Simultaneously in the wild and in print

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sun Aug 19 02:23:45 UTC 2012

A Pennsylvanuan contributes to a discussion of the pronunciation of _Missouri_:

"Now, when I drive up to see cousins I hear the radio call it “Wilks
Barry” and I’m told _that’s the prevailing opinion *anymore*_."

FWIW, WRT the Southern-origin theory, "Missour-uh" is the
pronunciation that I learned as a child in Marshall, Texas - by
coincidence, the seat of Missouri's Confederate government-in-exile,
during the Civil War. After the family moved to Saint Louis in 1941, I
learned "Missour-ee."

And what the Pennsylvanian heard as "Wilks-Berruh" I heard as
"Wilkes-Barruh" - "ah" in eye-phonetics - in the speech of my
parents-in-law. I've also heard "Wilkes-Bar" used by local speakers,
as though they know the name of their hometown only from reading it.
Passing strange.

For the record, I live in a suburb of that city with my wife, a native
of Wilkes-Barre who, despite her parents, uses the "-Barry"

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint
to come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

The American Dialect Society -

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