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Boycotting Chi-Town

January 8, 2009

Nope, I’m not boycotting the city of Chicago. I’m boycotting the expression “Chi-Town,” as I think it’s misleading. As it stands, it’s pronounced “chai-town,”* but Chicago isn’t pronounced “chai-cago.” Chi-Town could thus be pronounced “shi-town,” but that sounds too much like a curse word, so I’m offering an alternative based on the mathematical symbol “chi,” pronounced “kai.” Henceforth, Chi-Town shall be pronounced “kai-town,” or not said at all.

*Now this is interesting. I originally posted that “Chi-Town” is pronounced “shy-town.” Then a friend told me that it’s actually “chai-town,” which sounded right too, so I changed it. Now Bob is saying that I was originally correct. Perhaps people pronounced this different ways. Uniformity must be established. Kai-town it is!

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. Bryce permalink
    January 8, 2009 4:15 pm

    I thought it was pronounced more like Chai-town, like the latte

  2. Bob permalink
    January 8, 2009 7:14 pm

    Chi-town is pronounced Shy-town, Jamey. And I rather like the term. Chicagoland’s a good one, too, when referring to the metropolitan area.

  3. NQL permalink
    January 9, 2009 1:08 pm

    I don’t know Bryce or Bob, but I’m throwing my favor behind “chai”-town.

    Though, agreed, the usage is obnoxious. No one says “The Big Apple”. And if you do, you stink.

  4. Bob permalink
    January 10, 2009 11:05 am

    I can live with being obnoxious by using Chi-town, but am more worried that I have been deluded my whole life in pronouncing it “shy”-style. Anybody have a city slang term pronunciation guide?

  5. Bob permalink
    January 10, 2009 11:30 am

    Seeing as Saturday mornings are for wasting, I decided to do a little internet research into the matter. Judging from the top 10 Google hits for “‘Chi-town’ pronounce” (of which this blog entry is up to #6), I’d say that the masses favor “shy-town” by about 2:1 over “chai-town.” There are also quite a few people like yourself, Jamey, who just want to stick with Chicago and forget the whole mess. Lastly, Wikipedia, which I must concede is the source of all that is true and good, lists both pronunciation options.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_nicknames_for_Chicago

    The More You Know…(rainbow w/ star)

  6. Rebecca permalink
    January 10, 2009 12:13 pm

    I say “Shy”. And for the record, I am happy to get birthday wishes anywhere , and wished my brother (b: 1/8/81) a happy birthday on Facebook because it has enabled us to connect more regularly than phone or email seems to do. So rock on with your birfday self and liking other modes of communication, but it works for some folks! 🙂 Hope your b-day was great!

  7. Jamey Stegmaier permalink
    January 10, 2009 2:15 pm

    Bob, excellent research. And Rebecca, I agree that Facebook is a great way to stay in touch with people, but sending an e-mail via Facebook is completely different (and more personal) than a wall post, in my opinion.

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