[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: [OT] replacement for SystemRescueCD


Greg Wooledge wrote:
> > "Sie" or "xie" or similar German-derived words just sound ridiculous
> > and made-up, at least to those of us who don't speak German.

Dan Ritter wrote:
> We have enough German-speakers on this list to chime in as to
> how ridiculous "sie" is -- but I will note that it means "they".
> Or "she", but not "he".

One needs to know the background in order to acknowledge the cultural
effort behind Siezen:

An old method of germanic warriors to avoid untimely losses at the
eve of the battle was not to address each other directly. Rather they
spoke like the other guy was not there. This is called "Erzen"
(german "er" = english "he").

Like many european languages, german later aquired the addressing mode
of "Ihrzen" (german "ihr", english "you", french "vous"), which talks
to a single person like to multiple ones. Pluralis maiestatis.

"Siezen" is a mix of "Erzen" and "Ihrzen". It addresses the other person
as being multiple people not present. I.e. indeed like english "they".
Not ridiculous at all, but rather the modern way to speak to those who you
do not address intimately or patronizing by "Duzen" (german "du",
english "thou", french "tu").
Polite and secure.

Have a nice day :)


Reply to: