Is it illegal To Pronounce Arkansas Wrong in Arkansas?

As surprising as it may sound, Arkansas people are quite strict with saying the name of their state.

A resolution has been passed in the law that specifies how “Arkansas” should be pronounced.

Pronouncing the name of a state may not sound like a very wrong thing to do but beware of mispronouncing the name when in the company of the native Arkansas people.

Many people believe that the law even states that it is illegal to pronounce the name “Arkansas” wrongly. 

But is such a claim true? Let’s find out!

Law regarding the pronunciation of the state name:

The law of Arkansas clearly states that to clear the misconception of how “Arkansas” should be pronounced, the official pronunciation has been specified. 

This has been done to make the pronunciation of the state name official.

Arkansas was being wrongly pronounced commonly; therefore, the state found the need to pass a law that would clear the confusion and make sure that the correct name is pronounced by everyone particularly officially. 

The official pronunciation of Arkansas

The actual and correct pronunciation of Arkansas differs from what you would guess by studying the spelling of Arkansas.

Therefore, to make it easier for everyone, the state passed a law that explained how the state name should be pronounced.

The pronunciation of the state name was decided after a lot of thought and research process.

The Eclectic Society of Little Rock and the State Historical Society carried out the investigation and after carefully assessing and analyzing the history and origins of the word, the pronunciation was finalized. 

It was decided that the word has its origin in French and will be pronounced as done by the native Indians.

The word Arkansas should be pronounced as three syllables. 

In each syllable, the ‘a’ should be pronounced with the Italian sound and not as sounded in “man”.

The terminal “s” should not be pronounced in the correct pronunciation.

The first and the last syllables should be pronounced with an Italian accent.

The pronunciation is given as “ar-kən-saw”.

Will you be punished for wrongly pronouncing the name ‘Arkansas’?

As strong as this myth holds, it is not true.

Although the official pronunciation has been legally stated in the law, no such rule has been passed that states that the person who mispronounces Arkansas will be punished under the law.

However, it is mentioned that the wrong pronunciation of Arkansas is discouraged and everyone should try to follow the specified pronunciation. 

The law does not use the word ‘must’ which clarifies that the law encourages correct pronunciation but does not impose any legal actions against the person who mispronounces the name.

Final thoughts:

You will find many words that are spelled and pronounced differently. Arkansas is also one such word that has a different pronunciation from what the spelling suggests. 

It is a popular discussion among people that if the name of the state of Arkansas is wrongly pronounced, the person will be punished by the law. 

However, this is not the case; the law discourages the wrong pronunciation but will not take any action against such a person. 

The state has passed a law that vividly explains the pronunciation of the word Arkansas and encourages everyone to use the correct pronunciation, especially in official matters. 

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