Only film gangsters say Illinois to rhyme with boys, but everyone says Joliet to rhyme with wet. French is generally well-treated in the Land of Lincoln, but the exception of Joliet was puzzling. A Jeopardy answer may have explained this anomaly. There is a small town not far north of Joliet called Romeoville. Joliet got the Will county seat as well as the prison, two jewels in its crown, but Romeoville is a dot on the map. It seems that these two settlements were originally called Romeo and Juliet, and were renamed for unstated reasons. Romeo added ville, and Juliet changed u to o, but kept the pronunciation. Of course, everyone thinks it honors Louis Jolliet (1645-1700), who with Père Marquette explored the Mississippi in 1673. So much so, that the explorer's name has been changed to agree with the town's name, as far as the United States is concerned! The Will county courthouse in Joliet is a wonderful sight.

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Composed by J. B. Calvert.
Created 18 June 1999
Last revised 19 April 2001