I had a business phone call this morning with someone in Worcester, Massachusetts. Throughout our 15-minute conversation, I kept pronouncing the name of the city as wor-chess-ter (the business entity we were discussing about adopted the name of the city as part of its name, and so it had to be mentioned many times). Towards the end of the call, the guy on the other side sheepishly told me: "Well, just to let you know, but the correct way to pronounce the name of our town is woss-ter, as in woss-ter-sheer sauce." Feeling silly, I thanked him for correcting me, and I mentioned that I have had to learn the hard way to pronounce some US cities the way the locals do.
So I learned today how to correctly pronounce Worcester and Worcestershire. I feel like a better cook already. Some others that I had to learn directly from the locals:
Lodi, CA (low-die. Previously pronounced by me as low-dee)
New Orleans, LA (naw'lins or new'awlins. Previously pronounced new-or-leens...made sense, right? Europeans should refrain from pronouncing it as new-or-lay-yon or new-or-lay-ans if they want to avoid voodoo curses.)
Newark, NJ (noork or nyoo-rk. Previously pronounced new-ark)
Buttzville, NJ (beau-ville. Previously pronounced butts-ville...who would have thought otherwise?!)
On the other hand, no one from New Jersey would say new-joi-see, except for my law professor and jerks from New York.
Any more tricky city names in the USA or other English-speaking countries that I should know how to pronounce like the locals do?