Five Things Washingtonians Say Incorrectly. Do You?
We Washingtonians don't have a natural accent. At least, we don't think that we do. When someone relocates here from a part of the country where distinct accents are prevalent, it only makes sense those folks would bring their accent with them.
My cousins from Kentucky, for example, have a very 'Louisville' manner of speaking and a very identifiable accent. They think we'uns all tawk fuhnny. I beg to differ yet I don't argue. Diversity makes the world a better place I believe, but it's interesting when you stop and realize how our language is changing or morphing over time.
It's obvious that there is more afoot when it comes to influencing how we pronounce certain words than just regional accents moving in. Social media and the digital age are having a huge influence as well.
Here are FIVE words that Washingtonians are pronouncing all wrong:
1) Washington. Yes, let's just rip the band-aid off and start here. Many of my fellow dwellers of this state say 'War-shington'. I have no idea why someone would add an 'r' in there but they do. Warsh clothes? Warsh the car? Warsh my mouth out with soap? Um, that's what my Kentuckian cousin used to threaten me with. Folks - the state is named for our first U.S. President - and his name is pronounced: Wash-ing-ton.
2) Bagel. I have a friend who owns a bakery here in Central Washington and he makes some of the best bagels I've ever eaten. I have, however, heard him pronounce them 'Bag-ls'. We should be calling them: Bae-gls. However you may say it, they're delicious!
3) Croissant. While we're thinking of baked goods, and I often do, let's tackle the French word croissant. My dear Mother, a natural-born Washingtonian, and a very well-spoken lady mispronounced this word. She localized it by saying Cruh-sahnt. Napoleon may have objected and insisted upon "kwa-sahn." The T is silent and so am I when my mouth is occupied with this delicious bread.
4) Wuh. As in 'Wuh?' As in, someone, utterly dumbfounded, who cannot muster the strength to toss in just one more letter and instead ask 'What'? It's actually not just people in Washington who have begun to abbreviate the word 'what' with 'wuh' - it's actually becoming accepted in the digital world of texting and social media. To that, I must gaze toward the heavens and ask, 'Wuh'?!!!!!!
5) Prolly. Ok, this is actually a word that has wormed its way into our lexicon. It's lazy-speak for Probably. It's no worse, technically than saying wanna, gonna, woulda, shoulda, coulda. It still reminds me of a school chum of mine who mispronounced almost every word including his name. His name was Bob.