Monday, August 7, 2017

The Duden Story

Back in 1880....the Germans published this 'helpful' book called the Urduden.

Konrad Duden was the guy who wrote the book, and he intended it to be the end-all answer to the mysterious language of German.  Even in the 1880 period....folks were beginning to realize that words and phrases were being invented almost weekly, and a lot of folks simply didn't grasp what things meant.

They are coming out with the newest Duden shortly....which will have 5,000 new and additional words.  Words like 'fake news' and selfie have been added.

How big a deal is this?  Some folks (German PhD types) are a bit worried because it's an indicator that there is no thought process to this....words just get invented....and some of them are English words.  The die, der, or das relationship? one is real sure about selfie (it ends in 'e' so it ought to be die).

If you bring up the Duden with anyone under 25 who hasn't attended university....they just laugh.  They don't take it serious.  The intellectual and news crowd?  They have a personal copy and will chat for an hour or two about these new words in the Duden.

The interesting thing to me is that there is a listing in the book of total words....roughly 145,000.  If you inquire about this....folks will note that it's FIVE times the number of words that existed in 1880.  This is another indicator about the language and where it's going.  By 2100?  I'd take a guess that they'd have over 250,000 words by that point.

So if you hear the term brought's best not to ask too many'll just get real confusing.

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