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

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Fri Oct 20 13:12:07 EDT 2017

Pronunciation by WaPo journalist Karoun Demirjian on CNN:


Cf. "knee-jerk."


On Fri, Oct 20, 2017 at 9:22 AM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>

> April Ryan, award-winning White House correspondent.
> BTW, the given name "Ryan" is now unisex: (Ms.) Ryan Manion (b. ca.1977?):
> <http://goog_153042178>
> http://www.travismanion.org/our-story/tmf-staff-and-board/
> board-of-directors/ryan-manion-board/
> JL
> On Fri, Oct 20, 2017 at 3:59 AM, Stanton McCandlish <smccandlish at gmail.com
> > wrote:
>> I've never encountered "Nigerian" for "a native of Niger", only for "a
>> native of Nigeria"; I would think trying to use it for both would be
>> fatally ambiguous, thus "Nigerien".
>> I've lately heard (in the US anyway) a lot of radio and TV people taking
>> extra care to try (often farcically) to approximate French and Spanish
>> proper name pronunciations, starting in the 1990s (and probably radiating
>> out from the American Southwest).  This has included pronunciations of the
>> names of some other former French colonies, e.g. Montserrat without the
>> "t"
>> sounds and with a nasalized "n".  I would think that eagerness to avoid
>> anything like the pronunciation of the N-word is behind rapid re-adoption
>> of "knee-ZHAIR" in English, but it's actually part of a broader pattern
>> (cf. someone else's comment about Côte d'Ivoire).
>> See also ready Western adoption of Beijing, Mumbai, and other changes to
>> some Asian placename transliterations to be more accurate, and increased
>> appearance of the proper diacritics on many names in modern newspapers
>> which used to eschew them entirely or almost entirely (I remember one
>> journalism style guide permitted them for Spanish and French but no
>> others).  Also been seeing a lot of Dao De Jing (even Daodejing), Mao
>> Zedong, Laozi, etc., where once we had Tao Te Ching, Mao Tse Tung or Mao
>> Tse-tung, and Lao Tzu or Lao Tze.
>> All of these proper-naming shifts seem to have happened over a single
>> generation, from the 1980s to 2000s, and are being pushed top-down by
>> publishers, not bottom-up by "the common folk". Most of the shifts I
>> notice
>> are bottom-up ones, like turning "e-mail" into "email", inverting the
>> meaning of "comprise", accepting "less" as applying to count nouns ("15
>> items or less"), and treating "bad" and "good" as synonymous with "poor"
>> and "well", respectively, in the performance senses ("She speaks English
>> really good").
>> On the other hand, the British war against punctuation, especially the
>> period and comma, is a two-way affair, pushed aggressively by the UK
>> newspaper industry and also loved by youths, who hate all those fiddly
>> punctuation rules and were already ignoring them. It's resisted by British
>> academic publishers and by regular people over about 35.  But I digress.
>> --
>> Stanton McCandlish
>> McCandlish Consulting
>> 4001 San Leandro St
>> Suite 28
>> Oakland  CA 94601-4055
>> +1 415 234 3992
>> https://www.linkedin.com/in/SMcCandlish
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> --
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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