1. Spoiler alert:

    Juneau, Albany, Jackson, Pierre, Boise, Annapolis, Cheyenne, Trenton, Madison, Lansing, Boston, Bismarck, Harrisburg, Phoenix, Raleigh, Hartford, Frankfort, Honolulu… Plus Salem

    I got ten on the first pass. After re-reading a few times, I found all but one. Had to look at a list for the last one (Raleigh)

    I saw this yesterday but was too lazy to write them all down, Thanks for giving me the incentive 🙂

  2. Then the bells, in the denouement, peal your ears off — it’s a sacrament, toe the line! Tell a hussy!

  3. I think I’ve heard that Pierre, the city, is pronounced as a single syllable, Peer.

  4. @Dana, even so it may not indicate a mismatch — maybe the guy they know, named Pierre, also uses that special pronunciation!

  5. There may also be a subtle “pronunciation guide” issue for the name Boise. (Maybe our own Boise Ed can help.) It’s just a bit subtle because it depends on a small phonetic difference, between “voiced” sound /z/ and otherwise identical “unvoiced” sound /s/. For me, my natural unreflective way of pronouncing that city name uses the /z/ sound (despite the orthographic “s”), like “boy zee” or rhyming to “noisy” (which as you see also has orthographic “s” but phonetic /z/).

    But the cartoon has the hidden name in “boys, see” which has a phonetic /s/ not /z/. And I vaguely remember being told that is how the city name is in fact pronounced! (Which would make the cartoon correct…) Is anyone else familiar with this bit of pronunciation advice?

  6. When I met Boise Ed he pronounced it boy-see. I asked him if that was the ‘correct’ pronunciation, and he said it was. Ever since I’ve been saying ‘boy-zee, I mean boy-see’. Habits die hard

  7. Juneau works perfectly in a New Joisy accent, like my mom’s – d’you know is pronounced j’no. Jeet? No, jew? (Did you eat? No, did you?)

  8. “Boys, see” is far from the worst match between pun and pronunciation in this comic. “Al, Benny” is leagues worse.

  9. What jjmcaffey said. It’s how those jwons are said here. We wash in ton of wooter too.

  10. Glad I decided to memorize all the state capitals some years ago! I always knew there would reason to have done so.

  11. Everyone has been taking for granted that Idaho’s state capital should have a two-syllable name, but when I look at “Boise“, I see no reason why the “correct” pronunciation could not be “boys“, or even “boyce“. Wikipedia traces the etymology of the name via two separate anecdotes back to “bois” (French for “wood(s)”), but the French pronunciation (roughly “bu-wa“) is nothing like the modern pronunciation of the city’s name, which can be used as a shibboleth to reveal the origin of native vs. non-native residents.

  12. Speaking of pronunciation, why is Des Moines “Da Moyn” but Des Plaines” is “Des Plaines”?

  13. I think Pastis ought to watch his language. Since December lingos like that have a nasty tendency to confuse readers. All I can say is goodness: awful!

  14. @Kilby, I can’t make much sense of your comment; but I do see “Berlin” hidden in “December lingos” and wonder if there are other national capitals or something like that hidden in various ways in the bit of text.

    However, I thought I remembered you as being more on the anti side when we once had a debate on so-called “cryptic” crossword clues. This sort of hiding in the overlap is a classic trick of cryptics.

  15. It’s kind of weird that some people live in the continental United States and yet do not live in any state. They are kinda sorta in Virginia or Maryland but not really.

  16. @ Mitch – I had hoped that the expression was cryptic enough to encourage people to search for the tortured puns. You caught the only one that was not on your map:

    “I think Pastis ought to watch his language. Since December lingos like that have a nasty tendency to confuse readers. All I can say is goodness: awful!”

    In order: Ottawa, Berlin, Havana, Nassau

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