Monday, June 3, 2013
Weltschmerz for RkReÜAÜG Demise
The European Union has lifted a recommendation to carry out BSE tests (a clinical way of expressing Mad Cow Disease). This regulatory change from Brussels prompted the Mecklenburg Western-Pomeranian Parliament to drop the word associated with testing the beef: Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz (or "law for the delegation of monitoring beef labeling") or RkReÜAÜG
This 63 letter German word, which would fill the length of four Scrabble boards. While this cunning linguist is not a hippopotomostrosequepedeliaphobe ("one who fears long words"), even I shutter at trying to say Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz I would rather let a native German speaker utter it.
Logophiles, etymologists and lex lovers lament the RkReÜAÜG, hence the weltschmerz (a mood of sentimental sadness).
But since Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz was not in a dictionary, some would argue that it did not count as the longest word. According to Duden, a German language dictionary, the longest word is the 36 letter the Duden, a German-language dictionary, is the 36-letter-long Kraftfahrzeughaftpflichtversicherung (which means “motor-vehicle liability insurance”).
Either way, RkReÜAÜG or Kraftfahrzeughaftpflichtversicherung could not be solved on the Wheel of Fortune with just one letter.