Do Missoulians Know How to Pronounce the Name of Our Hometown College Newspaper?
Do Missoulians Know How to Pronounce the Name of Our Hometown College Newspaper? The answer is, kinda, sorta, sometimes. On Thursday, a regular poster on the "You know you've lived in Missoula, MT if..." Facebook page posted an old photo of the University of Montana Kaimin newspaper and posed the question: "Okay...so just how do you pronounce this? I've always said "Ki-min".
My initial thought was why not ask a local who is skilled in the Salish language, as Kaimin is a a Salish word. Thankfully, there were a couple of Salish speakers with great answers among the 37 comments. My particular favorite was an explanation from a Facebooker who goes by "RC Griz Alum," who explained, "We pronounce it Khee meen' in our Salish language. The first part is from the throat, a guttural sound which many may not master. Emphasis is given the meen part. To mispronounce the word renders it meaningless in my view. Lots of words from our Salish languages are mispronounced by non Native linguists and others." I agree with his sentiments wholeheartedly, and although I'm not skilled in the language, based on the little Salish I do know, I'd have to agree with the way he describes the pronunciation.
Most posters agreed that the common pronunciation among Missoulians is Ki (long I) min, or men. Here's some great insight from a former faculty advisor, "I was the faculty advisor for 30 years. It was pronounced Ki-meen from its first edition in 1898 until sometime in the ‘60s, when, for reasons no one can fathom, students began to pronounce it Ki-min, which has stuck." There's currently no explanation of the meaning behind the name or pronunciation on the official website.
At the end of the day, I feel like we'll all keep calling it Ki-men, not out of disrespect, more because we don't want to slaughter the Salish language. Or we can just say "the university newspaper" or, "that paper with the hilarious Crime Blotter." Have you ever read it? I haven't lately so I don't know if it's still sidesplitting, but it was pretty hysterical back in the day. Join the pronunciation discussion below.