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

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Fri Oct 20 13:22:41 UTC 2017

April Ryan, award-winning White House correspondent.

BTW, the given name "Ryan" is now unisex: (Ms.) Ryan Manion (b. ca.1977?):



On Fri, Oct 20, 2017 at 3:59 AM, Stanton McCandlish <smccandlish at gmail.com>

> 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."

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list