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Saturday, September 16, 2006

I managed to accomplish nothing today.

I could finally persue my dream career -- Donaudampfschiffahrtsgesellschaftskapitän
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There's an Old Saying in German that roughly translates into the following:

We like our words, like we like our sausage: Long and made up of random parts of other things.

Or something to that effect. Actually, you might not want to quote me on that...

A few months ago, I was reading NEON Magazine. It has a section called Unnützes Wissen, which is dedicated to one of my favorite topics: useless knowledge.* However, instead of the usual one-page of random facts, this particular issue came with an entire little booklet of random facts.

One little tidbit happened to catch my eye -- Sesquipedalophobia is the fear of long words.

In and of itself, not the most interesting or intriguing piece of information that I've ever stumbled across (especially in light of some of the other factoids). Though for some reason, reading that sentence in German was very amusing to me. I tried to imagine a native German-speaker afflicted with this condition, because (in case you didn't know) the German language is full of crazy-long compound words...and it's not really like you can avoid them.

Or can you? (Click below for more)

I mean, for as many compound words that the language has, there's got to be about 5 bajillion times as many abbreviations. It kinda makes you feel as though you were surrounded by sesquipedalophobes.**

Actually, what I enjoy much more than abbreviations, is how Germans (or rather, German-speakers -- I don't want you to feel left out, S.A.M III) take long-ass words and take a few letters from each syllable to form a completely new word that means the same as the original long-ass word. Did I lose you?***

For example: a popular fruit drink here is a mixture of cherry juice and banana juice. You've got the Kirschsaft (cherry juice) and the Bananensaft (banana juice)and you mix them together to get a KiBa.

This doesn't really work so well in English. Using the same example as above you'd get something like CheBa...which I suppose is also good, but I think it's something different altogether.****

Whereas Americans have the FBI, the Germans have the Kripo. The Kriminalpolizei. Personally, I think that Kripo sounds more gangsta...if only because of the whole krip part in there. Although, I wouldn't want to fuck with either crew.

Berlin shortened its famous shopping street, Kurfürstendamm, to Ku'damm and the main drag in Barmbek, Fuhlsbüttler Strasse, is just called the Fuhle. For the latter, I would have personally gone with the Fubü...but nobody asked me. I suppose, it'll have to wait until The Revolution gets here.

It goes on and on.

By far, my favorite has to be Vokuhila, which is basically German for mullet. You know, the hairstyle...the whole business in the front, party in the back, shit. And that's basically what it means vorne kurz, hinten lang (short in the front, long in the back)

Thanks to Wikipedia, I learned today that there's also the opposite (aka the "frullet" -- front mullet), which is called the Volahiku (vorne lang, hinten kurz -- long in the front, short in the back)

and strangely enough there's also the Vokuhilaoliba or vorne kurz, hinten lang, Oberlippenbart (short in the front, long in the back, and a moustache)

This, I think, is taking it a bit too far...

And now, because I have no idea how to end this post, you should read about 12-year-old Abbie and her dilemma concerning the 7th Grade Dance.

Because it's way more entertaining that the drivel I just wrote.
(Source: Pissed & Petty)

*= I'd just like to apologize to the German-speakers who may have found this sentence to be redundant. Notice how I'm NOT apologizing for making up a fake German Saying.

**= Noooooooooooooooooooooooo!

***= Geheime Staatspolizei...anyone? No, I'm not going there.

****= The stickiest of the icky

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