Pronunciation guide: Setting the record straight on how to pronounce certain VCU-related words

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VCU is launching a new guide to help explain the pronunciation of commonly mispronounced words that are part of the VCU lingo.

Two freshmen meet in the hallway after a class.

“Do you want to go to Cay-BELL to practice our presentation?” one of the students says.

“Isn’t it pronounced CAH-bel?” the classmate responds.

“Oh, I don’t know,” the first student says. “I thought I was saying it right.”

The above is a typical debate on the possible ways to pronounce the name of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Cabell Library. As a large public university with two main campuses, VCU has a host of people and places with names that can prove tricky to pronounce. The result is confusion and the occasional disagreement.

The university is launching a new guide to help newcomers, alumni and everyone in between pronounce some of the more commonly mispronounced words that are part of the VCU lingo. The guide, in video format, sets the record straight on how to say Michael Rao and Qatar, for example, as well as, of course, Cabell. The video will be incorporated into VCU’s existing Brand Standards.

April Fools 2018

“We provide the university community with guidelines for how our seal should look, what colors are approved for use, what fonts are acceptable, etc. We have an editorial style guide where we give guidance on how to spell and treat certain words. It just makes sense to have a pronunciation guide as well,” said Pamela Lepley, vice president for university relations. “It will help unify the community and put us all on the same page.”

Reminder: Please note the publishing date when reading the above story. Cabell is officially pronounced CAH-bel (rhymes with babble and rabble). And that’s no joke.