Dear National Public Radio Drones,
I have made no secret in the past of my philosophical disagreement with the idea of public radio (and public television), as well as my contempt for NPR's method of sanitizing all sorts of offensive ideas by droning on about them in the most boring possible way.
This post is not about any of that. Instead, this is actually intended to help you become better. The radio station with the strongest signal in my town is NPR, so I have a vested interest in improving the quality of NPR, even while I disapprove.
My request is simple: Please refrain from mentioning New Orleans on your network. Please never again say the name of the city.
The problem is that when Hurricane Katrina hit, NPR suddenly discovered, to its shock, that the South consisted of more than just the Atlanta airport and the locale of Deliverance. That early ignorance might excusable, except that all these months later, with nearly daily reporting about the city, your reporters still cannot properly pronounce the name "New Orleans."
Here's a quick lesson: Proper Southern pronunciation is two syllables, /Naw-lins/. Proper Yankee pronunciation is three syllables, /New-Or-Leens/. Yet, still, every day for months now your reporters are pronouncing it with FOUR, count 'em, FOUR syllables, /New-Or-lee-ans/.
I notice that cities in Massachusetts such as Leominster (3 syllables) and Worcester (two syllables) get a proper pronunciation -- but not New Orleans.
Please, just stop talking about it. Better yet, stop reporting on anything south of Baltimore or west of Philadelphia. Please -- you're just embarrassing everyone.
Hugs and kisses,
Prof. Richard Scott Nokes
P.S. -- Please also stop saying the word "funk" or any of its variants (funky, funkadelic, etc.). Somehow it just sounds wrong the way you say it.