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How to pronounce comptroller, according to the Indiana state comptroller's office

The exterior of the Indiana State Comptroller's office in the Indiana Statehouse. A plaque on the wall outside the double doors reads "State Comptroller 240." 240 is the room number.
Brandon Smith
IPB News
The 2023 budget bill contained language changing the name of the state auditor's office to state comptroller, to better reflect the office's duties.

The Indiana state auditor’s office this year changed its name to state comptroller — and yes, it’s pronounced COMP-troller.

The title change came because it more accurately reflects the office’s duties — the state auditor didn’t audit anything. Comptroller better describes a job that ensures the state pays its bills, manages government payroll and helps distribute local tax dollars.

But why pronounce it comptroller and not controller, as it is in some states?

Both are acceptable, according to both the Merriam-Webster Dictionary and Oxford English Dictionary. And the history of the word dates back to a misspelling, as Middle English speakers mixed up a pair of French words.

The Indiana office says the use of comptroller — in both spelling and pronunciation — is becoming more common. And so, its spokesperson said, as the office moves “toward a more modern time,” in Indiana state government, it will be comptroller.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.