I understand that a government
agency in Germany
is complaining that the German language is being invaded by English words.
I had to laugh when I read that –
a case of schadenfreude, I suppose.
I’m afraid the Germans will have to get used to it. Borrowing foreign words and phrases, like it
or not, is the leitmotiv of
linguistics these days, part of the zeitgeist
you might say. Anyway, I laughed so hard over my newspaper that I nearly
choked on my bagel. Fortunately a bottle of seltzer was at hand to wash it down. Actually, I would rather have had a lager but that would have meant a long schlep to the freezer.
Just then I sneezed.
“Gesundheit” said my wife, who’d just then managed to waltz into the kitchen from a visit to
the kindergarten without my knowing. “I’m sorry, I said, but using foreign
words is strictly verboten.”
“That’s just academic realpolitik,” she replied. “Every now
and then, someone tries to exploit the national angst by demanding a blitz on ersatz words.”
My wife is so clever, I thought
at that moment, a true wunderkind – and pretty, too, a doppelganger for that lady on television who sells designer schmatta.
“What shall we have for dinner
tonight,” she asked. “How about hamburgers for a change,” I suggested, “and perhaps some of that delicious strudel you sometimes get from the
“Yes, I have to go the baker
anyway,” she said. “We’re out of pumpernickel. But meanwhile I’m going to take an aspirin for my headache. I want to feel fit enough to sit outside for
a while. It’s lovely – about 70 degrees Fahrenheit. By the way, I filled up the Volkswagen. Very expensive, diesel has gone up yet again.”
“Well, if you don’t mind, I’ll
take the BMW for a drive. I have a kind of wanderlust this morning.”
“Where will you go?” she asked.
“Oh, down to the hinterland. I understand one of the villages is having a
“Well, don’t drink too much.”
“Don’t worry, I’m not uber-thirsty, and I’ll grab some nosh on the way. They do a great wienerschnitzel at the Dog and Duck.”
Well, readers, I’m going to sign
off now, before I run out of gigahertz.