Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Story of the Umlaut


The only place most English readers encounter the umlaut is in metal band names and IKEA. Both signify foreignness to us, but the intended effect is quite different. OKEA wants to convey something clean, modern, and simple, even cute, while metal bands use the umlaut out of a sort of metal tradition. Linguist and language historian Arika Okrent explains the origin of the umlaut and how its different uses can clash embarrassingly. (via Metafilter

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