Is Greenville pronounced "Green-vil" or Green-vul?"
Does the Ravenel Bridge cross the "COO-pur" or "CUP-puh" River?
The South Carolina Information Highway Web site, www.sciway.com, a directory of state information, recently tested residents' pronunciation skills for places that often are mispronounced.
The site asked people to write in with places that they had trouble pronouncing or heard others stumbling over. After receiving dozens of e-mails and speaking with many locals, from Chamber of Commerce representatives to librarians, fishermen and teachers across the state, the Web site now boasts a comprehensive list of frequently mispronounced places and the "correct" ways to say them. Here are a few Lowcountry area names:
--Beaufort - BU-fort
--Berkeley - BURK-lee
--Clemson - CLEM-zun, CLEMP-sun, CLEM-sun
--Cooper - COO-pur, CUP-puh
--Edisto - EH-dis-toe
--Huger - HU-gee, u-GEE
--Kiawah - KEY-uh-WAH
--Legare - le-GREE
--McLeod - muh-CLOUD
--Moultrie - MOOL-tree, MOLE-tree
The Web site states that South Carolinians alternately pronounce places ending in "-ville," sometimes stressing the "-ville" and sometimes de-emphasizing it. An example would be Greenville, interchangeably said GREEN-VIL or GREEN-vul. Others include Abbeville, Graniteville, Leesville and Summerville.
The "correct" way to pronounce any place name can be subjective, and may change over the years as residents come and go, the Web site reads.
A full list of places in South Carolina can be found at www.sciway.net/ccr/sc-pronunciations.html. For more suggestions about mispronounced places, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.