Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Stupid Conversations -- I Haz Dem

Quotation du jour:  Spike Milligan -- Money can't buy friends but you can get a better class of enemy.

Oh, i do know some idiots.

At my work, there's a man i've nicknamed "Mr 30%" (because that's the amount of effort he puts into his work). This man -- an annoying person all around, really -- claims to be fluent in German, but obviously isn't: he occasionally greets me by saying guten tagen (instead of guten tag) for "good day" (and in actual fact, most Germans would say moin, moin).   (And, i hasten to add, i'm not fluent in German -- i know as much of the language as any well-educated English person, but certainly not enough to carry on a conversation:  that thing about moin, moin comes to me from my friend Ela, who lives near Hamburg).

Anyway, 30% was blathering about this country's debt crisis recently and i mentioned something about how (German Chancellor) Angela Merkel (oh, look, there's there's her picture)

was trying to deal with Europe's worsening debt crisis.  I pronounced her name as it is pronounced, with a hard "g" (as in "angular").  He tried to correct me, saying it was pronounced with a soft "g", as in "angelic."

Well, pedant that i am, i said "D'oh! Wrong again!"  I don't recall exactly the conversation that ensued  but i said something along the lines of how the letter g is always voiced hard in the German language and he (fluent in German remember) rebutted that, if that were the case, the word "German" wouldn't have a soft g and that i must be some kind of ignoramus.  And then i said something like "Our word Germany comes from the Latin Germanium, with a soft g; the Germans call their country 'Deutschland'."

What a gobshite he is.  No wonder i'm depressed, dealing with people like this, six days a week.  Es ist schade.




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