German Melancholy

Watching Stefan Raab punch the air with a full-blown Yank whoop and vainglorious ‘Yes!’, it’s easy to forget for a second that this is RTL. At least until he loses the subsequent round, punctuated with a fat Teutonic ‘NEIN!’

German is a sad language. To express moments of joy, Germans prefer to fall back on English. People stand around singing ‘Häppi Bersday’, send one another cards congratulating them when ‘It’s a boy!’, drive off from the church to the clatter of cans and a creamy white ‘Just married’ in the rear windscreen. But only the native language is good enough for the morose. Surveying the greetings cards, there are no English options for sharing your Beileid or showing your Anteilnahme.

Random Quote

Your fatuous specialist is now beginning to rebuke “second-rate” newspapers for using such phrases as “to suddenly go” and “to boldly say”. I ask you, Sir, to put this man out without interfering with his perfect freedom of choice between “to suddenly go”, “to go suddenly” and “suddenly to go”. Set him adrift and try an intelligent Newfoundland dog in his place.

— George Bernhard Shaw