October 13, 2003
Dear Umlaut, You think you’re so damn cool, huh? Just hanging out, chillin’, above all those vowels. You’re all, “Ooh, look at me, I’m a chic umlaut. I make girls’ names look modish, like Zoë and Chloë, and I rock with strung out ’80s metal bands!”
Well, guess what? You’re only an umlaut if you’re modifying the pronunciation of a singular vowel, like in “Führer” or “über.” If you’re stressing the second of two consecutive vowels or one that would usually be silent according to common English usage, you’re just a plain old boring dieresis. How ‘bout that, you naïve jackass? God, you’re such a poseur, umlaut. You’re nothing but two measly dots. You’re a Eurotrash colon lying down. Nobody thinks you’re cool.
Kew Gardens, NY