Friday, April 17, 2015
Minnesota's great umlaut war is over
Today, we bring you urgent and breaking news out of Minnesota, where a battle over umlauts has been — well, not raging. What is the more polite version of raging? Occurring? Happening? Gently taking place? Something like that.
Anyway! Minnesota. Umlauts. See, there is a city in Minnesota that had been known as Lindström — or, if you saw the signs greeting you on the way in or out of town in recent years, Lindstrom.
Via Brian Yoder on MyFaceGoogleBookPlusSpace, Minnesota’s great umlaut war is over (also, Minnesota was having an umlaut war) - The Washington Post
My first thought was couldn't the MDOT just spell it “Lindstroem?” But then I read that Lindström has a sister city in Sweden, Tingsryd, and I wasn't sure if the umlaut served the same function in Swedish as it did in German. It turns out it doesn't, and the “ö” in Swedish is a distinct character, unlike in German where the “ö” is a shorthand notation for “oe.”
It all turned out fine though, the MDOT is going around adding umlauts on all the Lindström signs.
Ms. L'Engle also never mentioned the 24-hour news cycle that helped subjugate the population of Camazotz
Via a link on FaceGoogleMyBookPlusSpace is an article about a cut passage from an early draft of A Wrinkle In Time. The article talks briefly about the cut passage and then goes into some details about Madeleine L’Engle, but I can't help but quote from the cut passage:
So she said, “But Father, what's wrong with security? Everybody likes to be all cosy and safe.”
“Yes,” Mr. Murry said, grimly. “Security is a most seductive thing.”
“Well—but I want to be secure, Father. I hate feeling insecure.”
not enoughyou don't love security enough so that you guide your life by it, Meg. You weren't thinking of security when you came to resuce me with Mrs Who, Mrs Whatsit, and Mrs Which.”
“But that didn't have anything to do with me,” Meg protested. “I wasn't being brave or anything. They just took me.”
Calvin, walking beside them with his load of wood, said, smiling warmly at Meg, “Yes, but when we got here you didn't go around whining or asking to go home where you could be all safe and cosy. You kept yelling, where's Father, take me to Father: You never gave a thought to security.”
“Oh,” Meg said. “Oh.” She brooded for another moment. “But I still don't see why security isn't a good thing. Why, Father?”
“I've come to the conclusion,” Mr. Murry said slowly, “that it's the greatest evil there is. Suppose your great great grandmother, and all those like her, had worried about security? They'd never have gone across the
countryland in flimsy covered wagons. Our country has been greatest when it has been most insecure. This longinsick longing for security is a dangerous thing, Meg, as insidious as the strontium 90 from our nuclear explosions that worried you so about Charles Wallace when you read in science at school that it was being found in greater and greater quantities in milk. You can't see strontium 90. You can't feel it or touch it. But it's there. So is the panicky searching for conformity, for security. Maybe it's because of the Black Thing, Meg. Maybe this lust for security is like a disease germ that it has let loose on our land. I don't know, Meg. All I realize now is that my fight is much bigger than this little one on Camazotz.”
Despite being written over fifty years ago, it seems to apply more to us today than it did in 1962 (and here's a discription of Camazotz if you are unfamiliar with the book).