Tuesday, September 13, 2011

How do you say it?

Ever since meeting Amber, who lives in British Columbia, Canada, I have been thinking about how many of you probably do not know how to pronounce the name of my city... Des Moines... I mean, why would you?? Unless you did business here, or knew someone here, or lived near here, it's completely understandable.

It's not pronounced the way it's spelled and is very commonly mispronounced because of that.

The correct way to say it is:


But, do not pause in between each part. Say it like one word. Duhmoyn. Do not, I repeat do not, pronounce the 's' in either part. If you do so, people in the Midwest will know immediately you are not from anywhere around here (not that you would mind that, I am sure).

Same goes for Illinois. That one actually annoys me. (The Des Moines one doesn't, it just makes laugh a little). It is not Illa-noise. It is Illa-Noy. But, same as Des Moines, pronounced all together. Illanoy.

Hmm.. do I have more?

Kansas City is another one. If you're talking about the state of Kansas, you pronounce the 's'. If you're talking about Kansas City, you do not.

Locals say it like, KansaCity. All one word. The further north you go... the faster we talk, don't you agree?

Is the name of your city, or anywhere near you, commonly mispronounced? Do you know of anymore North American cities that are pronounced funny?


Kara said...

Haha - I definitely didn't pronounce Des Moines right at all!

I can't think of any weird city names! There's a little town just outside of where I (and Amber) lives that I've heard people mispronounce, but other than that, I guess I've only met proper linguists!

Allison said...

I think I thought it was Day Moyn. I definitely don't pronounce the S, but it's French and I speak French so I probably naturally gravitated toward that pronounciation.

NO ONE can say Oregon correctly. It's Or-eh-GUN. I lot of people say Or-eh-GONE or Or-EY-GONE or a variation of that. It drives me nuts!

Lesli said...

My favorite suburb in Minneapolis, Edina! It is pronounced E-DINE-UH. But someone I know who doesn't live here pronounced it E-DEEN-UH. Cracks me up!

Amber said...

Oh yay! Thanks for this little reminder, I was already saying it wrong again. Whoops :)

By the way, I had three Canadian girlfriends over for dinner the other night and they ALL say PASTA NOT PAH-STA ;)

Heather said...

When I moved to Georgia people would tell me I was from Illinoise....NO dont you think I know where I am from? Illinoy people...Illinoy!

I live in Louisville now and even outside the visitor center they have a breakdown showing how everyone pronounces it (Looavull, Luhvul, Lewisville, Looaville, Looeyville). I say Looavull (which is correct according to residents).

Lesli said...

Oh, my gosh, I want to hear Amber say pasta!!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I did not know about the lack of an S when pronouncing Kansas city. I am pretty sure the s gets pronounced in these parts, so maybe that is the way those close to Kansas City say it? How interesting!

I knew how to say Des Moines, mostly because I have lived somewhat close all my life!

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

I honestly think people are stupid when they don't know how to say Des Moines or Illinos but I think it's because my grandma was always a stickler for history/geography and I never knew of a time when I didn't know how to say these things and just think those that say it wrong are pretty silly or just lazy.

Becky said...

I'm glad I say Des Moines and Illinois correctly!

I don't know if there's specific ways I say things living in Northern Virginia, but there are definitely things we do - how we navigate traffic, people tend to talk really quickly, and you tell people how to get places based on time it takes (in traffic), not in miles. I couldn't tell you how many miles I live from my office for the life of me, but I can tell you three different ways (and times) to get there! :)

Shoshanah said...

I can't believe I'm going to admit this, but until a few weeks ago I had no idea Kansas City, KS and Kansas City, MO were actually the same city. I used to feel so smart asking people if they were from MO or KS, and turns out they probably thought I sounded like an idiot.

As for the Des Moines, in theory I do know how to say it correctly. But it just doesn't come natural to me. Every time I want to say the S, but when I actually stop and think about it, then I can say it right.

KT said...

We have a river called the Olentangy. Ole en tan gee.
people always call it olen tangy
Visit much?
Ps lived in west des moines for a spell loved it!

georgia ~ gi gi said...

Hey Amber :)
I saw you on Marisa's Blog, thought I would come visit you. You have a great blog (so, I had to click the follow button :)
I too am a fellow Iowan.
Loved this post, he he!

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

Exactly! That falls along the same lines as when people ask me what part of Virginia I live in. Um.. NO it's a whole state called WEST Virginia.