Archive for Sunday, August 19, 2012

Campa-what? A pronunciation guide to campus buildings

August 19, 2012


Pronunciation guide

The “correct” and alternative KU building pronunciations:

Fraser Hall




alternative pronunciation: camp-uh-NEEL

Haworth Hall


alternative pronunciation: HAY-worth

Horejsi Family Athletics Center


Max Kade Center


Stauffer-Flint Hall


Stauffer Place Apartments


Budig Hall


Anschutz Library


Learned Hall


Malott Hall


Twente Hall


Nothing screams freshman like mispronouncing one of the names of the 150 buildings on Kansas University’s campus

The campanile on the University of Kansas campus is one of Lawrence's most prominent landmarks.

The campanile on the University of Kansas campus is one of Lawrence's most prominent landmarks.

But how do you figure out the correct way to pronounce a name?

“We get these questions (about building names) every single day,” director of KU Info Curtis Marsh said.

Marsh said part of the KU culture is wanting to honor traditions. Everyone wants to do and say things the “right” way, and one of those things is pronouncing the buildings correctly.

KU’s building directory is online,, and it includes a guide to how the university administration wants the buildings to be pronounced.

But there is still controversy and confusion. There are alternative pronunciations based on what students and community members call the buildings.

The names of three places on campus are questioned most often: Haworth Hall, the Campanile and Fraser Hall.

Marsh answers the question with the pronunciation provided by the building directory, but he is sure to inform anyone asking about the alternative pronunciations because students don’t always say the name of the building the way the building directory says to.

“The alternate pronunciations are not inaccurate; they are culturally different,” Marsh said.

Many of the buildings are named after actual people, making the pronunciation even more difficult to figure out. To know the correct way to say the person and building’s name, it is necessary to know how the family said the name.

Haworth is one of the buildings more often pronounced with its alternative enunciation. The building directory says it is pronounced HAH-worth, but many people refer to the building as HAY-worth.

“Most people pronounce it a different way than the (supposed) correct pronunciation,” Marsh said. “This is one that people constantly question.”

Whether you choose to follow the directory’s way or the alternative, technically there is no right or wrong.

“Language changes, so there really isn’t something that’s correct,” said Jie Zhang, associate professor and director of graduate studies in phonology. “What’s used is what eventually becomes correct.”


Chris Crandall 5 years, 6 months ago

This article is entirely incorrect about Fraser Hall. It's FRAY-zerr, not FRAY-zhur. There is a distinct lack of a "z" or an "i". Don't tell Doug Fraser of the UAW or the people who teach at Simon Fraser University or live near the banks of the Fraser River that there is a "z" sound in the name. There isn't.

GUMnNUTS 5 years, 6 months ago

The diploma reads University of Kansas

JackMcKee 5 years, 6 months ago

it's HAY-Worth. when everyone says it that way.

Irenaku 5 years, 6 months ago

Actually, the first pronunciation is correct, as it was named after a professor or a former Chair of Chemistry or Biology or of those...and the last name of the family, Haworth, is pronounced "HAW-worth".

JackMcKee 5 years, 6 months ago

and Christian is as wrong as the day is long.

JackMcKee 5 years, 6 months ago

I've never heard a person call it HAH-worth. Not ince in 9 years attending KU or 22 years living in Lawrence. But this is the same rag that refuses to call it The University of Kansas.

Tyson Travis 5 years, 6 months ago

I grew up in Lawrence and never heard it called "Hah-worth" either. How about the bell tower? At the risk of exposing my ignorance, I always called it the "Campa-neeley," I think it needs two L's at the end to be "Campa-neel." My Funk & Wagnalls lists both versions, the above are #2 and #1 in that order.

Topple 5 years, 6 months ago

Campa-neely sounds rediculous. I can't think of any words that end '-ile" where you pronounce it "ily."

Tile = Tiley? File = Filey? Mile = Miley...Cyrus?

Granted, proper names are often spelled with complete idiocy (Breuklyn, Khannar, etc. makes me want to punch the parents).

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