‘Shibboleth’ is a three-syllable word

There are many things about D.C. that leave people new to the area feeling out of place. Way up at the top of the list is the pronunciation of that neighborhood just across the Potomac from Georgetown, Rosslyn.

It’s not that it’s a hard name to say. It’s pronounced just like it’s spelled. “Ross-lyn.” Two syllables. Easy.

The trouble arises when you take the blue line from parts south into the city in the morning, and you’re unlucky enough to get that one driver. You know the one I mean. The one who evidently left his job in drive-time radio to join WMATA. “Nnnnnnext stop,” he delights in announcing, “Rozz-a-lyn!”

Every single morning.

You’re not helping the newbies, man. You’re not helping them fit in.

4 Comments so far

  1. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on April 12th, 2006 @ 8:41 am

    I’ve had that guy, at least you can make out most of what he’s saying as opposed to many of the others who mumble like they’re not sure. There are a few drivers who really love to enunciate, and end up creating multiple extra syllables, but I at least prefer that to “Next Stop MMMmdmsdmmadsfmmafm” which is what I get sometimes.

  2. IntangibleArts (unregistered) on April 12th, 2006 @ 11:21 am

    regarding those station anouncements: It’s been amusing the hell outta me to hear how many ways a human mouth can pronounce JUDICIARY SQUARE…. not “square”, mind you, that other word. Never pronounced the same way twice. Very weird.

  3. Unsilent Majority (unregistered) on April 12th, 2006 @ 2:54 pm

    Perhaps they should change the name of Rosslyn to “Georgetown South”

  4. DCeiver (unregistered) on April 13th, 2006 @ 2:33 am

    Uhm…while it is not Ross-a-lyn, as you rightly point out, Rosslyn is most definitely not pronounced as it is spelled. We pronounce it ROZZ-linn, not ROSS-linn. Only the writers of THE WEST WING, who live in LA, speak it as if the first syllable were promounced like the character from FRIENDS.

    Okay. Class dismissed.

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.