Wick Communications

It’s ‘ACK-uh-muh’

In Ideas on 27 Aug 2015 at 4:53 pm


The News-Herald in Lake Havasu did something simple and cool recently and I wanted to mention it here in the hope that if gave you some good ideas.

On the front page of one August edition is a photo of members of the Acoma tribe of Indians and the headline, “It’s pronounced ‘ACK-uh-muh.’ The lede begins: Hundreds of drivers use Acoma Boulevard every day, but everybody is pronouncing the street’s name incorrectly, says local anthropologist Jay Cravath.

What follows is a short story that is all of five paragraphs explaining the root of the word. It wouldn’t surprise me if that is the most read feature in the newspaper that day.  I know I was hooked.

Stuff like this is the stuff of life. Read it and you have something to talk about with your wife at the dinner table.

I thought of it as just a sort-of slice of life, but it’s a close cousin to a history piece. Many of us regularly run local history pieces, often penned by our town historian. I wasn’t always a big fan of this sort of thing. It does feel kind of lazy when the columns just roll in with some black-and-white photo, but my feelings have changed. No one else is telling readers how to pronounce that boulevard across the way. Information like this is what makes our publications unique and part of the towns we serve.

Incidentally, the News-Herald counts 13 other streets in town named for native Americans. Trivia? History? Whatever. It makes me pick up the newspaper.



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