MilkWood, Louisville, Kentucky Credit: Jennifer Matthewson [MATTHEWSON.COM]

There’s never been a debate in our house on how to pronounce “Louisville”. When I was a kid, my stepfather made frequent business trips south, guiding his Kentucky sales team on the best practices for selling snowblowers before the Midwest winter began. Sometimes he’d visit for Derby, most of the time it was just on a random Tuesday for a meeting or a regional power equipment convention.

“He’s headed down to Luh-vul this week,” my Mom would say, and we’d all take a second to pronounce it the same way she had, out loud and in our heads. It was a sound you chewed on, something that sat at the back of your throat, forcing you to say it louder than all the other words in the sentence. Luh-vul, I was instructed, a word taking enormous space in your mouth, like a hot piece of food in mid-bite. 

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Published on Daily Blender, December 2017

*Images: Jennifer Matthewson / Daily Blender