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

Re: [OT] replacement for SystemRescueCD

On Thu, 24 Oct 2019, Thomas Schmitt wrote:


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.

I would love to see the source for this, that is, for the claims:

(a) these forms of address had to do with germanic warriors and

(b) they assume the absence of the person spoken to.

what the wikipedia entry on "Pronominale Anredeform" suggests is this stuff came from imitating the proclamations of late Roman caesars, precisely 'Pluralis Maiestatis'.

seems more like 'status' management. so not 'absence' but 'distance'.

well OT. I'd love to chat (one or two emails) off-list but I'm sure you have better things to do <moelmoel2714@gmail.com>.

no offense if you ignore me.

"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".

note that 'you' is originally the plural of 'thou'.

no offense if you ignore me. (I repeat.)

and thank you for all the contributions to this list!


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 :)


Felmon Davis

Reply to: