As We See It

Pronouncing Nevada: Who cares?

Plenty of people, it turns out

Ne-VA-da, Ne-VAH-duh. Can’t we all just get along? Apparently not. The pronunciation situation in the Silver State is bad enough to prompt Assemblyman Harry Mortenson to propose a resolution making the “alternate” pronunciation (Ne-VAH-duh) equally acceptable to the, uh, right one. But why fight it? UNLV American History professor Joe McCullough says it’s a dialect thing, nothing more. “If you say ‘Ne-VAH-duh,’ you’re probably not from the West Coast,” MuCullough says. “It’s so ludicrous that we’re even having this debate, especially in such an immigrant state. There is no official pronunciation of Nevada.” So to all those cranky Nevadans, here’s a proposal: Resist the temptation to correct anyone who says “Nevada” differently than you, especially if they’re a tourist. We need the money, not the judgment.

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Ken Miller is Las Vegas Magazine's managing editor, having previously served as associate editor at Las Vegas Weekly, assistant features ...

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