Dear The World,
We, the people of Oregon, have noticed a distressing trend, and we feel that it is about time that we address it. Oregon does not blame you, The World. This trend, this…mistake, rather, is the result of continued misinformation. We’re sure you don’t mean it. We just want to set the record straight, and stop this before it goes too far.
It’s pronounced ‘OR-eh-guhn’. It rhymes with fun, run, done, son, and won.
It is not ‘or-eh-GAHN’. It does not rhyme with fawn or lawn or polygon. The emphasis does not rest on the last syllable. The Or has worked hard to make it to the front of the word, and deserves to have its place there recognized.
We realize that your momma and your momma’s momma told you the way to pronounce this word, but was your momma’s momma from Oregon? We think not. Otherwise, she would have known the proper way to say it. Again, we do not blame you for this stream of misinformation, The World. The improper pronunciation was in no way malicious, we realize this. But now that you have been issued proper instruction on this noble word, we expect you to use it. Further misuse of the name of our state will result in the bastardizations of the names of your states. We are prepared to call Montana ‘Min-TAHN-ah’, Mississippi ‘Miss-EYE-sippeh’, and New York ‘Noo JER-sey’. We have already begun referring to California as ‘Cal-ih-forn-eye-ay’ to show our resolve.
We will be happy to answer any and all questions regarding this issue. Your expedient compliance in resolving this matter will be very much appreciated.
The People of Oregon