My fellow Nooga.com contributor David Martin joked on his Facebook page this week that any local marketing professionals who fail to pronounce “Chattanooga” properly in their radio or TV ads should see their businesses boycotted. I won’t go quite that far, but I will say that any commercials containing words like “local” or “hometown” immediately become suspect when “Chattanooga” is mispronounced alongside them.
With the national spotlight shining ever so brightly on Chattanooga these days because of our super-fast Internet, entrepreneurial climate, arts scene, outdoor activities, super-fast Internet, super-fast Internet and, um, super-fast Internet, it’s probably a good idea to take a moment to make sure everyone is on the same page about how to pronounce the name of our fair city.
Consider the following rules of thumb:
-As locals and longtime residents know, “Chattanooga” contains four syllables and is pronounced “Cha-duh-NOO-guh.” The soft “d” sound is the key.
-“Cha-tuh-NOO-guh” is close, but not quite right.
-“Cha-TUH-noo-guh” is even more awkward.
-Nothing says, “I’ve never been to Chattanooga” quite like saying “CHATT-noo-guh.”
-Saying “Chyeah-uh-NOO-guh” is just plain lazy. Come on, man, open your mouth.
In related news: Is it me, or is “Chattaboogie” played out? What about “Chattavegas”? Do people still say “Chatt-town”? And did anybody ever really say “The ‘Noog”?
Oh, and one more thing: The “suite” in “living room suite” rhymes with “sweet,” as in, “Man, I used Chattanooga’s super-fast Internet to order a sweet living room suite.”
Former Chattanooga Pulse Editor Bill Colrus writes about (in no particular order) news, culture and media. You can find him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter or reach him at [email protected]. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees.