WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump turned heads on Tuesday when he mispronounced the word “Yosemite” at a White House event to sign a bipartisan conservation bill.
“When young Americans experience the breathtaking beauty of the Grand Canyon, when their eyes widen in amazement as Old Faithful bursts into the sky, when they gaze upon Yosemite’s — Yosemite’s towering sequoias, their love of country grows stronger and they know that every American has truly a duty to preserve this wondrous inheritance,” Trump said.
But he stumbled over Yoh-sem-it-ee, pronouncing it YO-se-MIGHT, and then adding a syllable, “YO-se-min-NIGHT.”
The official White House transcript released after the event notes the error with the misspelling, “Yoseminite’s [sic].”
It’s not the first time Trump’s pronunciation of locations in the United States has drawn scrutiny.
At a 2016 campaign rally, Trump made a big show of telling Nevada residents how to pronounce their state’s name.
“Heroin overdoses are surging and meth overdoses in Neh-VAH-da,” Trump said. “Neh-VAH-da… When I came out here, I said, nobody says it the other way. It has to be Neh-VAH-da, right?”
Locals overwhelmingly pronounce the name Neh-VAD-ah, but it’s commonly mispronounced by Americans in other parts of the country.
To this day, the president sometimes gets Nevada wrong. On Monday at a White House press briefing, he said it both ways at different times.
Another one people have noticed lately: Oregon.
Trump says Ore-uh-GONE, when most Oregonians say ORE-uh-gin
There may not be an “official” way to pronounce many places — unlike in Arkansas, where the state’s general assembly declared AR-kan-saw to be the correct pronunciation in 1881 — but when a politician misses the mark on one of the country’s most famous national parks, critics on Twitter notice.