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Curiosity killed the cat

07. August 2012

 

 

 

A little piece of Mars is everywhere, isn’t it? Are we not all a little bit of Mars?
For centuries the planet Mars has been the subject of dreams of all kinds. The most important of these being: On Mars there might be life. This became part of everyday German: The word for alien life forms per se is Marsmensch (Martian).
In Roman mythology, Mars is the god of war. This rather masculine issue links up with the existence of temporarily popular book titles like “Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus”.
Are there men on Mars, are men from Mars? These questions will probably not clarified by Curiosity. But the fact that men FROM MARS, specifically advertising guys on the payroll of the  chocolate manufacturer, one day made it into the German news mag FOCUS.
Under the motto “Germany learns a new word”, Mars had kicked off a campaign for the English word “delight”.
The claim was that the pleasure experienced when eating a Mars bar could not adequately be expressed in German. The alleged fact that “delight” should be included in the famous German Duden dictionary caused a strong reaction at “Deutsche Sprachwelt” (“German language world”).
The chocolate people at the time: “Is it possible to combine pleasure, delight, happiness and joy in one word? Of course. However, not in German. MARS argued: it’s time for ‘delight’, and proposed this word should be included in German dictionaries. Instead of the lexicographic knighthood there was a protest against the language advocates of the Sprachwelt magazine “against such blatant product promotion at the expense of the German language”.
It seems to take something like the curious rover Curiosity to get more exotic material  from Mars than this and bringing it into to interplanetary light!

Fry me a Mars!
But before  the first photos of little green men are actually being sent back to Planet Earth, the British can still satisfy our appetite for sensation: Wikipedia states:
“Deep fried Mars bars (battered mars bars, deep fried mars bars) are Mars chocolate bars deep-fried in beer batter. This preparation method is common mainly since the mid-1990s with fish and chips  restaurants  in Western Scotland and in Australia. According to a study from 2004 of 303 Scottish fish and chip takeaways, 66 (ie 22%) offered deep-fried Mars bars. Besides Mars bars  there are other variations of fried candy bars like Snickers on offer.”
How does it  taste then? Curiosity killed the cat.

 

Andreas Cyffka

 


Andreas Cyffka | 

THE GERMAN LANGUAGE BLOG


Andreas Cyffka | Kategorie: DEUTSCH IN DER WELT, WISSENSWERTES, WORTSTICHELEI


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