The Ecphorizer

Loose Chippings

Issue 11 (October 2007)

A Virtual Diocese

In 1995 French RC bishop, Jacques Gaillot, had been fired by the Pope and was reassigned to the diocese of Partenia, an area in north Africa that had apparently been consumed by the desert in the 5th century.  The bishop  decided to make the best of it and created a diocese without borders by creating a web site devoted to this diocese.  There is a short history a map of the area, and a lively forum for visitors to visit this site.

What are people from Niger called?

Okay, enough of the snickering.  We know that citizens of Nigeria are known as Nigerians.  What are people from Niger called?  I spent decades thinking it was pronounced nye'- jerr.  When I posed this question to some friends recently I was corrected:  It apparently is correctly pronounced nee-zhair', in the French manner.

I still would like to know what people from Niger are called.

From a broadly-informed Francophone:  since it's French, the demonym of Niger would be known as Nigeroise.  Another well-respected source who hails from the Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) informs me that the proper appellation is Nigérien or Nigérienne.


Karaoke.  What a whitewash.  Who knows how to pronounce it.  I've heard it spoken like "carry-okey," "kara-OK," and others.  I certainly don't know how it's pronounced.  Supposedly it has a Japanese origin but I first came across it in Hong Kong, and later, in China.  I never really know what it's all about except you stick a videodisk or CD or DVD into a box and it plays the music.  More expensive machines provide a video feed to a TV and you can see the words on the screen.  The end result is that the user is supposed to sing to the music.  Gosh, you need all this equipment to do this?  We used to just have a friend play the guitar and we'd all sing along, for better or worse.  In the past, if you got a recording that was missing the vocals (or any instrument), it was called "Music Minus One." 

Aside:  I've heard that the best-selling recording for viola is the Music Minus One series.

So now what about that great Brazilian dance known as the carioca?  Sounds pretty much the same but the Brazilians have first claim to it.

Finally, according to a couple of good sources, Karaoke Bars in China usually have a side trade in the hostess business.

In this context Loose Chippings is a group of short-short quips or otherwise unclassifiable fillers.  However, our readers from the British Isles know that "loose chippings" refers to the gravel that is put down after a road has been resurfaced with thick oil or a slurry seal.  The gravel helps prevent the very viscous liquid from running.  As cars drive over the loose chippings, the discrete pieces are forced into the resurfacing element, lending further stability.

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