Bergen op Zoom

(2017, mostly)

Die Antwoord would lose a lot of their Goth appeal if Goths could pronounce Afrikaans. Dee Antvoart, with that mewling diphthong, is not happening if you have black painted fingernails. DIE!!!!! Antwoord, though, that is cool. Sort of like how Björk sounds cool like New York except in Icelandic where it rhymes with jerk. A dipthonged nasally jerk at that. Admittedly New York is full of nasally jerks (not to mention dips in thongs), but that doesn’t help any, it’s still Björk like jerk. So I say Björk like New York and avoid the embarrassment.

Heavy metalers have no idea how an umlaut can reduce a strong vowel to something weaker and embarrassing. Motörhead doesn’t matter because ö is an er anyway, though Mötorhead would be Mertorhead, not so gnarly. Lemmy knew about umlauts, but then Lemmy collected Nazi paraphernelia so of course he knew about umlauts. (“Mein Führer, durch für gegen ohne um! Aus ausser bei mit nach seit von zu! Gegenüber!”) Blue Erster Cult could have been a nonstarter outside of parts of Brooklyn, but there were very few Germans on Long Island to point it out and besides, BOC weren’t metal anyway. But Mertley Creyew is just plain embarrassing. And I saw Möngöl Hörde on a marquee once and read it aloud: Merngerl Herd. Mern Grrrl Herd, somebody said, and everyone laughed. Riot Grrrl humor. Not a good sign when your macho metal name could be mistaken for an angry female punk band from Olympia, Washington. Actually it said Merngerl Herdeh, but why ruin a good Riot Grrrl joke with proper German pronunciation? How punk fucking rock my German’s spelled?

I’ve always wondered if these things affect popularity in any way. I noticed this many years ago when (pardon the non-sequitör) I realized my favorite funny named city, Bergen op Zoom, was pronounced Bergen op Zhome and suddenly was no longer funny. That cursed Dutch phonology. I haven’t made a Bergen op Zoom joke in decades. Imagine my chagrin: Zoom is funny, but Zhome is where the heart is. Which is such a forced pun it just shows how unfunny the correctly pronounced Bergen Op Zoom is. Or how unfunny long O’s are in general, O-Hi-O excepted. So calling Das Boot boot as in boot the footware is funny. Calling it Das Boot as in boat is just sad. But then it was sad. A very sad film. Depth charges, doom (as in room) and despair. No Tony Curtis and Cary Grant in a pink submarine.

Seems I digressed.

3 thoughts on “Bergen op Zoom

  1. One of the funniest things about Spın̈al Tap is the placement of the umlaut. And I didn’t notice until now that there’s no dot over the i, which is even funnier.,


    • I never noticed that either, and now I can’t stop giggling about it.

      Btw, could a folder full of put corespondence. And better than that even, I found the game Ancient Comquest, complete with all the diplomatic notes. Ned Fella Boy lives!


  2. Don’t get me started on a rash of nostalgia over the myriad silly things we came up with. Cold piece of bread, he’s naked, man with bag on his head . . . I could on and on.



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