Will writes about diaereses. I wanted to comment but felt my fun new term for the New Yorker’s behaviour is more at home on my own site rather than some blogging company’s. So here I comment:
While I’m usually the first person to grab any opportunity for using superfluous odd characters, those diaereses never struck a nerve.
Most importantly because if you use ö as o-umlaut all the time you simply think ‘ö’ when seeing that letter. Which totally messes up the pronunciation of co-operative.
And as much as I like the New Yorker’s poncyness, I fail to see their point. English is full of short words and can easily take the hyphenation to co-operative. Likewise English is full of inconsistent pronunciations, meaning that English users can deal with the potential ambiguity. Which - in my opinion anyway - just leaves the ‘look here we’re special’ aspect to using these accents.
I’d only think it’s reasonable to use them in English for words which normally carry them like Noël or naïf/ve.
Bonus question: How would the New Yorker spell the name of the axioms for the natural numbers. Peano, like their name is, or Peäno as would seem more in line with their diaeresitis?
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