En réponse à Roger Mills <[log in to unmask]>:
> The chain of hypermarchés in this area is Meijer('s)-- everything from
> to motor oil-- , always correctly pronounced ['maj@r] since much of
> population is of Dutch descent.
Well, the [aj] pronunciation is not the standard, even nowadays. It's not even
the most common one.
I write it in my checkbook as
> though in script it could just as well be "ij".
Dutch people write "ij" normally as a single letter too, and it is normally
indistinguishable from ÿ.
A proper name (19-20C
> missionary/linguist/anthropologist) Kruijt-- I never understood why the
> was necessary there, since AFAIK "Kruit" would be pronounced the same.
Indeed. I am under the impression that "ij" is more often than not an
alternative to "y", which was quite common in Dutch, and can still be seen in
some names (especially place-names, from before the orthographic reform which
replaced all "y" with "ij"). The village where my friend comes from, for
instance, is now Bergeijk, but used to be written Bergeyk, and is an obvious
compound from berg+eik: moutain's oak. In older orthography, |eik| was written
|eyk|, but for some reason, "y" was replaced by "i" (with which it competed
anyway already) in most common words, but by "ij" in proper names.
As for why "y" was ever used, I take it was the same reason as it used to be
used in French orthography: to replace "i" which was not distinguishable enough
in the common handwriting of then, or simply for aesthetic reasons.
> I wonder if that's an adaptation of US (originally Black) slang, "phat"
> suppose from "emphatic"?-- though by the time I pick up on such slang
> they're already passé).
Well, I've never ever heard "phat" used in this sense in English, and as far as
I've asked no Dutch people I know knew this word (with that meaning). So I
somehow doubt that English was an influence there. It may be a case of parallel
development, something which is far from unknown.
Take your life as a movie: do not let anybody else play the leading role.