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Crick or CreekPosted Monday, April 28, 2008, at 8:57 AM
You say tomAto, I say tomahto, you say potAto, I say potahto...
Words from a song I heard somewhere in my distant past are today's subject...well sorta. Actually, the way words are pronounced is the subject of today's blog as one of my youthful experiences comes back to get me yet again.
Since I grew up in Nebraska, I knew how to say the word creek. Nebraskans call a creek a crick. No biggie 'cause everyone speaks that way. I equate it somewhat to how southerners feel about what most of us call their "southern accent". When asked about it, a southerner will almost always say "what accent". Well in Nebraska, a creek is pronounced crick, and I guarantee that if you call a creek a creek in Nebraska, someone will correct you and let you know that a creek is NOT a creek but a crick.
When my dad was transferred from Omaha to Denver when I was 15, I made new friends and of course we went to the mountains and went tubing. Tubing is riding an old tire inner tube down a river (which isn't much of a river therefore being called a creek). I can't tell you how much grief I took about how the "hayseed from Nebraska" can't pronounce words like creek correctly.
So gradually I relearned my English and started speaking correctly...creek is creek. Whoa!... Not so fast buddy! Look up the pronunciation in the dictionary, or better yet, check out these two web links to the hear the approved pronunciations of the word creek...
Crick (krik) - http://www.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/a...
Creek (kreek) - http://www.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/a...
So as it turns out, both pronunciations are correct.
We found that saying crick over creek in Nebraska at least makes you sound like you are from around here. On the same note, if you go to Colorado, saying creek will make you sound local but if crick is your way, you for sure won't get the local resident discount.
So since we're new around here, we've gotten several opportunities to prove it by calling the nearby creek a creek instead of a crick and have been politely corrected. Sooner or later, I'll probably be drawn to the light and call a creek a crick. Now if I can just figure out that term "pertinear".
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