Rachel Maddow: MSNBC host teaches America how to pronounce "Colorado" (VIDEO)

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rachel maddow.JPG
Rachel Maddow.
Last night, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow tackled common names of people and places that tend to be mispronounced, at least according to locals -- and praise be that the segment attempts to set America straight on the proper way to say "Colorado." As one viewer writes, "we say it colo RAD o, rad rhymes with dad. Not Coloraudo, rhymes with rod or cod. Anyone who does that sounds snobby." Hell, yeah!

See the entire clip below; the Colorado mention is at about the two minute mark. And as a bonus, check out a second snippet with local flavor, this one featuring AM 760 host David Sirota talking about his new book Back to Our Future, introduced by a clip from the similarly titled Back to the Future in which Doc Brown is threatened by... Libyans!

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

More from our Videos archive: "Tim Tebow Jockey preview hypes Chuck Norris & Sinatra's "Send in the Clowns"? (VIDEOS)."


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25 comments
tracy faust
tracy faust

i just came by your article and it get my attention. i thought i'ld leave my first comment just to appreciate the hard work you done. merchant cash advance

78ysss
78ysss

when you rhyme the middle syllable with "dad", you sound like a child. a lot of people from that hippie state also say "a apple" instead of "an apple", or "tha orchestra" instead of "thee orchestra". seriously, the public school standards in coloRODo are completely sub-standard, leaving everyone mentally under-developed. also, they're bad drivers.

avb
avb

i can't stand it when people call it colo-ROD-o. the only people i've heard say it that way don't live here. everybody from here says RAD.

Jose
Jose

Who really cares? This is America, not Mexico, so we will pronounce it howver we pronounce it. If the Mexicans want to pronounce it the Mexican way, then good for them. So much time wasted on politcally correct nonsense. By the way, why are there so many different "authentic" mexican foods that are all different, except for the fact they all give me gas?

gjcrocks
gjcrocks

I still say she looks like a guy

Robert
Robert

There's lots of variation in local pronunciations of "Colorado". CPR's announcers generally say "Cuh-luh-RAD-o" but one intones "Cuh-luh-RUH-duh". As you might expect, I favor "Caw-low-rah-do" for its extravagance of different vowels.

I am puzzled hearing natives constantly referring to the weird, parallel R-world , e.g. "R-roads", "R-schools", and "R-kids".

Zenhound
Zenhound

Oh Colorado, you will never tire of mispronouncing words and attempting to convince the rest of the world that it's wrong. Gala-PAY-go? Really? Lie-mon?

Harvey
Harvey

It's etymology is spanish..."colo rod o". Anyone who pronounces it "colo RAD o", is stupid.

And that goes for those who pronounce Pueblo-"Pyeblo" and Buena Vista-"Byoona Vista" too. You're stupid.

Nunya
Nunya

Snobby? Really? I've always pronounced it with "rod" in the middle, and no one's ever accused me of putting on airs.

jmnewell
jmnewell

Oh sod off. I'm a CO native. It's like dad.

Jeff Bennett
Jeff Bennett

I live here, and everyone I know says "colorado" (or "colo-ROD-o" for those without even a passing familiarity with Spanish).

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Harvey, interesting post. We're going to make it an upcoming Comment of the Day. Congrats.

Robert
Robert

You are ignorant. People adopt words and place names from other languages. In the process, they alter pronunciations to conform to their own. Consider "Pyeblo" -- it's not a racist attack; I don't believe the diphthong -- the sound of "way" -- occurs after a consonant in English words. As for "Byoona Vista", it illustrates the same conformation. In the case of Buena Vista, it is my understanding that hispanohablantes never went there; the de Ancha expedition of northern exploration swung clockwise around the Sangre de Cristos to the west at Salida (exit), and did not go as far north as BV -- the settlers chose the Spanish for "beautiful view" for their town, but they anglicized the name; they are allowed to, it is typical of what happens when different cultures meet. If now, further contact with Spanish-speakers has familiarized most speakers with the novel idea of combining sounds like "p" and "way", and "b" and "way", and many prefer the Spanish pronunciations for such placenames, that's also OK, but it makes a bit more sense in Pueblo than in Buena Vista.

Jashoe
Jashoe

I would be careful throwing around the word "stupid," especially when you weren't able to correctly distinguish between it's and its.

bbeaudoin
bbeaudoin

@jmnewell You are correct.  It should be simple, but non-Coloradoans don't seem to get it.  Maybe they should just relax and drink a pop. ;-)

bbeaudoin
bbeaudoin

@Jeff Bennett I'm a Colorado native.  My family has lived here since the 1800's.  We all say Colo-RAD-o (RAD like DAD).  Nobody here said it like the Spanish until the late 80's-early 90's, when all the Texans and Californians started flooding in.

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Very interesting post, Robert -- and envious that you were able to work in "dipthong."

Harvey
Harvey

Thanks for the input, Robear.

That's how your name is pronounced, right? I figured that, combining the gyrations that you went through to support the mispronouncing of words "to conform to their own" as intentional. "Ro" from the latin "rota" or "wheel" for your circular argument...and bear, meaning "to support."

If you pronounce it Rahbert, well, you're just ignorant.

Harvey
Harvey

Nah, just too lazy to proof-read. It's a flaw of mine.

There, I distinguished it that time.

Robert
Robert

yikes! I am glad that the "Edit" function is again available.

Harvey
Harvey

I'm not upset. I just wanted to see if I could get you to write hispanohablantes again. fun stuff.

You're just lucky that Jashoe didn't read your second posting. I think he/she would have something to say about this...

"Their is no circularity to my argument"

Robert
Robert

Thanks. You know that a diphthong (I managed to misspell it and you relied on me) is two vowel sounds combined in a single syllable -- use of the word was natural in explaining the substitutions which upset Harvey so.

Robert
Robert

I believe that by "gyrations" you mean the rudiments of linguistic anthropology I was trying to impart. There is no circularity to my argument -- speakers of no language are under any obligation to pronounce words they borrow from other languages as native speakers of those languages do -- clear enough? Francophones pronounce my name "row-bear", but it is idiosyncratic and sounds affected for an anglophone to do so. If you go to "Byoona Vista", you'll find that the natives so pronounce it, and the attempt to impose rules of Spanish pronunciation on them is misguided. The substitution of "Byoona" for "Buena" relaces an unfamiliar sound combination in English with a more familiar one -- it is neither good nor bad, but with our increased contact with hispanohablantes clearly it is mostly an historical phenomenon.

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