Date: Fri, 17 Mar 1995 10:16:05 -0500
From: jeffrey howard allen jhallen[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]UCS.INDIANA.EDU
Subject: Willamette Valley and Oregon
Another native Oregonian to add to the discussion on the pronunciation of
these two words.
I have always heard and used Wil-LAM-met, which affirms Leo's claim.
As for Oregon, remember that film called War Games back in the 80's about
the kid from Seattle who got himself in trouble for breaking into the
US Gov't computer system to play some games, and then gets stuck in the
game of Thermonuclear War with the computer. Well, the kid was in
Colorado, calling his girlfriend back in Seattle to have her buy him a
plan ticket for O-ry-GON. Immediate Shibboleth give-away here folks. A
native northwesterner, either in Washington or Oregon, would normally
pronounce it OR-E-gun (captital E is a schwa, not stressed), or at least
OR-y-gun, as Leo has pointed out. The kid actor was definitely not from
However, a native of OR-E-gun does prononce OR-E-go-ni-En to designate a
person who lives in that state.