Hawaii Actually Has The Highest Gas Prices

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Editor:

Please accept a correction of your article "Record gas prices going even higher" on page 7A of the March 21 edition.

The reporter states: "California drivers continue to pay the most for fuel in the country at $3.63 per gallon."

In my home state of Hawai'i, which was admitted as the 50th state of the United States of America on Aug. 21, 1959, and which has therefore been part of "the country" for 49 years, gas prices on the island of Maui have reached $3.98 per gallon for regular, and are pushing $4 (as are a few stations in California). See: ttp://www.msnbc.msn.com/ id/23635539/

Incidentally, here's why we kama'ainas spell the name of our homeland with an "apostrophe" between the last two letters in its name: the sound of a double "i" at the end of "Hawai'i" is pronounced as a glottal stop, and the glottal stop in many Polynesian languages is distinctive; its existence or absence changes the meaning.

So the word "Hawaii" is technically a different word from "Hawai'i".

Also, the mark between the two i's is not really an apostrophe; it's called an "okina," and is properly written as an upside down and backwards apostrophe -- something I can't get Microsoft Word to do instead of the regular apostrophe.

In addition, there is no "w" sound in the Hawai'ian language, so the proper pronunciation of Hawai'i, is "Hah-vah-ee-ee." To confuse things further, the ancient Polynesians, even before they traveled centuries ago by canoe many thousands of miles to the islands of Hawai'i, had a legend that referred to magical lands of "Havaiki"; there was "Havaiki-ki-ruga (the "land above the land") and "Havaiki-ki-raro" (the "land under the land.") They also believed in "Havaiki i Taputapu-atea" -- "Heaven on earth," which is the name they gave to the beautiful islands of Hawai'i when they landed there after their long ocean voyage. So for a long time Hawai'i was called "Havaiki."

For some interesting information on the okina in "Hawai'i," and on some Hawai'ian words and phrases, see: ttp://starbulletin. com/97/10/23/news/story4.html and http://www. shakadivers.com/pidgeon.htm

The word "kama'aina" (the okina marks a glottal stop between two a's, so the word is pronounced "kah-muh-eye-nah") is Hawai'ian for "one who has lived in Hawai'i' for a long time," or "one whose family has been in Hawai'i for several generations." My great-grandfather, an architect, sailed with his wife and daughter from Maine around the Cape of Good Hope to Hawai'i in the middle 1800s. Both my grandmother and father were born in Honolulu; my mom and dad currently live there in the house in which my dad was born 90 years ago, designed and built by my great-grandfather. So that makes me a kama'aina haole wahine (a Caucasian woman belonging to a family that's been in Hawai'i for several generations.)
For the record, even though my home state is beautiful, I now consider it only a great place to visit; Arizona is a much better to live and work... and the gas prices are, at least for now, much lower.

For some more interesting information on Hawai'i, see: http://www.friesian.com/hawaii. htm.

Tina Terry

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