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#31440 - 06/06/01 04:40 PM Houston--Street or City?
of troy Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
In NYC Houston rhyms with house (mouse, louse). but when we speak of the city in Texas that is Houston (the first sylable is hue (as in hue and cry) or cue. But we are consistent.. one way for the street, an other way for the city in texas..

but we are not alway so consistent.. as an article in this week's New Yorker points out, we haven't reach consensus on how to pronounce the names of a highway and two bridges..

It this a NYC thing? or do you have place about town (or country) that have two alternate (and equally valid) pronounciations?

my other obsession

#31441 - 06/06/01 06:06 PM Re: Houston--Street or City?
WhitmanO'Neill Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/13/01
Posts: 4189
Loc: Rio Grande, Cape May County, N...
Lived downtown in NYC for awhile...so I know Houston Street well, of troy!

In Atlantic City (NJ) they practice the same strange linguistic dichotomy with Arkansas Street...pronouncing it
'ARE--kansas' instead of ' ARE--can--saw' like the state...don't know why. Just a localism, I guess.

Which brings to mind this question...Why do we pronounce Kansas one way and Arkansas another? Anybody have the background on this one? ( I would assume it has to do with has to do with American Indian tribal language)

#31442 - 06/07/01 07:21 AM Re: Arkansas
NicholasW Offline

Registered: 12/18/00
Posts: 393
Loc: London
The territory was called Arkansaw. I don't know whether it's related to Kansas at all. As it was (I presume, without checking a map) originally part of Louisiana, it could have been spelt Arkansas in French and retained the pronunciation Arkansaw.

#31443 - 06/07/01 07:43 AM Re: Houston--Street or City?
Fiberbabe Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/12/01
Posts: 771
Loc: Portland, Oregon
I recently figured out the Midwest's excuse for their insistent mispronunciation of my home state for which I depart anon... apparently there's some little burg in Wisconsin (I think) named Oregon, but they pronounce it or-uh-gone rather than the more melifluous (and right) or-@-gun.

Oooooooh it steams me when I hear or-uh-gone! Agreed, Geoff?

#31444 - 06/07/01 08:44 AM Re: Houston--Street or City?
Geoff Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/12/00
Posts: 819
Loc: Portland,Oregon, USA
Oooooooh it steams me when I hear or-uh-gone! Agreed, Geoff?

I'm amused when I hear folks from Eye-O-Way calling it Aura-Gone. Of course, with the massive population influx, THEY'RE RIGHT!

#31445 - 06/07/01 09:49 AM Re: Arkansas
Sparteye Offline

Registered: 01/05/01
Posts: 1773
Arkansas is a French variant of the Siouxian word Quapaw (also a tribe located in the area around the area where Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Arkansas almost meet, and, additionally, a town in northeastern Oklahoma, between Miami and Baxter Springs, Kansas). Quapaw means, literally, "downstream people." see http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/markansa.html

It seems that Arkansas retained the French pronunciation, while Kansas went with an English spin. The Arkansas River which runs from Colorado, though Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas, is pronouced like the state of Arkansas in Colorado, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, but while in Kansas, it is pronounced "Are Kansas". see http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?threadid=72271

#31446 - 06/07/01 11:22 AM Re: Arkansas
rodward Offline

Registered: 02/13/01
Posts: 609
Loc: Portsmouth, United Kingdom
and do "Ouichita" Louisiana (where my niece is currently on exchange with the National Parks service), and Wichita have anything in common apart from the same pronunciation (I think)?


#31447 - 06/07/01 11:44 AM Re: Arkansas
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
Ouichita and Wichita

Dunno, but the early music group Ensemble Ouabache gets its name from the Wabash in Indiana.

#31448 - 06/07/01 03:01 PM Re: Houston--Street or City?
wow Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/25/00
Posts: 3439
Loc: New England, USA
do you have place about town (or country) that have two alternate (and equally valid) pronounciations?

We have a river in New Hampshire called the Piscataqua.
And a group of folk have a club with the same name. You have to have Colonial ancestry to join.
The river is the Pis-CAT-a-kwah.

The club is the Pis-cuh-TOCK-wah.

#31449 - 06/07/01 05:04 PM Re: Picataqua
AnnaStrophic Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 6511
Loc: lower upstate New York
Odd that both pronunciations supply a gratuitous S (???)

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