Open Letter submitted without prejudice - Scugog Pronunciation
We honour the lands of the Mississaugas and have their name for our lake, Lake Scugog, and are honoured that its name was chosen for our Township.
Perhaps we could honour the name of our community, Scugog, by asking our Mississauga members how it is pronounced and has been over most of my life until the last 15-20 years.
Scugog is pronounced ScUgog (Sc-you-gog).
However, somewhere, somehow Scoogog appeared in the vernacular and in some media news. Remedial efforts would be helped by our Mayor and Regional Councillor speaking up at Durham Regional Council. It may get through to the news media.
Hearing Scoogog makes me flinch. Scoogog sounds cheap and down-scale. It droops. On a one-to-one with a person who said Scoogog, I write three words, and asked the person to say them:
Cupid - person does not say Coopid
stupid – person does not say stoopid
Scugog – person usually hesitates, and I say Scoogog sounds stoopid.
In conclusion, all the communities in Scugog, you who live here, are anything but cheap, downscale and droop.
I jokingly say to those who insist on Scoogog, "Oh, I guess yer from Tronna." Certainly, they are in the vernacular. Like, "How many d's in Ottawa?"
It shows respect to pronounce a name, person or place correctly. A place name spoken correctly by ordinary people is part of the character of that place. Please pronounce the name of our community and lake correctly. Scugog.
We see the correct pronunciation before our eyes with the letter U on paper and in signs. But to get the correct pronunciation, it has to get airborne from one person's vocal cords to another person's ears.
How? Start a conversation. Talk about the correct sound for the pronunciation of Scugog.
I listen to Metro Morning, CBC 99.1 FM. One morning in April, when the COVID lockdown had been lifted, the host interviewed kids from Ajax about what they wanted to do. One kid said excitedly, "Go to Scoogog."
I phoned our Durham District School Board(DDSB) Trustee, telling her of this incident and asking if she could promote DDSB to introduce an age-related curriculum throughout the grades.
We encourage new cultures into Durham, but we also need to encourage appreciation of our older culture into our new emerging inclusive culture. Truth and Reconciliation is part of being a Canadian. Our Trustee said she would try.
School trips are a given. Scugog Shores Museum website offers one appropriate program. As a result of our partnership with the Mississaugas of Scugog Island, students have the unique opportunity to explore both modern and traditional First Nation culture in our Ojibway Heritage Interpretive Lands. An interactive trading game will highlight the relationship between the Ojibway and early settlers.
I saw Scoogog written in an online document! Should a mark or buck be lost for a spelling error?
Regarding remedial efforts getting through to the news media and broadcasters, perhaps some graduates of Port Perry High School could be asked for assistance. They are: George Cope, retired BCE Inc. Chief Executive. The telecommunications and media company owns Bell Canada, CTV Inc., and a portion of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd. Wade Oosterman, President, Bell Media and Vice Chair, BCE and Bell's Kate Beirness, a host for SportsCentre on TSN.
So let's have a cheer, loud and clear, for Scugog! Give me an S, Give me a C, Give me a U, Give me a g-o-g! SCUGOG! Star jumps!!!! Back flips!!!!! Cartwheels!!!!