But I think that part of why I'd never noticed "TURin" before was because the broadcasters have adopted a new pronunciation: /'tɝən/, as opposed to /'turin/. I must have heard the latter my whole life, and, without the vowel reductions to guide me, I misheard stress on the final syllable. Weird.
Anyways, it seems I'm behind the times, and that the real fight is over Turin/Torino, a fight that was started by the mixed signals sent by the IOC, who advise that the games be called Torino 2006, but the city should be called Turin. Their preference for Torino for the name of the games? A marketing decision -- they felt it sounded all cool and Italiany. Missing from the often heated debate was any mention of the fact that the Piedmontese name of the city is Turin. My guess is that no one noticed this because the language has seen better days; according to the Wikipedia article on the subject:
In 2004, Piedmontese was recognised as Piedmont's regional language by the regional administration, although the Italian government does not recognise it. In theory it is now supposed to be taught to children in school, but this is happening only in a limited way... The current state of Piedmontese is quite grave, as over the last 150 years the number of people with a written knowledge of the language has shrunk to about 13% of native speakers, according to a recent survey Efforts to make it one of the official languages of the Turin 2006 Winter Olympics were unsuccessful.Unlike the article's author, I don't equate a language's vitality with its official recognition or its literacy rate, or whether it is "taught to children in school" -- after all, a non-moribund language doesn't have to be taught to children; they already know it. But I think that what the article's author is trying to get at is that overall Piedmontese is giving way to Italian. I know very little about Italian languages, so I don't know if this is actually true, but if it is it would explain why everyone has been saying that Torino is the "local name" of the city.