Printer Friendly

New German triple-letter words.

A supplement to The Pocket Oxford-Duden German Dictionary (Oxford University Press, 1997) reports that the governments of Germany, Austria and Switzerland agreed in 1996 to reform the spellings of about two thousand words in the German language. Of logological interest is the fact that the spelling changes resulted in the creation of over one hundred new triple-letter words. These oddities came about in three ways. First, a number of formerly hyphenated words were consolidated: "See-Elefant" [elephant seal], e.g., becomes "Seeelefant." Secondly, letters dropped from some words in earlier consolidations were restored: "Bettuch" [sheet], for instance, was stretched into "Betttuch." Why? Because under the old rules, words such as "Bettuch," when divided at the end of a line, would regain their lost letters ("Bett-tuch"), a practice which complicated electronic text manipulation. Lastly, the eszett ([beta]) character was replaced by a double-s in hundreds of words, with the result that a number of words such as "Missstand" [a deplorable state of affairs] now more than ever seem begging to be hissed: "Ein Missstand!"

Eleven different letters occur as triplets under the new spelling rules; here are all of the instances reported by Oxford-Duden:

E Armeeeinheit, Kaffeeernte, Kaffeeersatz, Kleeeinsaat, Kleeernte, Schneeeifel, Schneeule, Seeelefant, Teeei, Teeernte

F Dampfschifffahrt, grifffest, Grosschifffahrtsweg, Kunstofffolie, Kustenschifffahrt, Luftschifffahrt, Personenschifffahrt, Schifffahrt, Stofffarbe, Stofffetzen, Stofffule, Tufffelsen, Werkstoffforschung, Zelstofffabrik

I Hawaiiinsel

L Balllokal, Bestellliste, Eisschnelllauf, Falllinie, Fussballlanderspiel, helllicht, helllila, Kontrolllampe, Kontrollliste, Kristallluster, Metalllegierung, Mulllapschen, Nulllage, Nullleiter, Nulllosung, Rollladen, Schalllehre, Schallloch, Schnellluufer, schnelllebig, Schnelllebigkeit, Stalllaterne, Stillleben, stilllegen, Stilllegung, Wolllappen, Wolllaus, Zechenstilllegung, Zelllehre

M Kammmacher, Kammmaschine, Kammmuschel, Klemmmappe, Programmmusik, Rammmaschine, Schwimmmeister, Stammmutter, Stemmmeissel

N Brennnessel, Gewinnnummer, Kennnummer

O Zooorchester

P Krepppapier

R Geschirrreiniger, Sperrriegel

S Basssanger, Dasssatz, Delikatesssenf, Einschussstelle, Flusssand, Flussspat, Fresssack, genusssuchtig, Haselnussstrauch, Imbissstand, Komisssteifel, Kongresssaal, Kongressstadt, Lossschicht, Messstab, Missstand, Nassschnee, Nussschale, Nussschinken, Nussschokolade, Nussstrudel, Olmessstab, Passstelle, Passstrasse, Presssack, Pressschlag, Pressspan, Reissverschlusssystem, Schlusssatz, Schlussspurt, Schlussslrich, Schlussswache, Stresssituation, Verschlusssache

T Balletttanzerin, Betttuch, Bitttag, Schmuckblatttelegramm, Schritttempo, Werkstatttage, Wettteufel, Wettturnen

The only double-triple-letter word to occur is "Flussschifffahrt" which means "river navigation."
Saratoga, California
COPYRIGHT 2003 Jeremiah Farrell
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2003 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Puder, Jim
Publication:Word Ways
Geographic Code:4EUGE
Date:Feb 1, 2003
Previous Article:Vowel-consonant patterns (Part 2).
Next Article:Kickshaws.

Related Articles
Global Voice introduces new language translation product.
New five-letter palindromes.
Vicinal and nonvicinal heterograms.
A foul ghoul soul loves good blood food.
Substitute-letter transposals of AEINRST.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2020 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters