Sunday, January 7, 2018

The newest health craze from Germany: Low Carp

- A severe case of final devoicing

I was just minding my own business, browsing through the daily news, when I stumbled over this beauty:

German has final devoicing. Final consonants are pronounced voiceless: "d" becomes "t" at the end of a word. This is a crucial feature of a German accent in English. Germans have trouble saying "bad" and say "bat" instead. Michael Jackson, rendered by a German fan, might have been accused of singing "I'm bat, I'm bat, I'm really, really bat".

Germans also like to use English words to sound cool. "Fettarme DiƤt" is so pedestrian compared to "Low Fat Diet", and "kohlenhydratarm" is a nerdy mouthful, so let's opt for "Low Carb". But since word-final "b" becomes "p" in a German's mouth, and since Germans learn that most words are "written like you say them", we now have another wonderful diet more: Low Carp.

Figuring that the headline may be just an honest typo, I read on and saw that the "Low Carp" is not only repeated, but it apparently may also have the same effect as "Low Cars". Imagine that, the country famous for the Autobahn opts for "Low Cars" and wants to deprive (some of) its citizens of their Christmas Carp. They are true health nuts.