Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Looavul... Luhvul...

Darrell Pursiful (aka Dr. Platypus) discusses one of the most charming aspects of speech throughout the state of Kentucky (and my hometown of Louisville in particular): its occasional removal or alteration of a syllable or two, often in the names of places, to create a new, seemingly inexplicable pronunciation. I can provide firsthand evidence of this practice: my paternal grandmother is from a small town in Marion County, the geographic center of the state. The name of the town is spelled "Lebanon," but locals (and all others in the know) pronounce it "Leb-nin." If you want to spend some time in Kentucky, you'd better figure this stuff out. ;-)

Darrell also provides an image of a helpful banner placed throughout Louisville by the city's tourism board; most people prefer one of the first two pronunciations listed there.

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