At long last, proof that southerners are the only people who use correct words and pronounce them correctly!

I actually do have most of the southern affectations listed here. Some of them I didn’t know were even regional. Does nobody else know the difference between a highway and a freeway? Seriously?! And it’s definitely lawy-er, not “loyer.” What the heck?! (Unless you’ve been listening to too many Grisham audiobooks, in which case it’s “law-yah” PaJAMas? No, no.

Though it’s not on the map, I do hope that someday Nevada and Colorado will pronounce their home states correctly.

Here’s a related map that’s pretty cool. Though, I have to say, it doesn’t correspond with my impressions very much. Particularly of the south. The recordings are pretty interesting.

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14 Responses to Pronunciation Nation

  1. Peter says:

    The biggest language split is one not shown on these maps: the divide between people who pronounce “pin” and “pen” the same and those who pronounce them differently.

  2. David Alexander says:

    Does nobody else know the difference between a highway and a freeway?

    Around here, it’s “highway” or if you’re being a bit more specific, expressway or parkway or turnpike or thruway. The Northeast never used “freeway”, and it’s an easy way of spotting the “foreigners”.

    BTW, it’s a service road, not a frontage road. 🙂

    • trumwill says:

      But highways and freeways aren’t the same thing!

      Frontage road is what appears on the signs back home. But Colosseans actually have a different term altogether for them. I’ve also used the term “access road” but never “service road.”

      • Peter says:

        While “frontage road” is seldom used in the Northeast, there’s a stretch of US-1 in East Haven, Connecticut that parallels I-95 and actually is called “Frontage Road.”

        • trumwill says:

          I used to think that Frontage Road was a really, really long road that used to connect to just about everywhere. Because I kept seeing signs for “Frontage Rd”

      • David Alexander says:

        But highways and freeways aren’t the same thing

        To those of us in the Northeast, a road with controlled access is a “highway”. Everything else is “local”.

      • Mike Hunt Rice says:

        The term Marginal Road is popular in NJ.

  3. SFG says:

    So if the hicks from ‘Deliverance’ and the gangs from ‘The Warriors’ had a fight…

    OK, I know, not PC.

  4. Mike Hunt Rice says:

    I can confirm that freeway is not a term used in the NYC DMA. Maybe because our two busiest freeways are tolled, at least in NJ.

    We also don’t use an article in front of numbered highways, i.e. “80” not “the 80”.

    • trumwill says:

      I’ve called loops and spurs “The ____” (for instance, let’s say very hypothetically, of course that I once lived in the Seattle-Tacoma area. In this completely outlandish scenario I might have called I405 “The 405”, but I wouldn’t have called I5 “The 5.”

      • David Alexander says:

        In contrast, my cousins lived near a three digit interstate which I’ve referred to simply as “280”. If I’m pointing out a routing, I’d also say, “95” or “I-95”.

        • Mike Hunt Rice says:

          I’m guessing they were in the Oranges.

          Fun Fact: Exit 7 on I-280 is for Pleasant Valley Way in West Orange. This street lent its name to the song “Pleasant Valley Sunday”, made famous by The Monkees.

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