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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

How do you say it?

Posted November 24, 2008 7:54 a.m. EST

Can you identify a native North Carolinian by the way he or she says certain words?

A WRAL story about pecans grabbed my attention over the weekend. Pecan farmer Billy Bunn declared the so-called official pronunciation of the nutritious nut in North Carolina. His pronunciation is different than the one I prefer so I thought I would put it up for a vote.

I started thinking about other words and names that generate varying forms of pronunciation.

Please weigh in on the following.

(1) How do you say “pecan?” (a) pah-KAHN or (b) PEE-KAN

(2) How do you say the second word of “Wake Forest?” (a) FAHR-ist or (b) FORE-ist

(3) How do you say “Carolina?” (a) KAIR-oh-LY-na or (b) KEER-oh-LY-na

(4) How do you say “elementary?” (a) EL-ah-MEN-tree or (b) EL-ah-MEN-tah-ree

(5) How do you say “orange?” (a) ORE-enj or (b) AHR-eng

(6) How do you say “pajamas?” (a) pah-JAM-uhs or pah-JAH-mus

(7) How do you say “syrup?” (a) SEER-up or (b) SUR-up

Here are my answers:

(1) a (2) a (3) a (4) a (5) b (6) b (7) b