diacritical marks WAS Re: Word (Phrase?) of the Year (so far)?; Rambo'd (UNCLASSIFIED)

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Feb 1 15:01:53 UTC 2013

On Jan 31, 2013, at 11:18 PM, W Brewer wrote:

> LH:  <<<"Söze".  The question of when the tradition of a following "e" can
> be used is a separate one>>>
> WB:  In my German class in days of yore (I once more reference mein Lehrer,
> Adolf Hoffmann), I probably learned that the German Doppelpunkt was a
> manuscript practice, an abbreviation of a Frakturschrift letter <e>, which
> was penned (mit einem Feder) sort of like two upright harpoons joined
> together, sort of like a pointy lower-case <n>. The Frakturschrift <e> was
> moved from behind /a,o, u/, shrunk and placed on top of the vowel.
>     Once upon a time, a general editor in Taiwan ordered me to "stop
> putting umlauts" on people's vowels; there had been complaints. I replied,
> okay, no more umlauts, but the DAIAERESES MUST STAND!" Of course, what he
> meant was, stop putting any diacritics whatsoever on manuscripts.
>     Alas, I was undoubtedly one of the last PhD candidates at UCLA to
> crank out a dissertation on a manual typewriter, with dead keys for accents
> and double-dots, tilde, and other civilized goodies I have long forgotten
> about. Damn you, Bill Gates.
I'm (virtually) sure yours is indeed a later manually cranked out dissertation submitted in partial satisfaction of the requirements of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at UCLA than mine (1972) was, but I'll bet you didn't have to go through each of 306 pages to retype the page numbers because the archivist determined that the page numbers on the submitted version were too close to (or too far from, I forget which) the bottom of the page.  There is something to be said for digital word processing.


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