Bill would give OK to 'Ne-VAH-da' pronunciation

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

CARSON CITY, Nev. -- You know the old adage: You say to-MATE-o, I say to-MAHT-o. You say Ne-VAH-da, I punch you in the face.

That may sound extreme, but many Nevadans get irritated by the mispronunciation of the state's name -- using an "ah" instead of the correct "a."

However, outgoing Assemblyman Harry Mortenson is proposing more tolerance. The Las Vegas Democrat is working on a resolution for the 2011 legislative session to make the "Ne-VAH-da" pronunciation equally acceptable.

Mortenson says he's not asking Nevadans to change. He just wants the Spanish pronunciation recognized.

Nevadans have long bristled over the issue. In 1944, Reno newspapers even scolded former heavyweight boxing champion Jack Dempsey for his "East Coast" pronunciation during an appearance.

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