How do you say “Concord”? A proposed law would make it official

Main street Concord taken from the balcony of the Hotel Concord. In 2015 construction started on a redesign that along with many other things  brought   four lanes of traffic down to two and widened sidewalks.

Main street Concord taken from the balcony of the Hotel Concord. In 2015 construction started on a redesign that along with many other things brought four lanes of traffic down to two and widened sidewalks. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

By DAVID BROOKS

Monitor staff

Published: 10-29-2023 9:56 PM

If you have ever winced at hearing a presidential candidate pronounce the Capital City’s name as “kon-KORD” rather than “KON-kerd,” there’s a piece of legislation you may be interested in.

A proposed bill (currently LSR 2453) filed by city Democrat Eric Gallager would establish official pronunciation of “Concord” and “New Hampshire,” in the portion of state law that lists official symbols, such as purple lilac being the state flower.

No fines or punishment would be included if you mangle the names. “Just like you can still continue to grow other flowers besides purple lilacs, you can also still continue to pronounce these words wrong. There’ll just now be something official that people can point to,” Gallager said.

Gallager said he was inspired to propose the bill after hearing Ohio congressman Dennis Kucinich mangle Concord’s name during his presidential runs, as well as hearing “New Hampshire” mangled as he studied Japanese.

If the bill becomes law it will provide a guide but it probably won’t help a lot of people because it establishes pronunciations using the International Phonetic Alphabet, which few of us can read. 

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