Are you pronouncing Appalachian correctly?
Probably not, at least if you
don't live in them. Many people pronounce the name with a long "a",
sort of like "Appalaychian". Pronounce it that way in this area,
and likely someone will correct you, especially if you are in the home
of Appalachian State University. They will certainly know that you are
from some other area. One of the first things students at Appalachian
are told, no matter their origins, is the correct pronunciation, which
is as in "latch", like the latch on your door.
These mountains were named after a nation of
American Indians living in the Appalachian foothills of present day
Alabama and holding territory into the Apalachicola area of
present day Florida. They were known as the Apalachee, and the
mountains, river and bay all hold their name and keep it alive, though
they no longer exist as a nation, though they were hopefully absorbed
into the great Creek Confederacy, descendants of whom still live in
parts of the Deep South.
The name of our mountains is pronounced exactly in
the same manner as the Apalachicola River and Bay in Florida, and many
of us get quite irritated when people come from other areas and tell us
how to pronounce the name of the mountains that are our home. Please,
when you come to visit us, pronounce our mountains name in a way that
will lie softly on our ears.