Oy vey! My alma mater, Cuyahoga Falls High School, just held its graduation ceremony in Ohio. The graduates were smiling, the parents were proud and the embossed diploma covers were misspelled. All of them.
As a corporate communicator, writer, and editor, I let out an audible groan when I saw the picture of this linguistic kerfuffle on my Facebook page. A high school classmate, understanding my tendency toward grammar nerdiness, correctly assumed it would put me in outrage mode. It did.
I get it. “Cuyahoga” is a tough word to spell, let alone pronounce (go ahead … try to say it … I’ll wait right here). Let me help you out: The phonetic pronunciation is KY-ə-HOG-ə, and it’s a Native American term which means “crooked river” in the Iroquoian language. It has a long, rich history.
That is, when it’s spelled correctly.