Sunday, September 09, 2012

Diaeresis (geezer moment?)

I think I am just young enough that the word cooperate spelled with an umlaut above the second O -- coöperate -- looks archaic. (I was re-reading an old favorite last night, which was published in the early 1960s.)

On the other hand, acting on a suggestion by Pierre Igot, I can confirm that the New Yorker still spells it that way,[1] and I have never noticed.  [Added: Thanks to MB in Comments, see this, especially. And then you will be able to chortle at my blunder in the first sentence of this post.]

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[1] Except, it appears, on blogs, for obvious reasons.[2]

[2] ALT-0246, if you're interested. If you're writing markup text, ö also wörks.

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P.S. I was going to spell the post title diæresis, but I thought that would be going a little far.

P.P.S. Also, orange catblogging.

(pic. source, πικ. σουρσε)


M. Bouffant said...

I do that. Also "reëlect." Had noticed it in The New Yorker, & figured their style-book is spiffier than the AP's.

Did you scroll down far enough to see this? (Crap, now do we need to do it for "naïve" too?)

Brendan Keefe said...

Hah! No, I didn't see that. Thanks.

Forgot about naïve. Don't think I'll fret about it any more than I do going with cooperate and reelect.

You know what else bothers me? I think it should be resumé. Most spellcheckers say it should be either resume or résumé, but I say that (in American English, at least), only the second E has the long A sound.

M. Bouffant said...

You may be right there, but ...

M. Bouffant said...

Just noticed that TNR goes w/ naïve & naïf. (Last two paragraphs.)

I may have to rethink my approach.

Brendan Keefe said...

Hah! That seems a bit much. I sometimes think of naïf as the noun form (phew, I'm not alone), but it seems like an oversight to spell the adjective two different ways. In consecutive sentences, quoting the same person, no less. Maybe the second sentence was supposed to be "To cast Romney as a naïf, an empty suit on foreign policy, and tie him to Bush—as a puppet of the bow-tied hawks of the Bush administration. … This intervening event was gravy.”

Brendan Keefe said...

P.S. My old pal Paul Brians has some related comments, because apparently some people spell the word in question nieve.

Which does, I suppose, have a phonetics-based argument in its favor.