Umlaut Song

Umlaut, macron, grave or acute,
I’ve got a perfect puzzle for you.
Diaeresis, circumflex, breve,
If you are wise you’ll listen to me.

What do you use when two vowels are discrete?
Which diacritic changes vowel quality?
When can you circumflex the antepenult?
Can you make any sense of Blue Öyster Cult?

I don’t think ASCII can do that.

Umlaut, macron, diaeresis,
You had better be minding your glyphs,
You will live in happiness too,
Like the Finnish polymaths do,

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Filed under Frivolous, Well Spoken

45 responses to “Umlaut Song

  1. So what tune should this be sung to?

  2. “Oompa Loompa”, haha. By “Finnish polymaths” are you by any chance referring to Korpiklaani(Finnish, English, Lappish)?

  3. No, Svar, I am sadly ignorant of your reference. I wrote the lyrics in honor of Markku Koponen over at Vox Popoli. He has an endearing obsession with educating Anglos about the umlaut/diaeresis distinction.

  4. Korpiklaani is a Finnish heavy metal band that sings in mainly English, then Finnish, but the lead singer used to sing in Lappish as well:

    Both Samson and I are fond of this band.

  5. Metal + folk (accordion in this case), gotta love it; weird, wild, and wonderful combo…

  6. @ Svar: CL not long ago put up a great link to another Finnish metal band, Apocalyptica, who combine metal with classical music; here is their bitchin’ cover of Grieg’s “In the Hall of the Mountain King”:

  7. “Metal + folk (accordion in this case), gotta love it; weird, wild, and wonderful combo…”

    Yes, really like the accordion and the fiddle.

    That Apocalyptica cover is badass; even though I admire classical music from an intellectual standpoint, I don’t really like to listen to it, but I really like this cover. I listened to the original… it wasn’t as intense as the Apocalyptica version.

    Do you think that it’s about this?:

    It’s definitely a story of this genre:

  8. @ Svar: Grieg composed it as accompaniment to Ibsen’s ‘Peer Gynt':

    So it does tie into heroic Nordic literature / sagas.

  9. How about some heavy metal Mussorgsky?

  10. Neat stuff, Eumaios! The guitar solo from 1:02 to 2:29 in the first one, remind me very much of Eddie Van Halen’s riffs in ‘Eruption’ and the live, extended version of ‘3:16″, interestingly enough.

    Since this post is about umlauts, that reminds of me of Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx’s side project, Sixx:A.M., and their song “Life is beautiful”; I’ve always thought the solo from 2:13 to 2:34, below, is a wonderful baroque-sounding riff.

  11. Here’s a Korpiklaani song with THREE umlauts:

    Here’s one with only one:

    This band is good even when you have no clue what they’re saying.

  12. @ A Racist, Nasty-Tongued, Creep

    Good stuff. Never heard of that band before.

    @ Will S.

    Ahh, yes, I know about Sixx Am. Have you heard Heart Failure? The intro sounds somewhat classically-influenced.

  13. Svar: Great stuff there by Korpiklaani.

    No, haven’t heard ‘Heart Failure'; I’ll have to take a listen.

    There are a number of people in metal who have classical influences. Yngwie Malmsteen, of course… I mentioned Eddie Van Halen, from Van Halen obviously; his acoustic solo “Spanish fly” sounds like a classical Spanish guitar song:

    You can hear an electrified version of parts of it embedded in the live extended guitar solo ‘316’, which containsparts of ‘316’, ‘Spanish Fly’ (from about 2:49-3:58), and ‘Eruption’, as well as bridges between them, unique to that performance and/or other live performances of it:

  14. Ahh, looks like Screwflake also believes that the “original Greek” says something completely opposite to the English translations:

    What is it with the Churchian Evangelical frauen and Greek?

    I’m personally a fan of Latin myself.

  15. @ Svar: Well, the New Testament was written in Greek, so therefore, silly revisionist girls who want to make the Word say something other than what it does, will try to say “Yeah, but that’s not what the Greek meant” bullshit arguments. It’s bullshit, but it seems a common tactic.

  16. uh

    uh wasted thirty seconds reading your gay little poem


  17. Post title should have warned you.

  18. Screwflake’s not totally wrong about the sarx/soma distinction. Paul seems to have used the word we translate as “flesh” as an invented term of art. Her received (i.e. parroted) interpretation of the distinction is predictably blauseating.

