Random DWJ discovery of the day

Dorian E. Gray israfel at eircom.net
Wed Mar 16 14:20:41 EST 2005

Bettina said...

>> Well, as I said, German is a *sensible* language.  Poetry is 
>> intrinsically
>> non-sensible. :-)
> Which means the reformed spelling we have since a few years must be a 
> dream
> for poets! The spelling was in fact changed to make it more sensible and, 
> if
> you ask me, a spectacular failure...

I didn't know you'd had a spelling reform.  What I was taught in school (20+ 
years ago) always seemed perfectly sensible and logical to me; I can't see 
why German would *need* a spelling reform!
> E.g. (behände/behende - gang und gebe / gang und gäbe - Stengel /Stängel

Have all those Es replaced the A-umlauts?  Why?  A-umlaut is not the same 
sound as E - at least, not in the dialect I speak (Berlinerisch-influenced 

> There are also new rules concerning captial letters (im Trüben fischen, im
> Dunkeln tappen)

Huh?  Capital letters for the beginnings of sentences and for all nouns. 
What was wrong with that?  What are the new rules?

> Some of the new rules abollished words and meanings, and many
> poets and authors prohibited their works to be published in the new rules.

Abolishing words and meanings sounds both idiotic and futile to me. 
Languages don't change by legislation!  I heartily sympathise with those 
poets and authors.

> As a result it's a bit like in Goethe's time. Eyerbody (pupils and teacher
> excluded) writes the way he likes (and, in many cases can find a 
> dictionary
> to prove he's right :-) Some newspapers use the new rules, others the old
> ones - I'm glad I don't have to write dictations any more.

Hehee!  "Look, let's organise our language...oh bugger, we've made it 
utterly *dis*organised!"  Does German have an equivalent of the phrase "if 
it ain't broke, don't fix it"?


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