Monday, May 18, 2009

Gathering rulings on Puyallup pronunciation

After around 20 years away from the land of my birth and rearing, I'm not sure if this is the land of the familiar for me anymore (more on this later).

I know how to pronounce Puyallup. I also taught my dear wife to share her pronunciation knowledge in public as a tool to make her way in conversation--something in which she has greater gifts than me, but it doesn't hurt to learn the lingo. However, someone told me I pronounced Puyallup incorrectly (pew-Al-up) at a dinner gathering last weekend. Washingtonians are passionate about their place names--gatherings in my Granddad's living room only solidified this point. I even have the textbook of our discussions from his library in my own collection. Puyallup is a pronunciation like potato/potato, tomato/tomato, like the song. I think this place name pronunciation is a matter of preference, not law or rule (Pew-awl-up and Pew-Al-up are both correct) South Dakota has Huron (Hyur-on and Urine are both correct). The dinner partner tried to argue with me--he hinted that because I just moved from South Dakota I didn't know what the hell I was talking about. I'm collecting pronunciations from my fellow native Washingtonians. Feel free to comment.

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