    N.B. that Screwflake has never commented here again, unlike our more recent feral female follower, who gets hatecrushes. This could mean that Screwflake, having gotten burned, has sense to leave well enough alone. Or it could be that I was right in naming her after Screwtape.

  19. Will S., you’re right about the way of a woman with the Greek. But this, as with most evils, is a perversion of something good. Men like N. T. Wright have made (I think) very good cases that some of key terms in the Greek scriptures are mistranslated or misunderstood. The one that slays me is in 1 Cor 15:44:

    Most of the translations contrast “natural body” with “spiritual body”, but at least one has “physical” opposed to “spiritual”. But the word translated as “natural” or “physical” is derived from the word that is normally translated as “soul”. Why not translate this as: It is sown a soulish body and raised a spiritish one. Because people wouldn’t understand? Bad reason.

  20. Hmmm, I don’t know, Eumaios. I guess I’m trusting that, what with the Bible being God’s Word, and meant for people of all different backgrounds, ethnicities, and times, the Holy Spirit superintends the translation of God’s Word into the different languages, such that, whatever language we speak, we can clearly comprehend God’s intended meanings in Scripture. But perhaps I be naive in this assumption.

  21. I used to geek out about understanding the scriptures. Now I think that most people have no business reading dead people’s mail.

  22. To clarify: the only thing required to convert the first generation of followers was the good news that the true king had acceded to the throne and a little bit of back story, orally transmitted. Necessary and, apparently, sufficient.

  23. That’s true. Same as, in OT times, marriages could happen ‘without benefit of clergy’, simply by, er, consummating them in a tent; henceforth, the two were husband and wife.

    So, do you therefore reject the system of organized Christian religion, what with written Scriptures, hierarchies of clergy, elders, deacons, and laypeople; church orders, etc.? Or do you nevertheless attend one, anyway, and accept its teachings? I know your background if Churches of Christ; do you still belong? Just curious, trying to understand.

  24. My baseline: the Churches of Christ reject any hint of inter-congregational power structures. There is no clergy per se, and no orders. Elders direct and deacons implement, but there is no laypeople distinction. The pretense is that the CofC does only what the first century church did, but of course there are numerous exceptions, primarily dealing with the taking of communion. They use grape juice, not wine, and they actively discourage members from doing it in private gatherings. This is either a massive comprehension fail, or something more sinister.

    I do reject the non-congregational systems of organized religion; I find most of the practices fatuous, but this does not mean I have contempt for the individual practicers. As my pseudonym indicates, I see what we’re doing as counter-revolutionary activity. I’m grateful for comrades, even if I do think they waste their time in strange bonding rituals.

    So I do not attend worship services. Neither am I in contact with any congregation, largely because I do not expect to find one where I would not be a cause of dissension and schism. Dante, in the Inferno, indicates that the sin of heresy is less about what you believe and more about whether you tried to break up the body of Christ. I am resolved not to be that kind of heretic. An irony is that the beliefs that make me trouble for modern churches would have been considered orthodox in centuries past.

    A home church would be a fine thing, could I only find other Christians who don’t feel the compulsion to go to a real church.

  25. “Dante, in the Inferno, indicates that the sin of heresy is less about what you believe and more about whether you tried to break up the body of Christ. I am resolved not to be that kind of heretic.”

    Interesting. Are you saying that you’re like the SSPX of the CofC? I have some sympathies for those men.

    Regardless, I find it strange that your beliefs are not what matters when it comes to heresy. Let’s bring up a hypothetical situation: Let’s pretend that I’m a dumbfuck liberal Churchian who believes in feminism, fag “marriage”, and abortion but I’m not trying to break up the church and you’re a Christian who believes in Church Traditions and Scripture and you’re trying to return the church in a more orthodox and true direction which will involve breaking up the body of Christ. According to Dante, you would be the heretic? That makes no sense.

    “An irony is that the beliefs that make me trouble for modern churches would have been considered orthodox in centuries past.”

    I understand what this means in general(I think that I’m the same way), but what are the beliefs that you are referring to specifically?

    Personally, Pope John Paul II has pissed me off and truly hope that Rome never has another pope like him. Wish we could have a pope like Pope Pius IX and Pope Pius X. I do like this Pope Benedict XVI that we have now.

    Eumaios, have you ever thought of going Roman? Or even Eastern?

  26. Ah, okay; I think I understand, though I admit I’m not well enough versed in the classics to understand much about the character of the original literary Eumaios.

