Cephalomegalomaniac with Grammar Faults?

Based mainly on the poster below, I wanted to see this show in the gohglmohsch cabaret when I was in Leipzig:


But the friend I was with was not German-powered, so I decided against it. They do tend to get restless after the first 23 incomprehensible minutes, these Deutschverweigerer, especially when everyone around them is laughing.

But now to the serious question. The title of the poster, and the show, is roughly "They released me as cured." But I note that the personal pronoun for "me" is in the dative case, when structurally, is should be in the accusative case. Is this (1) a regional variation; (2) a grammatical mistake that's supposed to show us he's still not cured? (in case the cephalomegaly hadn't already tipped us off); or (3) is 'entlassen' one of those rare German verbs that always takes a dative object?

Enlighten us, grammar nerds!

9 thoughts on “Cephalomegalomaniac with Grammar Faults?

  1. (1) is correct.
    The “mir” is clearly wrong. But I am quite certain that it should be taken as a regional/dialectal (Berlin?) variation (like “ham”= haben and “se” = sie), not as indication that he isn’t cured.

    But then the whole saying “als geheilt entlassen” is usually taken (in humourous contexts) with the meaning: a hopeless (but presumably harmless?) case, we can’t do anything for him, so release him anyway.



  2. Yes, it’s regional. Otto Reutter was a comedian and singer who lived in Berlin. „Mir ham se als geheilt entlassen“ is the title of a song by Reutter, which is written in Berlin dialect.

    The grammatical phenomenon is called Akkudativ.

    There is a text by Kurt Tucholsky on Otto Reutter which cites the abovementioned song.


  3. Acoording to the Tucholsky-link (and that agrees with my rudimentary knowledge of Berlinerisch) it should actually be: “Mir hamse als jeheilt entlassen”


  4. @Johannes: If its a feature of a regional dialect or variety it is not to be regarded as a mistake, but as exactly that: A feature of a regional dialect. In other varieties, including standard German, it would be a mistake, of course. The use of the Berlin dialect also often carries the flavour of being uneducated, though. It is sure used here to achieve a certain comic effect.


  5. Definitely Berlin dialect! Ever seen My Fair Lady in German? The standard translation uses Berlin dialect as an equivalent for Cockney English and includes plenty of reversals of dative and accusative in the Doolittle scenes. It’s pretty much a cliché of Berlin Hinterhofkultur; people used it to try to establish a kind of antiquated street cred, much as one might affect a Brooklyn accent when running for city council in New York.


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