Pronunciation Gets Serious [...]

A description from the National Post of a fight over the pronunciation of Newfoundland that ended in death. (Link)

Mill workers in the frontier town of Larkspur, Colo., saw two men enter a cabin in search of a dictionary. Seconds later, they heard a gunshot.

The Webster’s had not even been thumbed through when mill worker William Atcheson, 23, threw a punch. Teamster John P. Davis recovered and, “true to his Texan breeding and education,” drew a revolver and fired point-blank into his assailant’s abdomen.

The year was 1876 and Davis and Atcheson had just drawn first blood in a dispute that has divided Newfoundlanders ever since.

“One wanted to put the accent on ‘found,’ and the other on ‘land,’ ” said the Rocky Mountain News, which reported on the unusual brawl in its March 29, 1876 edition.

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