An issue of grave importance is sweeping our fair city today, as a debate rages about the proper pronunciation of the dreaded Van Wyck Expressway. Is it Van WICK (as in "stick") or, as some Dutch linguistic purists insist, Van WIKE (as in "like")?
While Pat Kiernan claims that the crew at NY1 has been debating Van Wick/ Van Wike "for years," the New York Times today stokes the fires further, publishing an article that only makes things more complicated. The Robert Moses-designed expressway was named after 1898 New York mayor Robert Anderson Van Wyck, whose descendants insist that the highway is pronounced "Wike." But even the recorded announcement on the E stop at Jamaica-Van Wyck says "Wick," while meanwhile, an officer in the Dutch Consulate swears it's "Fon Weig," rhyming with "leg."
The battle continues, with no discernible end. Traffic anchor Jamie Shupak took a Twitter poll this morning, reporting that "Out of 112 votes, 28% say WIKE (as I do) + 80 twits say WICK," while Henry Posner sums up the traffic-snarled mess nicely: "If you've driven on it the names you call it cannot be printed in the NYTimes!"