June 27, 2005

Heavy metal umlaut

A piece of summer amusement: the Wikipedia page on heavy metal umlaut. The sort of thing that Wikipedia can actually do well. ÖŸ. [Thanks to Lauren Hall-Lew for the pointer, which she got, ultimately, from Shawn Steinhart on the LINGUA mailing list.]

[Added 6/28/05: a pointer from Andrew Gray to John Udell's video lecture on the development of Wikipedia pages, using the "heavy metal umlaut" entry as a demonstration, showing its evolution from a one-line entry on 4/15/03 to a complex multi-part entry today. Along the way, the claim that the n-diaeresis in Spinal Tap, which I do not attempt to reproduce here, is not a character in any known alphabet has been replaced by the claim that it occurs only in Jacaltec (which Udell mispronounces); in the most recent version, "some orthographies of Malagasy" are added. Scholars of writing systems might want to check that out. There are now, surprisingly, Wikipedia pages for both Jacaltec and Malagasy.]

Posted by Arnold Zwicky at June 27, 2005 11:15 AM