Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Pronunciation - Geography Controversy

Posted August 30, 2011 10:17 a.m. EDT
Updated August 30, 2011 10:53 a.m. EDT

Two strong opinions came rolling into our newsroom recently.  One is a pronunciation question. The other relates to geography. I would like to get your opinions as we try to resolve these issues. 

How do you pronounce the Outer Banks community of Rodanthe? Most broadcasters and people I know say roe-DAN-thee. Three syllables with the accent on the second syllable. A caller this morning insisted the true local pronunciation is roe-DANTH. No third syllable. What have you heard? 

Second question: what do you think of when someone says “Down East?” My answer is everything east of I-95 in NC. Some say it’s everything east of Raleigh on to the coast. There is also a vocal group of coastal residents that insists the only true Down East is a part of Carteret County that includes Harkers Island and the communities of Davis, Stacy and Atlantic. Apparently the broad use of Down East is offensive as one viewer wrote: “Please stop calling all of eastern North Carolina 'Down East'. Only a few islands in eastern Carteret County are Down East. Please get your facts straight. Ask any Carteret County local (not tourist). It’s a cool term but facts are facts.” 

Let’s try to settle these questions. Thanks for your help. 

By the way, Tyrell County is pronounced TAIR-uhl. The first syllable rhymes with HAIR. It’s never ty-RELL as I heard the other day.