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

W Brewer brewerwa at GMAIL.COM
Fri Oct 20 22:02:39 UTC 2017

Good reaction, SSM, worthy of record. But let's not throw too wet a blanket
on free discussion of language phenomena, a crucial part of which is
speaker reaction & evaluation of same, regardless of personal tabu. A
Russo-Armenian journalist pronounces <Niger> as [KNEE-zhr]; it does conjure
up <knee jerk>, which is a fact. That is an observation, worthy of record,
just like yours. There are two factors at work here: (1) ridiculous
American hypergallicism; and (2) what to do with the word <Niger>, which
unfortunately is graphically disconcerting, while any of the renderings,
[ˈnaɪdʒɚ, NIGH-dzhr], [ˈnaɪʒɚ, NIGH-zhr], [naɪˈdʒɛɚ, nigh-DZHAIR], [niˈʒɛɚ,
knee-ZHAIR], [niʒɛʁ], [ˈni:dʒɚ, KNEE-zhr] appear to the rest of the world
as a macabre dance about the peculiarly American n-word.

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

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