    I believe in structures and order, yet not without some reservations. So, I attend a church that has much, and enforces them, but, not without maintaining some degree of mental independence from them, if you will. I’ve never been a good ‘company man’, in any capacity; I’m a shit-disturber from the get-go. Nevertheless, I remain within a tradition, and regular attendance, and with broad agreement on the basics of the theology even as I reject some or even many non-Scriptural components of the ‘church culture’ of the tradition, but I respect those who find they cannot abide such and choose to go it alone, which number includes even my own parents.

  27. Svar: “According to Dante, you would be the heretic? That makes no sense”.

    It’s more about factionalism and trouble-making. I am definitely predisposed toward causing trouble and being generally provocative. If the ostensible body of Christ has broadly adopted incorrect doctrines and practices, I don’t think the answer is to try and change the masses.

    The intolerable orthodoxy you ask about is exactly that which provokes Jennifer and Screwflake.

    As to your final question, Roman or Eastern are the only ways I would go if I thought home gatherings weren’t the proper thing.

  28. Will, Eumaios in the Odyssey is a bit part. He’s just the swineherd who refuses to break faith with Odysseus even when he has every reason to believe him dead. His loyalty is not futile, for the king does indeed return, and then they go taking names and kicking ass.

  29. @ Eumaios

    “* calling the Pope a dipshit

    Hey Svar, did that bother you?”

    I would love to respond to this question over at Haley’s, but unfortunately I have been banned for making fun of Bee Eff and SWPL Buddhist Girl. Regardless, no. Not at all. That didn’t bother me at all. In fact, I’ll copy/paste a bit from an email talking about that thread(this is my commentary, btw):

    “You believe in a church ruled by rungs of male human flesh”

    Us fucking Papists never get any slack, huh? I like how she protested Eumaios calling Pope John Paul II a dipshit(DC doesn’t really like that pope that much either), who happened to call himself Papa Feminista btw(that’s telling of why she supports that pope), but then criticizes the very structure of our church and the way our church does things(better).

    You’ll never see (liberal)Evangelicals support Pope Pius IX or Pope Pius X, but they all gush over Pope John Paul II. Eumaios is more of a friend to the RCC than women like Jen. I’ve had a good conversation with him about coming to faith and he expressed some admiration for our church.

  30. “rungs of male human flesh”

    Never heard it called that before.

  31. “Never heard it called that before.”

    Neither have I. Say, what do you think is her preoccupation with “male human flesh”? It’s interesting how she uses such vivid imagery to describe what she dislikes.

  32. @ Svar: Haley outright banned you? I know she said she was putting you into moderation, but has she now gone further and banned you outright, or refused to let through any comments you’ve tried to leave?


  33. Jennifer is obsessed. “Rungs of male flesh”; WTF?

    Pathetic, OCD girl.

  34. Will S., Svar: y’all don’t appear to have your own blogs. Would you like to join Riding with the King?

  35. True, Eumaios, I don’t have a blog. That’s a mighty generous offer; thank you for making it!

    I’m not sure, at present, if I wish to take you up on that, I’ll have to think about it. I hadn’t been planning on getting personally involved in blogging, though I wasn’t ruling it out, either. I have an invitation to do a guest post at one other person’s blog, which I haven’t taken up yet, either. Not that that has any bearing, as regards your kind and generous invitation… I’ll think about it, and get back to you if I’m game – or if you’d take a guest post, should I have an idea for one, but not want to jump fully into the blogging game. Thanks again!

  36. I’m flattered by the offer, Eumaios. I’ll mull it over and tell you what I think tomorrow.

  37. Yep, Will, Haley lied. After I had been put under moderation, she refused to let any of my comments go through except for one. Oh well.

  38. I guess that’s her version of ‘moderation’. Interesting.

  39. Svar, if you’re gonna get yourself banned, how can we perform our pincer movements on ferals?

  40. “Svar, if you’re gonna get yourself banned, how can we perform our pincer movements on ferals?”

    Hahaha, true.

    As for your offer, I still haven’t made up my mind if I want to formally join RWTK yet, but I will contribute a post. It’s a small email exchange b/w me and Will and I’ll ask him if I can use it.

    Go ahead and shoot me an email.

  41. Will said that I could. So I have a post ready.

  42. Looking forward to it, Svar!

  43. Svar: “I’ve had a good conversation with him about coming to faith and he expressed some admiration for our church.”

    I presently own three copies of Chesterton’s The Everlasting Man, and two of Orthodoxy. The extras are to give away, of course.

  44. I’ve long liked Chesterton, too, and have several of his books.

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