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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Punctuation Celebration: Ze Umlaut!

So you've probably heard about or seen or maybe even read Stieg Larrson's "Millennium Trilogy." (It's definitely on my "to be read" list.) If you're familiar with it, then you've probably seen this fella around: ö

"Is that a surprised omg emoticon?" you ask. No! It's an example of today's Punctuation Celebration! Mr. Umlaut was kind enough to stop by the office and answer a few questions, with the assistance of his interpreter.
*The following should be read in a stereotypical Swedish-ish accent:

I know you're very busy with your world tour, but do you think you could answer a few questions?
Ya, that would be just fine.

Should I call you Herr Diaeresis or Trema or do you prefer something else?
Herr Diaresis is my father. I've tried to get away from that name all my life, sounds like an intestinal disorder. Just call me Umlaut.

OK Umlaut, so tell us a little bit about yourself?
Oh alright. Well I was born in Germany. I lived there for a while but eventually traveled all over the world. Everywhere I go people treat me just wonderfully. Except the Americans, they threw me out of their language and insist on pronouncing me with a terrible German accent.

Well I apologize for that.
It's quite alright. I've found a lovely home in Sweden. They try to work me into every single one of their words.

Speaking of Sweden, how is the Millennium Trilogy tour going?
Oh it's just wonderful. Mr. Larrson's books have been great for my popularity. Over 30 million copies sold! Just think, there are billions of little Umlauts just like me out there all over the world!

Umlaut, do you think I could have your autograph?
Of course, here ¨

Is that it? It looks like a vampire bite...
I know! It's wonderful, the Twilight kiddies just love it. I'm the most popular punctuation in the world!

Well I don't want to hold you up any longer. Mind if I ask a few closing questions?
Go right ahead.

What's your favorite brand of ice cream?
Häagen-Dazs, obviously.

Oh, of course. And your favorite band?
It's a toss up between Mötley Crüe and Spıal Tap.

How are things with your ex-wife, Schwa?
We don't get along very well. We're in a custody battle for the kids... [mumbles to interpreter] We have no comment on that at this time.

Well, thank you very much for visiting with us today. Good luck on the rest of your tour!
Adjö så länge.

*If you giggled at this, then check out Nora Ephron's "The Girl Who Fixed the Umlaut" in the New Yorker!



Robert Guthrie said...

One of my favorite things about the New Yorker is that they regularly use the umlaut over cooperation.

Vincent Kale said...

As well they should!