( published 24th May 2002 )

Hi All,

Jura, thank you for sending me the following "piece of art". For weeks I wanted to write something about the German ability to "combine" words, the following document decribes in great manner how to do it and where to use it. Have a nice weekend!


First, let us buy a book describing the habits of the Hottentots (auf
Deutsch: Hottentotten). In the book are stories about kangaroos
(Beutelratten), which are hunted and locked up in cages (Kotter) covered
with cloth (Lattengitter). These cloth-covered cages are called
(Lattengitterkotter) in German and since they have a kangaroo inside,
they become (Lattengitterkotterbeutelratten).
Once upon a time the Hottentots managed to catch a killer (Attentater),
who was accused of killing a mother (Mutter), i.e. Hottentot's mother
(Hottentottermutter). This mother had a silly and self-repeating son
(Stottertrottel). Hence the mother is called
(Hottentottenstottertrottelmutter) in German and her killer
(Hottentottenstottertrottelmutterattentater). When the police catches
the killer and puts him temporarily into the kangaroo-cage
(Beutelrattenlattengitterkotter), but oh no! The prisoner escapes!
A major search party is organised immediately and in no time one soldier
returns to the village shouting: "I caught the killer (Attentater)!"
- "Really? Which one?" asks the chief.
- "Lattengitterkotterbeutelrattenattentater", the soldier answers.
- "What? That killer who was in the cloth-covered kangaroo-cage?" the
chief of the Hottentos inquires.
- "Him precisely" answers the Hottentot,
"Hottentottenstottertrottelmutterattentater" (Killer who killed the
Hottentot-mother with the silly and self-repeating son)
- "But in that case" says the chief "why didn't you say immediately that
you caught the