Umlauts. What are they good for?

Moben, a Manchester company that makes fitted kitchens, has been going around with an umlaut over the ‘o’ since 1977 but a few years ago someone (who exactly?) managed to persuade a court to stop them using the two dots because it made the company appear to be German which would obviously be a bad thing. Anyway, Möben just won a new ruling and they’ve relaunched with the umlaut back where it belongs, serving an entirely appropriate (although confusing) marketing purpose. Can’t think why they’d want to go around with a redundant umlaut in their brand name but good luck to them.

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1 comment

  1. Is it a cousin of the Heavy Metal Umlaut:
    ‘A heavy metal umlaut (aka röck döts) is an umlaut over a letter in the name of a heavy metal band. The use of umlauts and other diacritics with a blackletter style typeface is a form of foreign branding intended to give a band’s logo a Teutonic quality. It is a form of marketing that invokes stereotypes of boldness and strength commonly attributed to peoples such as the Vikings; author Reebee Garofalo has attributed its use to a desire for a “gothic horror” feel [1]. The heavy metal umlaut is never referred to by the term diaeresis in this usage, nor is it intended to affect the pronunciation of the band’s name.’ from Wikipedia.

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