Why Paw-LIE-nah?

It’s like Houston Street in New York–you can immediately spot a tourist by the way they mispronounce Paulina Street. But who’s saying it wrong? I do know that the street was named after some shyster developer’s wife, but how did she say her first name? Will we ever know?

Heh…I was in a Brown Line train once and I heard some kid talking on his cell phone…“Well, I’m at Pauleena now…look, I don’t care how it’s pronounced, in German it’s pronounced ‘pawl-EE-nah.’”

The town of Paulina Iowa is pronounced Paul eee na
Not that this has anything to do with the subject matter. :slight_smile:

Because if it was pronounced “Paul-EE-na,” then there would be only two streets that rhyme with female genitalia.

Funt Street and what other?

Lunt, actually, and Melvina.

No Dolores Street?

Heh. I was on the Brown Line for the first time (total newb here) and heard the robot voice say “Next is Paul-LIE-nuh. Doors open on the right at Paul-LIE-nuh.” So when I got off the train I asked my friend, “Is that one of those things where the robot horribly mangles the pronunciation or do you people really call it that?” Turns out, these wacky children really call it that.

Don’t go with the Francophone pronunciation of Armitage, either. The last syllable is closer to “-tidge” rather than “-tahzhe.”

So how did “Devon” end up sounding like some kind of couch rather than a county in the West of England?

I put the emphasis on the first syllable of “Balbo” for many years, like it was the name of a hobbit or something. It was only when the CTA started playing those pre-recorded street names on the buses that I switched to the correct (?) pronunciation.

Along these lines, here’s a brief interview with the guy who recorded the CTA voice announcements. Among other facts, it is revealed that several different versions of many street names were recorded, and it was left to the CTA administrators to decide which version to use.

Wonder what the CTA makes of Goethe Street. Before I knew who its namesake was, I grew up calling it what the rest of the kids on the bus did, as did the bus driver: gee-thee.

The guy who did the CTA “voiceovers” says “go-tah,” per the interview linked above.

Neato. I’ll have to watch that when I get home!

Also Mozart is Moz-art, not Moat-zart like the composer and, I suppose, the namesake.

I for one am surprised that Shakespeare Ave is not pronounced Shack-spear.

And for the love of all that’s holy, that nearby city and river is NOT “Dahy-Plawhn.” I say this so that if anyone is moving to Chicago and starting a new job there, they won’t mispronounce it on their first day resulting in the entire office laughing their asses off at the new guy.

I remember an old Second City sketch from long ago. They lined up a bunch of chairs facing to the left, and someone sat in each, like it was a bus. The guy in the front chair moved his hands like he was steering it.

One by one, the bus riders would come up and ask the “driver” a question about a stop, and each one would mispronounce their intended destination. “Go-thee” Street, Soldiers Field, Cominsky Park, etc. Each one got tossed off the bus by the driver for their transgression.

Finally, the driver is alone. He turns to the audience and says, “I coulda driven a bus anywhere in the world. But noooo, I end up driving a bus in Chick-ago Illinoiz.”

It’s not just Chicago. In Green Bay, where I grew up, I dated a girl who lived on Grignon Street. Is it “gree-nyoh”, as it might be in French? Nope; it’s “grig-nun”. The next street over is Beaupre, pronounced “boo-pree”. :stuck_out_tongue:

Let’s not forget Throop Street, which is “troop.”

“Goethe” is all over the place. I’m not sure anyone agrees how that should be pronounce. I’ve most commonly heard “goathy” and “GUR-tuh.” The latter is closer to the German, but the German does not have an “r” sound in it. (Here’s the German pronunciation, if anyone is interested.)

When in doubt, I consider the talking buses to be the Supreme Court on these issues.