Mark A. Mandel Mark_Mandel at DRAGONSYS.COM
Wed Apr 25 19:29:47 UTC 2001

If you're talking with an American about the spelling of a word in the
Roman alphabet in any language, you have a much better chance of being
understood if you call the diacritic in question an "umlaut" than if you
call it a "dieresis". As far as I'm concerned, that's all that's necessary
to validate this usage. The high general probability that your interlocutor
doesn't know the language in question, let alone the historical or
synchronic processes that motivate the presence of the diacritic in this
particular word, only strengthens the argument.

I seem to recall that Safire got its placement wrong, though, assigning it
to the first "e" in "reenter" rather than the second.

   Mark A. Mandel : Dragon Systems, a Lernout & Hauspie company
          Mark_Mandel at : Senior Linguist
 320 Nevada St., Newton, MA 02460, USA :

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