I was feeling rather puffed up over myself when I first started talking about moving to Staunton, Virginia and would correct my New England friends over the proper pronunciation.
“It’s pronounced stanton. The u is silent,” I would offer up. My friends would nod at my sage wisdom, and I thought that armed me well enough to move to a part of the country and to a city of 24,000 souls where the only soul I knew was my new Virginia realtor.
My sister and her husband had made the pinky swear to move here too, although they still need to sell their Tennessee home. I am now the family pioneer or ‘recon team-mette.’
Much of the towns’ architecture is thanks to T.J. Collins who served in the Union Army during the Civil War before becoming an architect.
How many buildings in Staunton bear his Southern stamp , you may ask?
Now that I have one week in this very pretty town under my belt, my brand-spanking new friends, Mari and Mike have further educated me on phonetics that are true to Virginia and Virginia alone. We met during a two-hour historical tour of a downtown dripping with ornate architecture and small-town history.
Did you know: the reason there are so many vanity license plates in Virginia is because it only costs an additional $10 to register your plate in such meaningful phrases as “W84JSUS” or “LUVCATZ“?
“Weyers, as in Weyers Cave,” coached Mari during a recent phone call, “is pronounced like weird not like why.’’ She outlined other location pronunciation examples that are not what they may seem when it comes to the actual vernacular. I should’ve taken notes.
And forget Luray Caverns. I’ve been pronouncing it my whole life as if it’s a distant, dank cousin of somebody named Lorraine. “It’s looray“, said Mari. Who knew?
Don’t even get me started on Buena Vista.