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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Scary Pronunciations

Posted October 22, 2009

It's split about 50-50 in our newsroom.

How do you pronounce the word Halloween?

What about "orange" as in the color of a pumpkin?

And here's another one - how do you say "horror" as in what you're supposed to feel when you visit a haunted house this time of year.

As a North Carolina native I have always pronounced "halloween" with the first syllable sounding like the nickname of Harold. It's HAL-oh-ween. However some of our folks insist on calling it HALL-oh-ween or HAUL-oh-ween.

There's a big football game tonight in Orange County. Is it AHR-eng or ORE-eng County? You decide.

Lynda Loveland used to kid me about my pronuncation of "horror." I used to say HAHR-or. I now say HORE-or. How do you say it?

Weigh in with your ideas and make me light up like a jack-o-lantern!

22 Comments

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  • bleslie Oct 23, 2009

    Hi Celt! Most broadcasters strive for a midwestern or neutral dialect but without the typical nasality from that region.

  • BurninStick Oct 22, 2009

    forehead....4-head or 4-id or fard?

    Tarboro....Tar-bore-o or Tar-burrow or Tar-brah?

    Harley-Davidson....hawg or scoot?

  • Celt Oct 22, 2009

    Bill, are broadcast personnel taught to be accent-neutral when they are on the air? I have lived in many places, and while the accents are markedly different for the population at large (believe me, North Dakota and North Carolina are a world apart)--as a rule, anchorpersons did not seem to have accented speech.

  • thinknc Oct 22, 2009

    hal-o-WEEN AR-ringe HARH-rer CAR-mul

    Care a BE in

  • anneonymousone Oct 22, 2009

    I moved here from upstate New York. "Horror," in my accent, sounds as if I'm calling someone a terrible name. My college roomate from Long Island pronounced it as "HAH-ruh."

    I'm a teacher, and rather than have my students misunderstand me, I have to go through the whole explanation or point to a student and ask him or her to say it instead.

    Here's a weird one: my sister and I both say "crayon" as one-and-a-half syllables long. The first syllable has a short "a" sound (as in "bath"), and the other half-syllable is a very fast schwa (unaccented short "u" sound, such as the "a" in "about" or the "u" in "upon") followed by an "n." It's very close to the first syllable in "cranberry," but with a vowel sound that lasts just a little longer. I've never heard anyone else pronounce it that way.

  • dentech Oct 22, 2009

    Camp Lejeune? Lajurne? Never could figure that one.

  • Downeasterner Oct 22, 2009

    Bill, being an NC native I have to agree with you on the pronunciations. Hore-or sounds too decadent for me.

  • ccccccc Oct 22, 2009

    The first one is for Mike Moss, who mentioned it fairly recently. We Rocky Mount natives talk about going to WILT-suhn.

    I always hate it too when someone wants to AX me a question, not ask. I've even heard we should be discussing pronounciation. :)

  • Freecountry Oct 22, 2009

    I say em like you Bill... HALoweeeen. mater tater piller. when yer from NC it's hard to shake that accent

  • iamyeary Oct 22, 2009

    I don't like how KERR is pronounced in the Triangle. I say K-UR, not K-AR. I used to babysit for a family with that last name, and it was K-UR. I don't see any A's in the spelling.

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