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Morning rays, Cañon de Chelly

Saturday, November 25, 2017

I stand corrected.

Those that know me well know that I am a bit of a spelling and grammar nazi, not that I don't make a mistake myself now and then. Who doesn't? Happy to take my whacks. But I certainly dish it out, there is a barista in town that can hardly look at me, after being twice instructed that you spell the word does exactly so and not dose. No extra a in celebrate either after the second e.

I have stopped correcting her verbally, I just casually wipe out the offending letter or word on the chalk board when she is not looking. I am the child of an editor, the inclination is surely genetic. And I did a lot of proofing for Pinnacle Books as a kid, back in the days of long galley pages.

It is amazing how many errors I find in old books, the problem is not new by a long shot but it is certainly getting worse, especially in the new internet era where everybody is an author and no one has the time or knowledge to bother to correct anything.

I am feeling crummy, have been for the past few days. I sat a table over from my peeps this morning. My eyes traveled to this headline and without bothering to read the content I started bitching.

"Freaking editors. Nigeriens. Awful."

I was quickly corrected by Sanoguy.

"They are not talking about people from Nigeria. They are talking about people from Niger."

Oops. I had not considered that possibility. I took my verbal whipping, which my friends seem to take particular delight in, but decided to do some further checking. Ronald Reagan - Trust but verify. And he was right of course, with a minor caveat.

The people of Niger do call themselves Nigeriens although an alternate term used by the New York Times until 2011 was Nigerois. Sounds french but more a fancy bastardization than anything else. See here.

So there will be no Pinnochios or hedges here. I made a false assumption and got caught. Happens to the best of us. Obviously.

The word that explains where somebody is from is called a demonym. For more demonyms see this list. Pretty straightforward, a person from Ireland is Irish, a person from Qatar a Qatari and someone who hails from the Island of Man a Manx. Simple.

4 comments:

Ken Seals said...

Niger is a former French colony, so Nigerois is correct en Francais.

Blue Heron said...

Not really, it was an anglicized concoction and invention. I went through this recently with Guatemaleño/ Guatemalteco.

Sanoguy said...

Refreshing to see you so humble!! You wear it well!

Anonymous said...

Not to worry, it'll be gone by the time he feels better.