My brother-in-law visited and told me of a house he’s building in Prescott, Arizona. I called it Prescott, just like it’s spelled, Prescott (as in the name Scott). He corrected me and said that it’s pronounced, Pres-kit (like a snake bite kit).
To top it off, he instructed me that if I continued to call it Prescott (as in Scott), people there, if I ever visited, would know I was an outsider.
I hope somebody from the Prescott Chamber of Commerce reads this.
Your town is not pronounced Pres-kit. It’s pronounced the way it’s spelled.
Wyatt Earp and his brother once ran a saloon in Prescott. I guarantee you if you walked into that tavern, and called the place Pres-kit, they’d throw you out through the bat-wing doors into the dirt street.
This isn’t the first time this has happened. We had just moved to Minden, Nevada, several years ago, and went for a short ride to a place called Genoa. A lady at a nearby hotel heard me call it Genoa, like the Italian city of the same name, with the accent on the Gen. She gravely said, as though it was a matter of importance, that it should be pronounced Gen-O-ahhh, with the emphasis on the O.
“If you don’t say it that way, we’ll know you’re not from around here,” she warned.
“But I’m not from around here,” I protested.
The original pioneers clearly named it after the Italian city.
I’ve had it up to here with equity-immigrant yuppies from Los Angeles who sell their expensive homes, move into rural towns, then rename those towns to make them more exclusive and trendy-sounding. Remember that body-snatcher movie where the aliens were after the guy, the last normal man in town?
The next time somebody says, “you don’t call it Scottsdale, you call it Scott-zzzzzz-dole. If you don’t say it that way, we’ll know you’re not from around here.”
When he says that, shrink back in horror, backing toward the door, point your finger at him, and say, “you’re one of them!” Then run, screaming, from the premises.
A Yuppie renames a town using a dumb pronunciation because it satisfies several psychological quirks.
First, if you rename the town, it must be your town, you don’t have to be a newcomer.
It’s the me-generation simply buying longevity off a shelf. You don’t have to wait for it. Since you came from a mindless urban sprawl (Los Angeles), you desperately want a sense of community. That’s why you moved.
How better to feel smug and superior than to have (heaven forbid) outsiders mispronounce your concocted mispronunciation.
Message to old-timers: They may drive up your property values, but don’t let equity aliens rename your town.