Am I Saying it Right?

by - August 24, 2010

In case it hasn't been as obvious as I imagine it to be, I am from the South. Born and raised a Georgia peach, transplanted to Alabama. And yes, there is a difference.

But one thing most southerners have in common, with the exception of those living in south Florida, is a profinity for drawing out our words. That's right. I'm talking about that southern drawl.

Down here we almost have our own language. We say things like y'all, fix'n to, and yes ma'am and no ma'am. We also have a tendency to change the pronunciation of some very common words. For example, in Egypt there is a city named Cairo, pronounced 'k-eye-row'. In Georgia there is also a Cairo, but it's pronounced 'kay-row.'

With that being said, I should know that it's ultimately inevitable that I've been pronouncing all words correctly, right? Maybe. But there is one word that I've apparently been saying wrong all my life.

Nevada. Pronounced 'ne-vadd-uh'.

All my life, however, I've been saying 'Ne-VAH-duh.' Being politically incorrect and inadvertently joining the mass of people pissing off Nevadans.

At least I'm not alone though.

This whole debate has made its way to the Nevada legislature, where a Las Vegas assemblyman has written a resolution that would encourage residents to be more accepting of the traditional Spanish pronunciation - 'Ne-vah-duh.'

It wouldn't change the pronunciation from one to the other, just make both acceptable. Not a bad compromise, if you ask me. But Nevadans won't hear of it. Some are even calling for the assemblyman to be removed from office.

I guess this isn't just a case of potato-potato.

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  1. That's kind of funny. I've pronounced it both ways, depending on where the state's name falls in my sentence. But I'm just weird like that.