Speaking Of “Suh-talk-ett”

Being English, my wife takes pride in correctly pronouncing place names from around where I grew up:

Excerpt from "Frontiers." Click to expand.
Excerpt from “Frontiers.” Click to expand.

Long Island, New York is that fish-profile-resembling island that extends east from New York City. My parents lived in New York City and on Long Island all of their lives until moving to Pennsylvania in 2011. I was born in the city and raised on the island.

Screen capture of Wikipedia.
Screen capture of Wikipedia.

Therefore, Long Island was central in my life well into my twenties. So perhaps unsurprisingly some place names there have earned honorable mentions in my first three books.

Excerpt from "Passports." Click to expand.
Excerpt from “Passports.” Click to expand.
Excerpt from "Passports." Click to expand.
Excerpt from “Passports.” Click to expand.
Excerpt from "Distances." Click to expand.
Excerpt from “Distances.” Click to expand.
Excerpt from "Distances." Click to expand.
Excerpt from “Distances.” Click to expand.
Excerpt from "Passports." Click to expand.
Excerpt from “Passports.” Click to expand.

That made this internet discovery extra-amusing. Yesterday my wife found this Long Island Newsday October 2016 Facebook post. In the novels, I see I made a major omission: I had never thought to provide a Long Island “pronunciation” guide!:

Click on photo to go to the Facebook post and watch the video.
Click on photo to go to the Facebook post and watch the video.

In case you did not know by now, I lived most of my youth in East Setauket. Locals pronounce it as East “Suh-talk-ett.”

Understand as well, there is NO West Setauket or North Setauket. There is, vaguely, a “South” Setauket; but that is technically, really, Centereach. “South” Setauket is mostly unrecognized as a “true Setauket” by those who live in the actual Setauket or East Setauket. Thus the politics – and pitfalls! – of Long Island local identity!

One of those other places mentioned can indeed cause especial embarrassment to non-Long Islanders faced with having to say its name out loud. That young woman who tried to pronounce it in the video did what a LOT of people do. If you fumble this one, a Long Islander will definitely KNOW you are NOT from Long Island: it’s trying to say Mattituck.

In case you are ever there, so you know, it is pronounced “Matt-uh-tuck.”

It’s not! … “MahTITeetuck.”πŸ˜‚

Have a good day, wherever you are in the world!😊

Further thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s