City Names (initialism division)

Bob Haas highbob at MINDSPRING.COM
Sat Dec 4 03:17:12 UTC 1999

Don't folks from around the area of San Antonio call it San
Antone?  Just
curious.  Oh, and if West Virginians wanted to initialize
their state, they
might call it "Dub-ya Vee," instead of double-u vee, but
that's just one
southerner's take on it.  Or who knows?  They might watch a
lot of cable
television and call it the Dubba-ya Vee (instead of Dubba-ya
Bee, like that
animated frog).

Amy Speed wrote:

> My theory is that the tongue takes the path of least resistance. "L.A.," for
> example, slides easily over the tongue, whereas "N.H." is not quite so
> slick. After saying "New Haven" and "N.H." to myself aloud, it was easy to
> see that "New Haven" offered the least resistance, especially since the "h"
> sound is easily dropped. The same may be true of "New York," although not to
> the same extent, perhaps. Whether my theory can be applied to all
> abbreviated city names, I don't know. For example, I would think that it
> would be easier to say "S.A." rather than "San Antonio."
> I imagine that residents of cities that start with "West" would prefer to
> say "West" rather than "W." In such a case, "West Virginia" is easier to say
> than "double-u vee." Perhaps residents would say "West V?" Perhaps someone
> from a western place would care to expound on that.


Bob Haas
Department of English
High Point University
University of North Carolina at Greensboro

                       "Shun the frumious Bandersnatch!"

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