NARI as in Mary?


nari_logoOr is it?

What’s in a name?

Yesterday I was talking to a fellow NARI member and he said NARI is pronounced like sari (sa-ree). I mentioned we had both sat in a meeting when the national president announced (tongue in cheek) that the debate was over, NARI sounds like Mary (mare-ee). End of debate. Well, not in Minnesota.

Minnesotans are known for their vocal nuance, just watch the movie Fargo, yes they do sound like the characters in the movie. To further complicate things the Minnesota Chapter of NARI is devoted to following the national leadership, except in this matter. Some members of the Minnesota executive group has decided that NARI is properly enunciated by saying NA-REE, end of story, fogetaboutit, go away, we’re right and your not.

What’s funny about this is its a small thing and of no great concern to members. Members are concerned about regulations, the economy and maybe even the Swine Flu, but we don’t really care how you pronounce NARI.

Me, I like to pronounce it NARI (EN-AREE).

Paul Lesieur


  1. First I have to say I have been to Minnesota a few times in my life I have a brother that graduated from Mankato and lives in Wilmar. Just a little foundation here, like a well built structure.

    I was involved with the NARI debate several years ago when Paul Winans was NARI’s National President. NARI that rhymes with Mary or NARI that rhymes with Harley. It was decided then, and I was on the Harley side, that it would be NARI that rhymes with Mary. In the big schemes of things the world is not going to end if a person says it one way or another. Knowing the proper way to say a name is respectful of the noun if it is known. I know personally if I’m not sure how to pronounce someone’s name I ask them, it’s the proper thing to do, sometimes it’s a 50/50 chance, my luck I’ll get it wrong if I guess. I kindly correct people about the proper name of the NARI organization, in most cases they did not know better and appreciate knowing their is a naming standard out there for NARI just like the standards that we use in the building trades. We may not like it, we may make fun of it, but we have a standard for the name of our organization. I bet you would quickly correct me, being from Georgia, not originally-New Yorker born, I came to one of the many unique regional names there, probably Indian, and mispronounced the town or city you live in.

    In the beginning of this missive I was going to make fun of you folks up in Minnesooota and tell you how cold it is up there now and you have nothing better to do then debate NARI(Mary) versus NARI(Harley). I know what it’s like up there not a lot up there, lots of flat land and a bunch of lakes. I rather be here in Atlanta, dodging stray bullets, riding around Rt 285 at 85 and not worrying about that cold white stuff that falls from the sky you have plenty of up there. Oh, one more thing, the folks in Minnesooota are some of the nicest people I have ever met, real salt of the earth. L

    • Yes, its all OK. I grew up in Connecticut so the whole thing is just a little bit humorous.

      NARI as in Mary or NARI as in Harley are both good. When in Rome!


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