Pecan vs. pecan: The divide over how to say the word can drive you nuts

washpo-logo-largeA few weeks after the elections, in a much-needed gesture of goodwill, I apologized to millions of Americans for having mispronounced “pecan.” No, it wasn’t easy to eat a piece of my own humble pie. Both blunder and apology came during guest spots on the radio show “All Things Considered.” A year ago, in response to the innocuous question “What’s your favorite holiday pie?” I had answered pecan, despite the fact it has nearly twice as many calories as pumpkin or sweet potato. I emphatically pronounced it “puh-KAHN.”

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