[Ads-l] [Non-DoD Source] "Niger" or "Niger"?

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Thu Oct 19 21:50:33 EDT 2017


The bit about our "yeomen"  is truly idiotic (unless they were speaking
Classical Latin), and I'm grateful not to have heard of it till now.

This evening I heard someone on MSNBC pronounce the name of the country as
"Nye-ZHAIR."

The adj. appears to be "Nee [or Nye]-ZHAIR-ee-un."

Spelled "Nigerian."

JL



On Thu, Oct 19, 2017 at 8:14 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:

> > Might as well observe that usu. lower-case "Niger" was the usual
> pre-1800 form
> of you-know-what, though
> > presumably pronounced "NEEgur."
>
> The oft-read assertion that "our [i.e. your] Anglo-Saxon and Scotch-Irish
> yeomen have retained the Classical-Latin pronunciation of _niger_" is right
> up there with the "They call one another that" argument in its cynicism.
> Which is not to say that Jon is making that argument - I'd be surprised to
> discover that he is even aware that that claim has been made - but it is
> one of the older ones, made before the spelling was standardized with -gg-.
> I doubt that this claim respected a pronunciation any different from
> today's, though, because both vowels of Latin _niger_ are short/lax/-ATR,
> whatever your favorite theory of phonology prefers.
>
> On Thu, Oct 19, 2017 at 12:31 PM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com
> >
> wrote:
>
> > Might as well observe that usu. lower-case "Niger" was the usual pre-1800
> > form of you-know-what, though presumably pronounced "NEEgur."
> >
> > JL
> >
> > On Thu, Oct 19, 2017 at 11:49 AM, Margaret Winters <mewinters at wayne.edu>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > I had students from there in the 80s and 90s - the pronunciation was
> the
> > > French one [niZer] with the sound in the middle of leisure and their
> > first
> > > European language was indeed French.
> > >
> > >
> > > The "Mikado"  predates1900, of course...
> > >
> > > Margaret
> > >
> > >
> > > ----------------------------
> > > MARGARET E WINTERS
> > > Former Provost
> > > Professor Emerita - French and Linguistics
> > > Wayne State University
> > > Detroit, MI  48202
> > >
> > > mewinters at wayne.edu
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > ________________________________
> > > From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of
> > > MULLINS, WILLIAM D (Bill) CIV USARMY RDECOM AMRDEC (US) <
> > > william.d.mullins18.civ at MAIL.MIL>
> > > Sent: Thursday, October 19, 2017 11:34 AM
> > > To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> > > Subject: Re: [Non-DoD Source] "Niger" or "Niger"?
> > >
> > > >
> > > > In my day, people said "NYE-jer." Nowadays, except for a courageous
> > > journalist in the Rose Garden recently, they're all saying "Nee-ZHAIR."
> > > >
> > > > Sounds so much  more sophisticated, _non_?
> > > >
> > > > When was the big switch? The Random House College Dictionary of 1982
> > > gives only "NYE-jer."  I first heard Nee-ZHAIR" in the early '80s.
> > > >
> > > My wife used to buy thistle seeds for her goldfinch feeders.  Then they
> > > started calling it Niger seed.  Now it's trademarked as Nyjer .
> > >
> > > "The name was trademarked as Nyjer ® in 1998 by the Wild Bird Feeding
> > > Industry, however, to clarify proper pronunciation (NYE-jerr)."
> > > https://www.thespruce.com/nyger-seeds-for-finches-386574
> > > Nyjer Seed - Feeding Birds - The Spruce<https://www.thespruce.
> > > com/nyger-seeds-for-finches-386574>
> > > www.thespruce.com
> > > Nyjer seed, also known as thistle or niger, is a popular seed to offer
> > > small birds and finches. But what is it, and which birds will eat it?
> > >
> > >
> > >
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>
>
> --
> -Wilson
> -----
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> come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
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-- 
"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

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