The eternal schwa question

This is easily the thing about Missouri I get asked most often.

“A high percentage of our politicians say Missouruh,” mused Lyle Anderson, the mayor of Lebanon, who prefers the other construction.

Such politicians include, historically, President Harry S. Truman, a Democrat, and more recently, former Senators John Ashcroft and Christopher S. Bond, both Republicans. Today, most of the state’s top officials stick mostly to “Missouree,” but they sprinkle the other ending into the occasional speech, especially when they’re introducing themselves or speaking to rural audiences. Strategists say that’s just good Missouri manners.

In other news, strategists should never be consulted on manners.

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