Tuesday, April 16, 2013

List on the Internet delights Spokane by reinforcing our belief that everyone mispronounces our city name

Posted By on Tue, Apr 16, 2013 at 10:56 AM

You may have heard that Fox News says Spokane is America’s most commonly mispronounced city. You may have heard this on TV, or seen the link passed around on social media.

There doesn’t appear to be any science or survey behind this list, but writer Laura Kelly appears to be an expert on thing sort of thing — her other recent contributions include “10 coolest 20th century-era skyscrapers,” “7 record-breaking tunnels from around the world” and “8 mind-blowing volcanoes that you can visit.”

Kelly, a probably-23-year-old lifestyles freelancer for Fox News since December, has no apparent ties to the Northwest that would explain Spokane’s prominence on her list. Maybe she noticed all the mispronunciations while watching Gonzaga basketball on TV earlier this year. Or maybe she just did a Google search for “most mispronounced city names” and came across this as the top result. Or this. Who knows? That’s just her job, to type out words in a reasonable order to fill up the internet.

It’s possible Spokane really is America’s most commonly mispronounced city. As far as I can tell there aren’t any real rankings to disprove the list, and of course there’s something irresistably satisfying about arguing over which city is the most wronged. Spokane isn’t the only city on the list getting a bit overexcited about it.

But can we all please agree to stop calling these “rankings”? It’s a list. Written by a just-out-of-college freelancer on the East Coast. Let’s all stop being so excited about things that pass no test of credibility other than reinforcing what we already want to think.

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About The Author

Lisa Waananen

Lisa Waananen is the web editor and a staff writer at the Inlander. She specializes in data and graphics, and her recent cover stories have been about family history, the legacy of Spokane photographer Charles A. Libby and genetically modified food...