Walking through the aisles of our local Super Target, my husband happened to mention needing syrup. Something struck me in the way he said the word. “SIRup?” I asked?
He said, “Yes, why, how do YOU say it?”
“SEERup!” I answered. My friend was also with us and confirmed that she also said “SIRup” and her mom would too, both of them having been raised in the South. Now since my husband and I both grew up in Massachusetts, I was puzzled. Why on EARTH would he say SIRup?? So he did what he always does in these situations – called his mom. She grew up in the same town as him near Boston and confirmed that it was pronounced SIRup/SURup. I was shocked to say the least.
When we came home, I felt it was my duty to ask on Twitter how everyone there pronounced it. Here’s what I discovered:
New Jersey pronounces it SEERup, as do some parts of Pennsylvania, while others say SIRup. Every southern state that answered – Alabama, Georgia, and Texas, as well as the Midwest, Utah, Arizona and California ALL said SURup. Someone checking in from Arkansas said SEERup, just to throw me for a loop. Then we have the Canadians. Someone from Ontario said SEERup while his wife from Nova Scotia said SIRup. Another person from Montreal said SEERup, but clarified that it was more like “SeerO” because of the French Canadian being spoken at home. Then a friend from England reported it was SEERup. Being an Anglophile, that was really all the validation I needed. 😉
So the mystery continues as to which geographical locations say what. Perhaps it comes down to local neighborhoods vs. whole states/regions? I know my mother does not have a distinct Boston accent that causes her to say “Pahk the cah in Hahvahd Yahd” but she *does* say “bahth” and “tomahto” so go figure! I like to consider myself as not having an accent at all, but my local friends are quick to point out that I say “I sawr him” and “drawrings” vs. “saw” and “drawings” and I will let “idear” slip out every now and then. Oops.
In any event, I thought I’d post here to get a larger cross-section of people and maybe solve this debate? (Btw, either pronunciation is acceptable, just like ENNvelope and ONvelope…so there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’)