Except among the pretentious twits at the New Yorker, who insist on "coöperation" and "naïve," English has no umlauts, cross-hatches, cedilles, or other diacriticals. That means one thing: umlaut envy. The authors of the German group blog Riesenmaschine (‘Giant Machine’) has noticed, and are amüsed.
Take it away, Machinists (my translation):
It’s come this far: The North American enthusiasm for umlauts in bar-names yesterday finally broke all bonds. It began, I’d say, about two weeks ago, when the first German words popped up; suddenly bars were named “Überfall” and “Blüte”, which is pretty harmless, as far as it goes. But then people began to discover the exotic strangeness of the two little flying dots and went batshit. At first, people hovered in a transition phase that lasted only a couple of hours, in which they resorted to ordinary umlauted words (Pangäa). But then they moved to just declaring any foreign word they saw fair game, and slapping a couple of superfluous umlauts onto it. Then people began to think, and realized that English words also look nicely odd, when you throw a couple umlauts onto them (Blür). Like a plague of rabbits, the umlaut conquered every continent, destroyed the native letters, and left a language desert in its wake. That was long ago. Since yesterday, though, since there is a restaurant in Bloor West Village in Toronto called “Blüme,” the well-traveled umlaut has arrived back in its homeland. Helpless and confused, the poor guy sits around in the pedestriän area, begs for spare chänge, and doesn’t even understand his own language anymore.
This post is a continuation of: Änd Tomörrow, the Whöle Wörld… (G)