There's No 'H' In Amherst

Published May 26, 2010

I apologize. I grovel. I genuflect to the proud people just off I-91.

In Tuesday’s show, I mispronounced “Amherst.” And not just once. I think I mucked it up about a half-dozen times.

And how did I mispronounce the town’s name? In that dunderheaded inside-Route 128 way, of course. I said, am-HEARST, and not AM-erst, as Amherst should be properly pronounced.

That darned silent ‘H’.

You know what’s especially, deliciously ironic about that? My very own name has a silent ‘H’ in it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to correct people who bulldoze their way through Meghna with a courageous, “Um, hi, meg-HUH-nah.” When really, they should’ve just opted for the simpler and correct, “Hey, MEG-nah.”

(And to think, I love Amherst. I’ve been to Amherst. I’ve got friends who live in Amherst. What other sniveling B-list celebrity mea culpas can I come up with?)

So, Amherstians, I offer you a linguistic olive branch. Since I screwed up your name, for the next 24 hours, you’re allowed to screw up mine.


Update from Andrew: There is some discussion on Twitter about whether to pronounce the ‘H’ when referring to the college. I called the college to settle this: