ADS-L/NTY synergy

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Tue Apr 24 13:22:10 UTC 2001

>The AHD4 entry maintains the distinction I mention above:  umlaut for
>fronted vowels, di(a)eresis for separately pronounced vowels.  In
>French, only the latter occurs and it's a "diarèse" or something of
>the sort.  There's evidently a newer sense, not yet in AHD4 or the
>OED, shared by Mark with Bill Safire, in which an umlaut is any
>diacritic consisting of two dots over a vowel, whatever its
>significance.  Me, I think I'll pull out my old prescriptivist garb
>and start a "Save the Diaeresis" groundswell.  It's a fine old term
>for the anti-diphthongization device, dating back to a cite from
>1611, and I object to its anschluss by "umlaut".

It seems to me that French uses "diérèse" for the process, but "tréma" for
the diacritical mark (in either application). I think "diéresis" in Spanish
covers both applications. I may be misremembering; any expert, please
correct me.

I'll join the crusade if the dues are small.

Just remember, "diuresis" is something different!

-- Doug Wilson

More information about the Ads-l mailing list