Read the full story in the Peoria Journal-Star.
Pronouncing Illinois place names can be a minefield for newcomers. There are Native American-based names that may be unfamiliar. And familiar-looking names may not be spoken as one would expect.
Some of the former are straightforward, lyrical and fun to say — Kankakee, Kaskaskia, Cahokia. Others are puzzlers. How would you pronounce Moweaqua? Or Loami?
But those names are understandably tricky: They’re derived from non-English languages.
It’s the latter category that truly confuses — well-known monikers like Cairo, Vienna and Versailles. They’re known around the globe. But in Illinois, pronouncing those place names the same as their counterparts just wouldn’t do.