Growing up in the North I always pronounced the great Eastern mountain chain - the Appalachian Mountains - with a long a in the middle. Something like "appalayshin" mountains. I also referred to the region surrounding the mountains as "appalaysha".
Since moving to East Tennessee I've altered my pronunciation to the Southern way and I now call it "appa-latch-a" and the "appa-latchin" mountains.
This change is partly a result of joining the scholarly Appalachian Studies communities, within which the Southern pronunciation reigns supreme. In fact, hearing the Northern take on "Appalachian" sounds almost as outlandish now as "Mary-VILLE" (as opposed to "Mare-a-vul" or "Murvul".
I was pleased to hear Stephen Colbert, South Carolina native, refer to the great trail on which Governor Mark Sanford was NOT hiking as the appa-LATCH-in trail, and I thought about how unusual it is to hear anybody of national profile pronounce it that way. Many Southern-accented national media personalities use the Northern method.
How do you pronounce it? And what quirky inconsistencies have you noticed with the pronunciation of Appalachia or Appalachian?
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