I expect to take grief for what I am about to say, but taking grief is table stakes for this column. Besides, deep inside the dustiest nook of our most politically correct consciences, we all know it is true:
Once Germans stopped being scary, they started being funny.
Not ‘clever’ funny either. ‘Ha ha’ funny. You see, if the Third Reich—which frightened the bejeezus out of the planet in the middle of the last century—had not had this peculiar little ‘thing’ about Jewish people, causing them to reject Einstein’s theoretics and exile Teller, Frisch and Bloch (all four, instrumental creators of the nuclear bomb) and if the Dominion of Dumkopfs had not tried to swallow Mother Russia like a feckin’ Knödel in the middle of winter, there is very little doubt that they would have won the war. According to Polish journalist Igor Witkowski, ‘German wartime research made some of the greatest technological leaps in the history of our civilization…’
Not only that, but the weapons they were developing were far in advance of anything the allies had or were going to have, and at war’s end, many were dangerously near completion These included a prototype flying saucer, devices that could emit sound at a fatal wavelength, rifles that could fire around corners and ‘see’ in the dark. And don’t get me started on the Luftwaffe. Considering that at the time that the Nazis invaded Poland, German aircraft were made of wood and canvas, it staggers one’s innate fear-factor that a mere six years later they launched the Messerschmitt-262—the first jet-propelled fighter plane.
In short, we all came insanely close to speaking German as our native tongue.
I was once commissioned to write an article entitled, ‘How To Decipher A German Wine Label’, which is pretty hilarious in and of itself when you consider that most countries are not quite so anal about their wine labels and you can figure out what’s in the bottle prior to reading a two thousand word label primer.
Not the Germans. Their need for Ordnungssinn, or ‘order’, derived in part from virtues expounded by the ‘Soldier-King’, Friedrich Wilhelm I, requires all-encompassing efficiency and meticulous record-keeping, which is why a Rheingau wine label may included such minutiae as how ripe the grapes were when picked, whether sugar has been added to boost alcohol or the sequential order in which the wine was submitted for testing.
German people love this kind of OCD detail as part of their overall wine law called Prädikatswein. Classification so consumes them that in certain parts of Hessische Bergstraße they actually keep track of winemakers via wrist tattoos and in the Rhineland-Palatinate, vintners who practice ‘chaptalization’—the addition of sugar to unfermented grape must to boost alcohol—are required by federal law to wear white fabric patches in the shape of a sugar cube.
I can wax from now until the Milchkuh come home about Qualitätswein bestimmter Anbaugebiete, Trockenbeerenauslese and the Winzergenossenschaft co-operative, but that is not my mission here today. Today, my Grund für Sein is simply to make fun of the idiotically long noun-compounding words that show up with idiotic regularity in anything written in the eszett-extolling, umlaut-utilizing, consonant-shifting High German phonology. And perhaps, the Aryan self-consciousness about the same.
Moronic Teutonic Phonics…
I write such polemical words not because I am a politically prejudiced peckerhead in particular, but because I recently read that Germany has capitulated to the tyrannical EU—The Thousand-Year Kaiserreich of the Twenty-First Century—and eliminated from its official orthography German’s longest word: Rindfleischetikettierungsueberwachungsaufgabenuebertragungsgesetz.
Wiki it and access the ‘sound’ option—it takes a full four seconds to pronounce. For the morbidly curious, it means ‘the supervision of beef labeling’.
Again with the labeling, Marmeladingers?
Well, it turns out that the sixty-five letter atrocity isn’t (wasn’t) even the law’s full name; it was considered the official ‘short’ title. In full, the beef label law is (was): Gesetz zur Übertragung der Aufgaben für die Überwachung der Rindfleischetikettier-ungsueberwachungsaufgabenuebertragungsgesetz.
See, Americans can’t wrap their somewhat limited imaginations around such tongue-twisting palate-pounders and will almost always use initials in place of the actual words, because in 2013, who’s got time to spend four seconds saying a single word??
Therefore, R.I.P. Rindfleischetikettierungsueberwachungsaufgabenuebertragungsgesetz.
‘God is Faithful; He Will Not Let You Be Tempted Beyond What You Can Bear’. - 1 Corinthians 10:13
Not that you are alone in multisyllabic monstrosities, dear Aryan Nation (not you, you foul, anti-everything-but-white-cracker chrome-domes: Real Aryans): The Welsh are just as bad. In Wales, there is a train station called Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, and if you interrupt the railway’s tight schedule, your intercession is known as ‘cyfrwngddarostynedigaeth’.
Likewise, Turkish is an agglutinative language, carrying the theoretical potential for words of infinite length. In which case, the 70-letter term ‘Muvaffakiyetsizleştiricileştiriveremeyebileceklerimizdenmişsinizcesine’ may be a Turkish morpheme.
The Spanish call a 56645-side polygon an entakismyriahexakisquilioletracosiohexacontapentágon, and with their penchant for tacking an ‘o’ onto the end of words that don’t really need it (for example, ‘sexo’ and ‘tuna fisho’—also a pleonasm) decided to one-up Mary Poppins with ‘supercalifragilisticoespialidoso’.
The Vietnamese, who speak in single syllable, claim that that their longest word is the sad little seven-symbol nghiêng, but the Filipinos, a thousand miles to their East, are happy enough to call the art of lying nagsisipagsisinungasinungalingan.
So, Philippines, Where MacArthur Quipped, ‘I Shall Return…’
To the subject of World War II, not the malarial, mosquito-smothered archipelago; duh. We won, remember?
As such, why in the world would we let the losing side claim monopoly on long words? Well, we wouldn’t—any more than we would let them claim monopoly on the Western Hemisphere.
Therefore, let it be nailed to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg like Luther’s 95 theses: The longest word ever coined is indeed, an English one. It contains 189, 819 letters and is the chemical name for titin, the largest known protein.
Try to mess with that, European Union, and we will throw you back to the Wölfes.