ß – the Eszett

When I was studying German in Austria, our group made up our own version of Spanglish we called Carl-stoanstyrish (Carl for Carleton, our college, Stoan Styrish for the Graz / Styria dialect). One of our favorite sayings was Viel Spaß (lots of fun) where we would pronounce the eszett (ß) as a B rather than double S. Viel Spab!

Wouldn’t you know, but the Swiss have outlawed the ß! Even though I learned the Mac keyboard shortcut for typing it (opt S). Actually, the Swiss outlawed this letter back in the 1930s. Schools stopped using it then, as did Die Post. It took the Neue Zürcher Zeitung (New Zurich Newspaper) until 1974 to give it up.

So, Glampers, I hope today you have veil Spass!


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