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Put the Em-PHA-sis on correct syl-LA-ble

A lifelong resident of Arkansas, I have long railed against being called an “Ar-KAN-san,” mainly because I am not from KANsas but also because it corrupts the lovely open-ended, silent ess sound of our beautiful state’s beautiful name.

Instead, I have advocated for and used “Arkan-SAW-yer.” Though more of a mouthful, I believe it fits who we are more snugly. When I read and hear others using Arkansawyer, my heart rate increases, and I smile and nod with recognition and pleasure. Needless to say, Ar-KAN-san reigns.

Then, about six months ago, I had an epiphany: What about changing the syllable of emphasis: “Ar-kan-SAW-an?” This pronunciation provides the possessive form (people who Arkansas claims) while also preserving the dignity of our state’s name.

A little trouble might come from the fact it could still be spelled Arkansan. One solution is to add “wa”: Arkansawan.

Imagine, then, my feelings of hope when in the May 2 Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, I read that people from Arizona are called Arizonans. AriZOnan is not far from ArkanSAn.

I prefer lively and peppery Arkansawyer, but since it hasn’t gotten much traction and is not widely adopted, I hope those of you who have landed hard on the staid, misleading Ar-KANsan pronunciation will try out and seriously consider Ar-kan-SAW-an.

Sayin’ it right,

DENISE NEMEC

Fayetteville

County has role to play in rental unit conditions

I am writing to express my support for Sue Madison and her efforts to bring up the topic of basic landlord standards before the Washington County Quorum Court.

I’m extremely disappointed that more members of the court have not expressed support of the idea that the county government might indeed play a role in insisting that landlords provide safe and clean rentals when they accept tenants’ hard-earned money.

The reaction of District 13’s Willie Leming was particularly troubling. He was quoted as having said that “people don’t have to live there.” and that they’ve “got the option to live anywhere in this world they want to live.” What world do you live in Mr. Leming? I know quite a few people who rent substandard apartments because these places are all that they can afford. They do not have the option to just find another better place.

We are facing a serious shortage of affordable housing, both rental and to purchase, but that is no excuse to allow landlords to rent substandard and unsafe living quarters to our fellow citizens. Please encourage your county representatives to consider Sue Madison’s request to look at this issue.

ANNEE LITTELL

Fayetteville

letters@nwadg.com

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