Here are 10 don'ts when traveling to West Virginia

Originally published at: Here are 10 don'ts when traveling to West Virginia | Boing Boing


Came for pepperoni rolls, left satisfied. The beauty of the state is all true, but pepperoni roll day in school was legend.


i had my way to pronounce “appalachian” in my head and wanted to be sure i was correct – happy to be validated on that count, but now that i think about it, i can’t think of any other way to say it, lol. maybe making the second “a” a long one, or something?


Isn’t that more or less the definition of a mountain?


For my first, I can’t remember, maybe 20 or 30 years I always heard people say apple-ayshian. Or maybe a little closer to ch than sh. But long a on the third a. Probably picked it up through Copland’s piece Appalachian Spring, so maybe it’s a NY thing.


“Imma throw an apple atcha.”
That’s pretty much it.


Collassesano’s Pepperoni Rolls. They invented them, fed them to Pesident Kennedy, and might be the only reason to visit my home town of Fairmont. Any other roll is a pale imposter. As for hot dogs, the Yann dog is the only possibility. Primo stuff, and brings back memories.


Fingermann’s third rule of travel: “Don’t go anywhere with more than seven 'don’ts”






In re: pronunciation.

Native Appalāchian here. I grew up close enough to WV to hit it with a fairway wood. This is a fake shibboleth.

What they (I have no idea who they are) want you to believe is that there’s some centuries-old feud between proper Appa-LAH-chians who were humming John Denver songs in utero, and clueless citified dandies who larnt to say Appa-LAY-chians from their coxswain at Choate. And that if you say Appa-LAY-chia in front of a bona fide son of the soil he’ll tan your consarned hide.

It’s true there’s a regional variation in the pronunciation: short vowels to the south, long vowels to the north. But nobody cares. Well, not nobody. As with any fake trend it’s attracted instant retroactive diehards, so there is a geographically specific form of High Karenism that a few people leading extremely un-hillbilly lives will take on the subject.

But it’s not even a word people use in daily life. Pittsburghers really do say yinz. Philadelphians really do drink wooder, which I believe is a form of cheap gin. I’ve said the word more outside Appal—that region than when I lived there, because when I lived there, I didn’t need to talk about the place. Nobody thinks of themselves as living in a “region” that stretches from Georgia to the Maritime Provinces. You’re from the Smokies or the Alleghenies or the Adirondacks, maybe, but not the Appalachians.

Now you might wonder why I care so much. I don’t. But while you were listening to me, my cousin and his stepbrother sawed the catalytic converter off your car. Yinz come back anytime!


Don’t forget to stop and tell tell Joe Manchin that Republicans can’t be trusted.


I’m having trouble believing that the correct pronunciation of Appalachia isn’t “ap-uh-ley-shuh”, as that’s the Canadian pronunciation.

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Dont say Appalachian wrong

As soon as I read that, I knew they had some special Nevada/Nevada thing going, and that whatever I knew to be the correct pronunciation, I was wrong. I was right (that I was wrong).

However, some code-switching is going to be appropriate. You need to mentally go through the preliminary questions: “Am I talking to Aaron Copeland?” or “Am I in West Virginia?” or “Am I talking to Aaron Copeland in West Virginia?” [EDIT: I am informed that, thankfully, he died in 1990, making the process somewhat simpler.]


Parkersburg always crashes my GPS, so don’t depend on that.

Putnum County Pickers was the bluegrass band to listen to when I lived in Charleston.

Hay bails, campfires, whiskey. Good times.

Donts: Avoid the Mystery Hole near Hawks Nest. Neither much of a mystery or much of a hole.



You had to go there, didn’t you.


Toots did it better.


He really did, too. The Denver version I’ve heard to death, but this one? Fantastic.


Yeah, the Appalachians extend all the way up to Canada, and that’s how I always heard it in Massachusetts - “Ap-uh-lay-chin”, more or less.

Wikipedia agrees that’s the typical pronunciation in the northern parts, but also claims that pronouncing the last two syllables “ian” as in “Romanian” is “commonly accepted” “elsewhere” without clarifying where that might be. Sounds very wrong, to my ears.

So: “Ap-uh-lay-chin” in the north, “Ap-uh-latch-in” in the southern end of the range, I think.

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