Was soll der Quatsch??

Just when I think I got it all figured out, they go and change the rules on me. *sigh* In 1998, before I was here, some sort of consortium decided to reform the rules for German grammar and spelling. Many words that were until then written with ß (a hard sz sound) were to be spelled with ss. The word for street is an example; Straße became Strasse. The word daß (that) became dass; Maria hat gesagt, daß die neue Rechtschreibreform doof ist. Maria said that the new orthography rules are dumb. (Ja, ich weiss/weiß, dass/daß der letzte Satz nicht ganz richtig ist. Hast Du meinen Haftungsausschluss/ß oben nicht gelesen?)

So yesterday the Springer und Spiegel publishing houses, the two biggest publishers in Germany, decided they were going to scrap the new reforms and go back to the “classic” way of doing things. Soon after the announcement other big newspapers and publishers joined in and said to hell with the new rules we are gonna start kickin’ it old school.

What does this mean for me and others who speak German as a second language? I don’t know. I learned the new way. I know some of the old spelling but that is about it. There was also something different about the usage of commas in the main clause and subordinate clause. I’m not sure if it will affect me at home, with friends, or in the supermarket, but it might at work in my correspondence with clients and other people I have to deal with. We shall see.

Here is a link about the rules.

Here is a link about Springer and Spiegel and their decision.