My career has involved speaking for more than 40 years so you'd think I'd be good at saying things by now. Not so much and that's especially true of the Illinois town that was just declared one of the hardest to pronounce in the United States.

This new list is a fun one from Reader's Digest. Every single state has at least one town that isn't said like it looks and the choice for Illinois is a perfect example. Odds are that if you've driven from Springfield, Illinois to St. Louis, you've cruised through this tiny place.

Google Maps Street View
Google Maps Street View

It's not a huge amount of letters and they're not in weird places. No, for the Illinois town of Benld, it's all about emphasis. Named for founder Benjamin L. Dorsey, it's Ben-ELd.

The problem is for those who are just trying to roll through the letters, Benld can be a train wreck of sorts. You just end up with a jumbled "nld" at the end before you know it. That's why it's been given the infamous tag as one of America's hardest to pronounce towns.

Wikipedia says that little Benld, Illinois is shrinking down almost 100 residents in the last census to barely over 1,400 that live there. That's sadly something it has in common with many Illinois small towns these days.

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Gallery Credit: Kurt Johnson, Ruhl & Ruhl

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