Keller @ Large: Why Mispronunciations Are So Annoying

BOSTON (CBS) – Outside of New York sports teams doing well, there is nothing that annoys Bostonians more than the sound of someone mispronouncing local names and places.

Here in our newsroom, we try to make sure that reporters and anchors joining us from out-of-town are well aware that it’s “Quincy,” not “Quinzee,” “Haverhill,” not HaverHill, and “Worcester,” not, Lord have mercy, “Worchester.” It may seem harsh, but just a couple of slip-ups can doom your local career.

And the same goes for politicians.

I’m not claiming it cost him the Massachusetts primary back in 2008, but I know plenty of folks who didn’t appreciate it when then-Senator Barack Obama referred multiple times in a debate to our state as “Massa-too-setts.”

So Donald Trump supporters had to be cringing the other night when their man spoke at a rally in Reno, Nevada and not only mispronounced the state’s name as “Neh-VAH-da,” but lectured the crowd on how wrong they were when they tried to correct him, falsely insisting that “nobody says it the other way.”

That left him wide open for attack from Nevada Sen. Harry Reid, who said that “if…Trump wants to come down from the penthouse his daddy bought him to lecture us on how to say Nevada, he could at least pronounce it correctly.”

If Trump has apologized for his gaffe yet, I haven’t heard about it, but while I know apologies aren’t part of his brand, he really ought to bite the bullet on this one. Just as job applicant resumes that misspell the name of the business get tossed right into the circular file, Trump’s campaign in that swing state is in trouble if he doesn’t admit error.

Lucky for him, Ohio, Florida and New Hampshire are hard to mispronounce.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

More from Jon Keller

One Comment

  1. mstarvin says:

    LOL…Jon you are really grasping for straws now!!!

  2. SG says:

    Ha! We moved here 3 years ago from California and all of my son’s teachers here in this great state pronounce it the same way as Trump. No fan of his, but he isn’t the only one!

  3. bees_knees_6 says:

    I have no problem with mispronunciations. It would be impossible to know how to pronounciate every word with perfection. I do have a problem when folks from the area correct you and you insist they are wrong. That…..please note MO….is why you are not grasping at straws. It is yet another indication that Trump could not admit he was wrong it his life depended on it. Great trait for a president.

  4. Linda says:

    Hi Mr. Keller – I grew up in Quincy, and was always taught that it was pronounced “Quinzee”, supposedly as the family would have pronounced it. Just checked with the Quincy Historical Society, and “Quinzee” is what I was told.

  5. Concerned American says:


  6. Q? says:

    Hw cn ne 1 vote 4 Trump? E’s oviusly ntz along W bn an Rsole.

    1. Q's obese trailer trash welfare mom says:

      “I moved on her and I failed. I’ll admit it,” Trump says in the video obtained by the Post, which notes that it was recorded months after he married his third wife, Melania. “I did try and f ck her. She was married.”

  7. TheOwl says:

    Jon…Picking on Worcester, Jon, but the city has long had problems with credibility when it comes to their name and how it is pronounced. When I was in Rhode Island and had the occasions to visit the northern part of that state and over the border into the Worcester area, many of the natives insisted on calling it “Woosta”.

    As for Harry Reid calling Trump down from his penthouse, he’d have to wait quite some time as Harry summoned this support staff, debated the issue, hobbled to his private elevator to be taken down to the street level were he would invite one of his staff to punch Trump in the nose.

    It will be a wonderful step forward for the Senate when Harry Reid steps down,

  8. Concerned American says:

    it is so over for trump:

    “I moved on her and I failed. I’ll admit it,” Trump says in the video obtained by the Post, which notes that it was recorded months after he married his third wife, Melania. “I did try and f ck her. She was married.”

  9. Trump respects women says:

    “Grab them by the p***y.” – Donald Trump

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