The pronunciation of Missouri place-names
With the current nationwide acceptance of the daily newscast as an integral part of American Journalism, radio news editors have become increasingly aware in recent years of the importance in having their newscasters pronounce a local place-name in the usual manner of the educated speakers of that locality whenever a questionable name must be included in a ‘cast. The major news services which offer their clients teletype news written especially for radio already have helped the newsman in sending out over their wires a daily pronunciation guide on the most difficult national and international names. These lists, both proper and place names, have their usual pronunciation indicated in a simplified phonetic key alongside each name. They serve a useful purpose in the radio news script, as far as they go. Unfortunately, the press services leave the matter of local pronunciation verification almost wholly up to each station itself, thinking that the station is in the best position to verify the usual place-name pronunciations in its own locality. This assumption, perhaps reasonable in theory, often falls short in practice, since in many cases station personnel makes minimum effort to check, first-hand, the usual local pronunciations. In some states, however, this situation has been alleviated in large measure by state university investigations of the usual local place-name pronunciations. To date, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Wisconsin, and South Dakota have completed place-name pronunciation guides which are being used successfully by broadcasters in those states and throughout the nation. Other states, including Indiana and Florida, among others, presently are engaged in such investigations, while some other states plan to begin such projects in the near future~ Missouri radio men, long award of the need for such a guide in this state, on numerous occasions have requested that the School of Journalism undertake such an investigation. In an effort to satisfy these needs, this study was begun. No attempt is made in this investigation to establish a final, infallible authority for every Missouri name listed. Rather, this project was undertaken to offer Missouri radio men and other interested persons a centralized source for verifying usual place-name pronunciations, based on the findings of this study. This investigation was not made with a view toward making it a clinical, study in phonetics or a scientific investigation of Missouri speech patterns or dialects. By recommending each pronunciation in both the International Phonetic Alphabet symbols and a simplified respelling key in the thesis and guide booklet, an attempt has been made to satisfy scholars and laymen alike. It is hoped that in offering two keys in the booklet, the user will have the opportunity of verifying a pronunciation twice, the one key reinforcing the other, so to speak.--Preface.
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