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Whatever You Do, Don’t Say This Wrong

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(credit: Su-E Tan) Kent Shocknek
Kent Shocknek, anchors weekday prime-time newscasts on CBS-TV's KCAL9...
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Here we go again: I just spent 10 minutes on the phone, getting a consensus from the locals on the pronunciation of a local spot. This time, it was Mt. Pinos, where snow started falling, overnight. What’s the correct pronunciation?  Keep reading. On TV, saying it right is as important as a newspaper reporter spelling it right. And I remember my journalism 101 teacher, Mr. Lynch, telling us “If readers see you can’t spell right, why should they trust anything else you report?”  I owe it to you to get it right.

It’s tougher than it used to be to get 100% agreement on pronunciations.  San Pedro should be San PAY’-droh, but the locals have always said San PEEH’-droh. Until the last 10 years. The Spanish pronunciation has crept back in.

There’s Rubidoux (RUE’-buh-doe),  San Luis Obispo (san-lu-EES’  -or- san-LU’-iss, but never San Louie…), and San Jacinto… on which I’m still not sure there’s a consensus: some say YA’-sinto, others say HUH’-sinto.

But now, after four pleasant phone calls to to some nearby inns (in Lebec, Frazier Park, and Gorman), I feel reasonably sure of this — Mt. Pinos is known to all, not as PIN’-yose, but  Mt. PYE’-nose.

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