I’m not really surprised. I’m from the eastern midwest (WTF? But what else do you call Buffalo? It’s not like the northeast.) It’s fairly dialect free there too, and all the way down through Indiana, and speech patterns in Utah sound fairly normal to me.
Interestingly, a lot of people in Utah are actually concerned about their dialect, and that it makes natives sound dumb.
N.B. In Utah, some people call the cultural divide Mo and No-Mo. I’m a No-Mo. But, when our kids were very young, we heard from Mo’s that Utah dialect was to be discouraged. They had a name for it: sounding like a “Utard”.
Anyway, we do have some localisms here, but it turns out most of them aren’t peculiar to Utah.
So the next time someone says “moun’n”, don’t let it bug you.
There’s a bit of a firestorm on campus, with an official letter of clarification sent out to faculty by SUU’s new president after coverage on the local radio turned … hmmm … misinformative.
Here’s the straight story:
Harry Reid is a 1959 graduate of SUU’s former incarnation as the 2-year College of Southern Utah.
SUU’s last president was a pretty good fundraiser.
Under SUU’s last president, a number of campus “engagement centers” were created. These were in name only; they aren’t supported much in the way of line items in the budget, and are intended to attract external funding.
One of these was named after Harry Reid. There was a pretty obvious notion that supporters of Reid would contribute money to support the new center. I don’t think anyone had any illusions that they’d most likely have to be supporters from outside of Utah.
Basically no money came in to support the Harry Reid Center and it never opened in an official sense (whatever “opened” means when you use bureaucratic-speak about whatever the heck an engagement center actually is).
The Harry Reid Center was later merged with another center which had low, albeit better, support.
The Harry Reid name was retained on the merged center, again, thinking he’d have some supporters that would contribute money.
There was confusion because there is no basis in public knowledge for attaching Harry Reid’s name to an “Outdoor Engagement” center. Management of the Outdoor Engagement Center pointed out that the name was not benefitting them.
The concept of outdoor engagement continues to attract some external funding, while the Harry Reid name brings in nothing to SUU.
So administration split the centers again. SUU retains a Harry Reid center (feel free to donate to support it).
The current SUU president stated explicitly that donations for outdoor engagement that were contingent on removing Harry Reid’s name from that center were declined.
You can make what you want of that. I report, you decide.
As a business professor, I will note that this sounds like a typical problem in brand management that probably does not deserve a firestorm. Executive decisions about weak brands are often messy.
The really big implication here is that Harry Reid is not a brand that’s successful: nationally, Democrats ought to think long and hard about what it means to have a Senate majority leader whose brand even they don’t support.
And heck … as an economist, I’ll point out that if you’re a Democrat the marginal benefit of donating money on behalf of a Harry Reid center would be highest if that center was located in one of the reddest states.
Finally, would it be cynical or realistic of me to point out that this is prima facie evidence that perhaps the contemporary Democratic party really doesn’t care much about the red states?
FWIW: I quipped in the office that if SUU wanted to name something after Harry Reid that was relevant to his time here, perhaps it should be the general studies or associates degree programs … since we were a 2-year school when he was here.
For instance, ex-House Speaker John Perzel's plaque now reads, "Mr. Perzel was defeated for re-election to the House in November 2010, prior to pleading guilty to a variety of corruption related charges, and was sentenced to prison on March 30, 2012."
In all seriousness, I think this is a good idea: perhaps they should even sign a form on taking office acknowledging that if they screw up their peccadilloes will be spelled out prominently for posterity.
Here’s a cool report on the level of freedom in each of the 50 states, with lots of rankings and factoids. I love the one page discussion of the pluses and minuses, and the small set of useful policy recommendations.
Utah is in the top 10. Maybe that’s why I live there. My heck I lived here, moved away, and moved back I liked it so much.
I was born in New York, and lived there until I was 24. Then I moved away and never looked back. It’s ranked 50th.
I also lived for almost 9 years in Louisiana. It’s ranked 37th. Hmmm.
I also lived in Alabama for 2 years. It’s ranked 18th. That surprises me a bit: perhaps things have improved there.
The BLM wants Cliven Bundy’s herd off their land. Partially this is because he hasn’t paid rent, but mostly it’s about overgrazing. Whatever. But clearly, they had a big budget to take care of this.
Utah’s Iron County threatened to sue the BLM. It’s the BLM’s responsibility to cull herds of mustangs … to prevent overgrazing. The BLM hasn’t been doing this because there isn’t enough money. (The threat go their attention; the first horses were brought in this week).
To me this sounds like an agency that needs better oversight to get its priorities in order.
FWIW: I thought the local mustang problem was not a big deal. Then I found out that the number of mustangs that need to be removed from the range, in my county alone, is 1,500. I didn’t imagine there were that many mustangs in all of Utah, and that’s just the excess in my own backyard.
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