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                   Friday, February 5, 2010 - 10:42AM CST

Random Midwesternisms and facts, part 1

By DAN ROBINSON
Editor/Photographer
25 Years of Storm Observing
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Some things you may or may not know about the Midwest and the St. Louis area:

  • The 's' in Illinois is silent. That is, the correct pronounciation is 'Illi-noy' not 'Illi-noise'.
     
  • Missourians are split about whether it's 'Missour-ee' or 'Missour-ah'. Even the governor can't decide. Most in the St. Louis area say 'Missour-ee', which is how I've always said it.
     
  • Schnucks is the predominant grocery store chain in St. Louis. Yes, it's a funny-sounding name to outsiders. The 'u' in Schnucks is pronounced like the 'oo' in 'book'. Schnucks is on my good side as they're the only place in the Midwest I've been able to consistently find 12-packs of Canada Dry ginger ale.
     
  • Many locals refer to Interstates as Highways. That is, Highway 64 instead of I-64 or Interstate 64; Highway 70 instead of I-70, and so on.
     
  • The building with the rotunda near the Gateway Arch in downtown St. Louis is the Old Courthouse, not the state capitol. It is presently not an active government building, but it is part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, of which the Arch is also included in. The Missouri state capitol is in Jefferson City.
     
  • The terrain in the St. Louis area differs starkly on either side of the Mississippi River. The landscape is generally hilly on the Missouri side of river, and generally very flat on the Illinois side (hence why I chose to live on the IL side).
     
  • In the St. Louis area, there are two separate and unconnected roads called Kingshighway - one on the Missouri side and one on the Illinois side.
     
  • There are two separate suburbs in St. Louis named O'Fallon - again, one on the Illinois side (just off of I-64) and the other in Missouri, to the northwest of downtown off of I-70.
     
  • There are two Springfields, both significant-sized cities within a few hours of St. Louis. One Springfield is in Illinois (and is the IL state capital), the other is in southwestern Missouri along I-44.
     
  • St. Louis' culinary claim to fame is predominantly Italian, not BBQ. I didn't figure this out until moving here. Despite the existence of 'St. Louis-style' BBQ items on many barbecue restaurant menus in the eastern US, there is not much of an actual BBQ phenomenon in St. Louis itself (at least not that I've been able to find). As with any city, there are some good BBQ restaurants - but to my knowledge none are the source of the 'legendary St. Louis BBQ' thought to exist by outsiders. I'm still not sure where 'St. Louis-style ribs' originated, but I'm still trying to figure that out.

Very informative! Research that BBQ, Randy wants to know!!
- Posted by Katie from Melrose

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