Opinion: You gotta bleeve!
Commentary by Dick Wolfsie
The book is titled “Why Hoosiers Can’t Pronounce ‘Indianapolis.’” I skimmed through it and recalled interviewing the author, Dr. John Terhune, on my TV segment about 15 years ago. John is a local chiropractor who spent part of his life boning up on how people, specifically Hoosiers, talk.
John’s contention is that Hoosiers have created and speak a “new global language” by combining words into nifty little linguistic packages. “People in other states also run words together occasionally,” he said, “but Hoosiers are way bedderdnat.” (better than that). Hoosiers reduce the number of syllables in a word, which gives them mordnenuf (more than enough) time to watch baskaball (basketball).
If you are innersted (interested), you can listen to the book’s accompanying CD that provides hunnerds (hundreds) of additional samples. But the most fun is John’s artful analysis of the variety of ways our city’s name is pronounced. Below are more than a dozen examples that John collected over the years.
ANNAPLUS (Stephen Goldsmith, former mayor)
ANYANAPPLES (Dan Quayle, former VP)
ANYNAPLUS (Goldsmith, again)
ENGINEAPLUS (Anyone from Speedway)
INDANAPLUS (Dick Crum, Dr. Dirt)
INIANAPLUS (Bart Peterson, former Inianaplus mayor)
INDINAPLUS (Paul Helmke, former Fort Wayne, mayor)
INDYPLUS (Angela Buchman, WTHR)
ININAPLUS (Bill Benner, former Star reporter)
INNAPLUS (Dave “the King” Wilson and Bobby “Slick” Leonard)
INNYNAPLUS (Tom Griswold of Bob and Tom)
INYUNAPLUS (Pam Elliot, former WISH-TV anchor)
NNAPLUS (Ray Compton, formerly with the Nnaplus Colts)
We were going to donate our copy of the book to the libary (library), but Mary Ellen said we should keep it as a reference for out-of-state visitors. “I was just thinking that,” I told her. Of course, what I really said was: auzhusinkinat.
Whydoncha get a copy for yourself? Email: DrTerhune@att.net