David M. Robertson dmsnake at USIT.NET
Sat Apr 28 00:37:00 UTC 2001

Mark Odegard wrote:

> Really? Your typical German schoolboy will, when spelling out or describing
> a letter will say 'u-trema'? instead of 'u-umlaut' (or whatever is said in
> German ?U mit trema?), as when explaining over the phone how 'Mueller' is to
> be spelled, with a trema over the U or with an E after the U.
> I have heard that Germans themselves get into fights over the definition of
> 'umlaut'.
> _________________________________________________________________

>From my one year of German 35 years ago, I think the German schoolboy *would*
say "u-umlaut" if spelling orally. (Unless he would only need to say "u" since
any literate german would know from the context that the vowel would be
umlautized.") Writing, he would render it either as a "u" with the two-dot-thing
floating above it, or as "ue." I believe the use of the two-dot-thing to
indicate an umlaut was a fairly recent development in German (19th century?) and
was disfavored by Hitler (der Fuehrer) and his followers such as Goebbels and
Goering as being "un-German." Thus the Nazis insisted on "umlautizing" the a, o
and u by adding an e after them, as ae (Schaefer), oe (Goebbels) and ue
(Nuernburg), not by using the two-dot-thing..

  Snake  (Schlang)

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