I drove home to Chicago from Iowa City last weekend. Along the way I passed a bunch of cows, some flat raccoons, many semi trucks, and more French-named towns and doubles of foreign cities (Cairo, Rome) than you can shake a map at.
Here's how we say them in the middle of the country:
Buena Vista: BOON-a-vista
Des Plaines: des-PLAYnz
La Moille: luh-MOYL
Rachel Z. Arndt is an MFA student in the nonfiction writing program at the University of Iowa, and an editorial assistant at The Iowa Review.