11
Mar
09

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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