I had to get this out, my body wouldn’t let me sleep until I typed what I could.
It’s 5:48 a.m. and I’ve had roughly 4 hours of sleep. We went to see Catching Fire last night and didn’t get home until midnight. I just came back down from feeding my son who woke up at 5:30 and he was hangry*! Post-feeding, I managed, in my sleepy stupor, to step on one of his wooden toys, roughly the size, shape, and pain quotient of a Lego block and nearly face-planted into the mirrored door of his bedroom closet. Luckily, I was able to balance, grab the closet door frame, and save not just my gorgeous face, but I avoided waking up the whole house with the sound of crashing mirror.
Anyway, as I stumbled back down the steps to our bedroom and slid into our nice warm bed, my mind couldn’t help thinking what a great stand-up comedy segment that would make. It would make my friend Keith McGill proud. Naturally, never one to refuse a laugh, even if it’s at my own expense, my brain decided that I would see what that sounded like…consequently, I’m writing a blog post for the first time in months at the ungodly hour of nearly 6 a.m. Let me know what you think…but please wait until at least 10 a.m., because I’m sure I’ll need coffee later today.
Hey Louisville…how y’all doing? (crickets)
See, you know I’m from Louisville because I pronounced it one-big-slur (Aside: thanks to H. Hozenfloogle** for that one) as opposed to the way foreigners say it, which is Loo-ee-ville. And by foreigner, I mean anyone from outside the county.
Actually, what drives me crazy about the pronunciation is not so much our pronouncing it nearly unintelligibly, it’s the fact that we’re named after a French king. A French king named Loo-ey. King Loo-ey…like from the Jungle Book.
I mean, if you’re the king, Loo-ey is not how you want your name pronounced. Louis is much more dignified in my opinion, but I guess Loo-ey is the French pronunciation. And, I suppose, when you say it in a French accent, it sounds less goofy. Still, it got me thinking about other Loo-ey.
First, I thought of Louie, of Huey, Dewey, and Louie fame. He’s a cartoon duck…so Louie is about as comical as you can get…but when you’re a cartoon duck, that’s what you get paid for.
Then, of course, there’s King Loo-ey himself, Louis Prima. The man could sing and, therefore, could really be called whatever he wanted. Plus, maybe his parents always called him Loo-ey, and there’s not much you can do about that. I’ve nicknamed my own children Little Pig and Porkchop. So far, they don’t seem to mind…plus there’s a bacon theme there, which is pretty cool.
This leads us to Louis Armstrong who, I’ve learned, pronounced his name Loo-is, as opposed to Loo-ey, which I didn’t know until I was much older. One of my musical heroes. And, y’know, if you’re nickname is Satchmo (short for Satchel Mouth), then you should really go with Loo-is to lend some sort of credibility ad dignity to your existence.
Finally, there’s Louis Gehrig, who avoided all this shenanigans by shortening everything to Lou. Can you imagine The Iron Horse being called anything but Lou? If you’d called him Loo-ey Gehrig, he might well have taken his Louisville Slugger to the side of your head. And, rightfully so.
But, I didn’t come to talk about Lou, Loo-ey, or Loo-is tonight. Besides, I’m pretty much over the whole mispronunciation of our fair city. We all know it’s Lou-ah-vull and if you don’t like it, you can go back across the river over any one of the 73 bridges that are currently existing or in progress downtown.
So, that’s my opener. And these are the sorts of thoughts that clamber up into my brain just before the rosy spear of dawn streaks across the inky darkness to herald the coming of a new day. Not bad if I do say so myself, though it would’ve been nice to have merely come up with a post on my own, rather than being flung headlong into one by stepping on a toy in the darkness and nearly shredding myself in a mirror. Let me know what you think, and as always, even if it’s not all that often: