Will Utahns gather for Pioneer Day this weekend? Or will Utahans gather for Pioneer Day this weekend?

Tayson Dale, 6, stands as the Mormon Battalion color guard passes by during the 2019 Days of ’47 Parade in Salt Lake City.

Tayson Dale, 6, of Orem, stands as the Mormon Battalion color guard passes by during the Days of ’47 Parade in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, July 24, 2019. Are people in Utah Utahns? Or are they Utahans? | Laura Seitz, Deseret News

A majority of Utahns agree there’s only one right way to say it

People who live in New York are New Yorkers. Residents of New Hampshire are New Hampshirites. Those in Georgia are Georgians.

Seems simple enough.

But what about people in Utah? Are they Utahns? Or are they Utahans?

Y2 Analytics recently posed this question in a statewide survey of Utah voters: “Which of the following do you think is the correct way to spell the word that refers to someone who lives in Utah?”

Only two options were given, and Utahn was chosen 90% of the time.

“Every large group has some contrarians, so any public opinion item with 90% agreement is rare,” said Quin Monson, a partner with the Salt Lake City-based market research and data analytics group. “That’s probably higher than the proportion of Utahns who consider themselves fans of the Utah Jazz or that listen to the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square.”

Even a state holiday received a smaller proportion of agreement. The survey conducted June 24 to July 7 found “only” 84% approve of Pioneer Day (July 24) being an official Utah state holiday.

The poll also found that a large percentage of Utahns believe that “Utahn” is the only acceptable demonym, the word used to refer to people in a particular country, state or city.

“The locals clearly prefer one spelling over the other,” Monson said.

The survey looked at other factors such as politics and religion to see what might predict the preference for Utahns over Utahans.

Overwhelming majorities of Democrats and Republicans, Joe Biden voters and Donald Trump voters, …read more

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