Alright, enough is enough!
I’ve got to get something off my chest that’s really been testing my patience for the last thirty or forty years, and that’s the way otherwise intelligent, astute human beings pronounce that word, “Missouri”.
Before we can progress with this invaluable lesson, we should determine whether you are, like myself, a careful practitioner of proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling, or if you are, shall we say, part of the problem.
If the latter is the case, we need to think up something to do with you.
I’m not going to waste time giving you the dictionary pronunciation of Missouri, because that’s only one man’s opinion, and besides, most of the dictionaries I’ve encountered have let themselves become so sullied by modern slang and the sloppy speech patterns adapted over the last couple of centuries that they can’t even agree with themselves on the simple, correct notion that Missouri is pronounced mi-zoor-ee, rather than the coarse, improper, and wholly wrong-headed pronunciation, mi-zoor-uh as practiced by unschooled aborigines and some of the higher primates.
If you are among this unfortunate group of mispronounciers, one of these Missouruh-sayers, I would ask you to listen to reason.
Is there any other word in the English language ending in “i” in which that simple, straightforward vowel is pronounced, “uh”?
Uh… I don’t THINK so!
Do you ever hear anyone say, “Let’s jump in my Ferraruh and drive down to Napoluh for some linquinuh?”
Okay, “Not in my neighborhood”, you’re thinking, but do any of your friends ever say, “Let’s take my Auduh down to Mississippuh for some macaronuh?”
Of course not.
Or did you ever hear anyone say, “My girlfriend wore her bikinuh in Tahituh?” or “Do you really like my minuhskirt all that much, or are you just one of those papparazzuh?”
That’s because in the entire history of the Romantic Languages, an “i” on the end of a word is always pronounced “ee” and only MISpronounced “uh”.
If you have trouble remembering, you might try memorizing this little jingle I made up.
“‘Uh’ is just wrong… So there.”
As my final argument in this matter, let me point out to you that Oklahomans pronounce the name of the little burg near their eastern border “Miamuh”.
I guess if you’re from “Biminuh” or “Fujuh” or “Nagasakuh” you might be forgiven for not realizing it, but if Oklahomans pronounce a word a certain way, then other Midwesterners instantly recognize that this is in all likelihood, not the correct pronunciation.
So Oklahoman speech is the exception that proves the rule.
Okay, I guess feel better now.