lemiru: Balthier is a gentleman ([Hetalia - CH - ah..! ])
äuä de scho ([personal profile] lemiru) wrote2012-04-14 01:16 am

(no subject)

Silly thing I did today, because I can't always just feel sorry for myself on here, eh?

The ß files

So today I was procrastinating genuinely curious and wanted to find out why the Swiss don’t use that strange German letter, namely the “ß” (which I’ve learned that its also called “german B” in English, which is ridiculous because there is no b involved, like, at all) (for those who don’t know, it’s not a b, it’s a sharp s, or double s. Just so that we’re all on the same page).
Anyway. So the Swiss don’t use that letter, and I didn’t know why. Turns out, nobody does!!! How weird is that? A whole letter just going missing and nobody knows how that came to be.

There are, however, a few theories, and they are thus:

1°) The Swiss adopted the Antiqua typeface earlier than the other Germanic states who kept using Fraktur, and there was no ß for Antiqua for the longest time.

This theory is doubted because, well, it didn’t take THAT long for the ß to appear in this typeface, and anyway, there were a lot of publications in Switzerland that used Fraktur up to the end of the 1940ies, actually way longer than in Germany.

2°) It’s all because of the typewriter.

The Swiss had that little problem where they had to fit three languages onto one typewriter. Adding é, à, è and ç to the already existing extra-characters ö, ä and ü proved to be a tough nut and so they simply ditched the ß which could easily be replaced by the ss.

This is actually the most wide-spread explanation, but scholars suspect that the ß wasn’t all that important in Switzerland already by then because if it were, they’d have found a way to keep it, because they are good like that. Or something.

3°) Swissgerman doesn’t really need the ß-sound

The most scholarly explanation because LINGUISTICS FUCK YEAH but it’s kind of complicated and boring so let’s just boil it down to a “Switzerland talks weird and doesn’t care what you think” and move on.

So yeah, nobody knows, and nobody really cares enough to find a definitive answer. Basically, we just like long words with lots of esses.


One of the sources (PDF) Peter Gallmann "Warum die Schweizer weiterhin kein eszett schreiben".

[identity profile] blood-winged.livejournal.com 2012-04-13 11:22 pm (UTC)(link)

I admit it, I laughed.

[identity profile] lemiru.livejournal.com 2012-04-13 11:35 pm (UTC)(link)
my work here is done *bows*

[identity profile] sweetfragrance9.livejournal.com 2012-04-14 05:21 am (UTC)(link)
Cool, never knew you guys never use “ß” :O

I like the last drawing. 8D

[identity profile] lemiru.livejournal.com 2012-04-14 11:36 am (UTC)(link)
hehe I actually had to copy paste the ß through the whole thing, because I don't know how to type it out...

And it's the thre s combo. That makes every picture instantly amazing 8D Thanks.

[identity profile] bf-nightingale.livejournal.com 2012-04-17 03:36 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh Switzerland why are you always so ~*special*~?! ♥

...in other words, I love your little lessons of life, even those with no resolutions to the question. Please do procrastinate more often, to our benefit. <3
Also seeing Preußen (:P) speak in Fraktur makes me profoundly regret once more that I never learned to write in Fraktur myself in school. I taught myself to write my frist name and that's about it. What's the point in having been once a part of the Prussian state if we don't even teach Fraktur in school nowadays? I feel cheated. :(

[identity profile] lemiru.livejournal.com 2012-04-17 08:33 pm (UTC)(link)
The special snowflake is our spirit animal, obvs.

ahah I'm glad someone likes the, because I sure like making them. Especially for such random stuff that nobody even wanted to know in the first place. It's like ninja-knowledge.
Fraktur is funny in a way where I suddenly read everything with a lisp. I can't help myself, it just happens. 8D Though I wouldn't even know how to write it. I was pretty glad I found that font and that it worked in Photoshop, let me tell you

[identity profile] jemsquash.livejournal.com 2012-04-21 11:18 am (UTC)(link)
The more you know!

It's funny how technology sometimes affects the world in ways you never really thought of.

(yes dear, triple letters are badasss.)

[identity profile] lemiru.livejournal.com 2012-04-26 12:14 pm (UTC)(link)
oh my goodness LJ works again for me HOW NICE *kicks it* sorry for the late reply!

It is amazing, yes! Though the last Newspaper, that dropped the letter only did so in 1994 (because it was impossible to find editors who knew the rules anymore and training them became too much of a financial burden) (hah! technology AND economy!)

Also tripple letters are the badassssessst don't you know. =D