Monday, October 17, 2005

Jesus is less important than Aztecs and Eskimos

According to the Nederlandse Taalunie (Dutch Language Union). Hey, the Dutch can do what they want with their language, but the important question is – why?
An official multinational body has decreed that the surname of Jesus Christ should be written without a capital as from August 2006. That is, if you are using the Dutch language. Though today Dutch-speakers in the Netherlands, Belgium and Surinam write "Christus", next year they will have to change their habits and write "christus".
But they seem to like pagans (Eskimos are Christian mostly, now).
Apart from "Christus", terms like "Renaissance" and "Middle Ages" will also lose their capitals. But other words will acquire capitals. An Aztec is now an 'azteek' in Dutch, but he will become an 'Azteek' next year, just as an 'eskimo' will become an 'Eskimo'.
I don’t see where this adds value to the language. That "Renaissance" change just doesn't make sense. Really, if I say "My politics were ruined by the renaissance.." do I mean THE renaissance, or A renaissance in something referred to before or left unsaid?
Many people in the Netherlands and Belgium are fed up with this second modification to the spelling in less than 10 years. According to some the changes are only intended to increase the sale of school books (which will all have to be reprinted) and dictionaries in what is normally a limited market.
Ahh, there we go. But, there has to be more to this than just money. Let’s see, who do European elite like to insult even more than Christians?
Another novelty is that the word for Jew will be written without a capital ("jood") when designating the member of a religion, …
Oh. I see now. Very nice. I hope Christians are christins and Muslims are muslims.

Of all the problems going on in the Dutch speaking world – intentional or not – do they really need to be messing with religion?
Hat tip The Brussels Journal.

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