Now there’s no excuse for mispronouncing the names of Wisconsin places and people. Wisconsin Radio Network reporter Jackie Johnson, AKA Miss Pronouncer, has created a Web resource devoted solely to state phonetics. Site visitors can click on hundreds of Wisconsin-specific names for online audio pronunciations–places like Muscoda (MUS-kuh-day) and people like Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila (kuh-BEER BAH-zha bee-uh-MIL-uh).
At her Web site MissPronouncer.com, Ms. Johnson writes, “I started out pronouncing all the names you’ll hear on this Web site myself, but in the cases when you’ll hear other voices, such as many of the lawmakers and cabinet members, those are the actual people pronouncing their own names. The exception is the voice pronouncing athletes, which has Wisconsin sports guru Bill Scott at the microphone.” She came to Wisconsin Public Television‘s Madison studios for an interview with Frederica Freyberg of Here and Now a while back.
If only Miss Pronouncer would head west to my home state, South Dakota. The state capital is PEER, folks. Not pee-AYR.