Leave regionalism be

I’m a Westerner. Born in Oregon, raised in California, lived in Nevada, Hawaii, Texas and Colorado. As a result, I talk like a Westerner. Which means when I refer to the great party town that exists at the end of the Mississippi River, I don’t call it Nawrlins, like the people who live there do. I call it New Or-luns. Or even New Or-leens (which really makes Southerners cringe). And I don’t say the name of that fair city’s state, “Looziana,” as they do. Out West, we say, “Loo-ee-zee-ann-uh.” There ya go.

Same with the biggest city in Kentucky. Maybe those locals say Loo-uh-vull. OK, fine. Out here, we say Loo-ee-ville. That’s it. And don’t even get me started with Nor-folk (Norfuk?)

I point this out because where does it say that everybody is now supposed to sound like a local, no matter where you’re from? With no regard for the fact that, in reality, trying to come off like a local is completely phony? Everybody motors around these days saying Loo-uh-vull and Nawrlins even if they’ve never been east of Salt Lake. So, nuts to that. I’m really not all that concerned with sounding like a local. Who gives a poop? I’m a Westerner, and I’m OK with talking the way we talk.

Which segues naturally enough into the petty little shitfits that we Nevadans get all wombly about every time somebody from back East says “Nuh-vaw-duh.” I mean, take your Prozac.

If a Reno anchorman says “Ne-vaw-duh,” that’s a blooper. If a Boston anchorman says it, so what? That’s the way a lot of folks back East say the name of our state. It’s fine. It’s OK. If I demand the space to say “Loo-ee-ville” and “Loo-ee-zee-ann-uh,” I will also, being eminently fair, grant that same space to people from non-Western time zones to pronounce the name of my state with a Spanish style. What the hell. You dig my non-local idiosyncracies, I’ll dig yours.


New topic: OK, we got us a new mega-flick, The Hunger Games. Deciding to investigate further, I downloaded the book and checked it out. Up front, it was labeled as a book for ages 12 and up, so I knew where I was headed—that happyface fluffy zone called YA (young adult). The verdict? Yep, YA all the way. As in, it’s pretty lightweight stuff. As in, Hunger author Suzanne Collins makes J.K. Rowling look like freakin’ Fyodor Dostoyevsky. As in, even in this futuristic, New America setting, it still manages to eventually morph into—what else?—a teen love story. Granted, this might make for a good flick. But it’s basically as advertised—the kind of book you give to your 14 year-old in hopes that he/she will put down the goddamn Xbox and read something, for a change.