, my friend's daughter went to college Appalachia State and came home pronouncing it with a short a. I'm originally from Delaware and there is a small town in downstate Delaware called Lewes. Delaware natives know that it has two syllables and pronounced like Lewis. People from out of state will make it one syllable like Lous.

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  4. I did not know that. I applied for a job at Appalachia State 10+ years ago and fit right in with them because I used the short a. I grew up in South Florida and the word that always got me there was Kissimmee...pronounced correctly is not Kiss M Me. It is Kissim Me. Here in Alabama we have Opelika...pronounced O pel I(stong letter) kuh...most people say....Opeli kuh. Kawliga is the other....it is Kuh Lie Juh....now Cowl I Juh.

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  5. I know I've been saying it wrong!
    Thanks, that was interesting.

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  6. That's interesting. I live in Maryland and a portion of the Appalachian (short a) Trail passes through just a few miles from my home. I'll have to ask around and see how folks here are pronouncing it to see where they stand...although I think I already know!

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  7. Being from the mountains of Virginia, I never know if I count as being part of Appalachia or not...but I do say it "Appa-LAA-cha," not "Appa-LAY-cha." I've had to correct my daughter before, because her teachers (who are from Pennsylvania and Long Island, respectively) pronounce it incorrectly. I never thought about the underlying nuances, though...fascinating!

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  8. It drives me INSANE when people call Illinois Illinois as in "noise". Ugh!

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