Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Nevada vs. Nevahda

Since I lived in Utah and visited both northern and southern Nevada many times, I know that people in Nevada don't pronounce their home's name the way it is pronounced by millions of people on the East coast.

I have heard every argument, such as the argument that Nevada comes from spanish etc. The majority people living in Nevada are not native Spanish speakers.

Nevada is also a State in the United States (please refer to the treaty if Guadalupe Hidalgo if you are confused about that). While the U.S. is not officially an English speaking country, it is defacto a majority English language country. This means that the residents of Nevada are not wrong in how they pronounce their own State's name.

Some make the argument that by the same standard I should call Paris "Pahreee" and Mexico "Mehico" because the people who live in those places pronounce their homes like that respectively.

This is not the same standard because these are places in foreign countries. Nevada is right here at home. I don't hear people campaigning to call Arizona Addizonah. No one thinks that we should all pronounce California like Arnold Schwarzenegger does.

Is there any other widely mispronounced State name? Maybe I could start some trends like "NayBrahSkah" or "Oh Heeee Oh". I guess Illinois gets the rare mistake of Illinoise, though most people say it right like the locals prefer. Even though this one more closely matches the French name heritage I am sure is the reason for the silent s.

Poor Arkansas...it would be a lot easier if Kansas were "Kansaw".

Every one east of the Mississippi mispronounces Nevada. It is just annoying. Like if snooty people insisted on saying Minnesota with a hard T like MinnesoTAW. How many times could I say Mitchigan before being corrected.

When I tell people here in the central east coast that NevAHda is actually wrong, they say "My Mom says it that way" or "Tim Russert says it that way on NBC". I am pretty sure Tim Russert also lives east of the Mississippi.

I guess I will have to start saying Alabayma (wait this could be correct!) and Noff Cahrowleeena. Still, I am not going to glottal stop my Hawaii any time soon.



Liseysmom said...

It goes both ways. It used to be like nails on the chalkboard when people in Utah would say I was from Merry-Land.

FWIW, I live on the East Coast and never pronounced it NevAHda. But then again, my mom is from Idaho so she prob'ly taught me proper.

Bob Carroll said...

Western States for Dummies