This is one of those “I’ve been annoyed by this all my life and it’s time to do something about it” posts. I hate the word loess ‘a windblown deposit of fine-grained, calcareous silt or clay,’ because I have no idea how to pronounce it. AHD gives (lō’əs, lĕs, lŭs), M-W \ˈles, ˈləs, ˈlō-əs, ˈlərs\; to take these in the latter order, \ˈles\ sounds like less, \ˈləs\ (i.e., “luss”) sounds dumb, \ˈlō-əs\ sounds like Lois, and \ˈlərs\ (i.e., “lurce”) sounds dumber. But I’m willing to bite the bullet and adopt one of these pronunciations if I’m convinced that it’s widespread enough, and especially if it’s the one used by those who deal professionally with the stuff. So: how do you say it, and do you know how loess people say it?