There's a little spot in the world just outside of Ritzville, WA called Tokio. Every time we drive to Spokane, I see the sign for the exit. But is it pronounced like the Japanese city Tokyo? Or is it a Native American word that has a different pronunciation? Okay, in this example, you say it just like Tokyo. But not all names or places in Washington are so easy to roll off the tongue. I was born on the west side, but grew up in Montana, so when I came back to Washington almost 10 years ago, I had to be careful with names like Willamette. Anyone who didn't grow up here always makes the mistake of saying WILL-UH-MET, instead of Will-lamm-it.

Others are not so hard if you just take a second to look at them. Like Skykomish or Swinomish.

But what about Kalakala? Not so easy (Kallack-a-La). The trick is to put the emphasis in the proper spot, even though it looks like it could easily be  KALA-KALA.

One that gets me every time is the name of a small town northwest of Seattle that is also associated with a very nice little state park named Sequim. Hint: it's just one syllable!



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