Monday, October 2, 2017

Nevuh Nev-Ah-Duh

When I lived in Nevada, it became pretty clear pretty fast that these are not judgemental people. They're more...leave me alone while I pull this lever people. Get out of my way on the belt loop because I'm not slowing down people. Smokes and cocktails in a whatever the blazes I feel like wearing people.

In other words, if you let them do them, they're happy to let you do you. They don't care.

Except for one thing.

Truly though, if you go to Nevada, you can get away with a lot. You can spend your entire savings on the slots and nobody will bat an eye. You can weigh 450 pounds and wear next to nothing to the theater and its just another night on the Strip. Heck, Nevada is a state where it's actually legal to vote Republican or Democrat or *gasp* even both. But there is one thing you can not, ever, EVER do in Nevada.

You can not say Nev-AHH-Duh.

It's Nev-EA-Duh, with the same bright A as Kansas and California. To a Nevadan, saying Nev-Ahh-Duh is like going to L.A. and saying CAUL-i-fornia, the same way you'd say cauliflower. (Which, in case you've forgotten in our drive-through culture, is a special type of cheese platter.) And, in a state with open-carry permits, this is not a mistake you want to make.

This is how that conversation usually goes:
Tourist: This place is great! How long have you lived in Nev-Ahh-Duh.
Nevadan: You're from the East coast aren't you.
Tourist: Yeah! How could you tell? We're from Boston and this is our first time acknowledging the existence of anything between the Mississippi River and Hollywood.
Nevadan: Here, come with me. There's something special I wanna show you in the basement of CircusCircus...

I'm not even kidding. Trumps mispronunciation when he visited Las Vegas is 99.9% of the reason he lost the state in the general election. (The list of top political issues Nevadans care about is 1. Correct pronunciation, 2. Illegal immigration, and 3. Free Public Parking.)

Just something to think about next time you're stopping through Vegas. Now excuse me, I have to go pack for my trip to New Yark.


  1. Won't say it wrong. Just glad I wasn't there this past weekend.

  2. Ah, the home of the Cartwrights and the Pondersosa ranch!

    So, that's a short A like apple!? Well, I haven't ever visited the U.S. but if I do I will try to remember, only my accent is different in the first place. Where I come from, you'd need a double D to get that pronunciation right. But then again, I have always pronounced "New Orleans" the French way, until an American bookseller told me, "The people who live there pronounce it "Noo Awlins" and they live there, after all."
    Translation and info: Who'd Have Thought?

  3. I have family in Louisville KY - another victim of rampant city mispronunciation.

  4. Love the post. We Brits love having bizarrely pronounced place names in order to expose strangers. We make them as obscure and unlikely as possible and then when someone blunders into town and gets it wrong, that alerts us, giving us time to arrange a mob with pitchforks and flaming torches. Do come and visit!

  5. Oh dear, I sat it wrong! Is being British any good as an excuse?

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