The Big ACL Opening

Axel Thimm Axel.Thimm at
Sat Oct 18 10:24:52 UTC 2008

On Sat, Oct 18, 2008 at 12:53:59AM +0200, Lennart Poettering wrote:
> On Fri, 17.10.08 12:46, Jon Ciesla (limb at wrote:
> > An interesting irony here is that while Nietzsche's Ubermensch is best
> > translated as Overman, for English, it's commonly mistranslated as
> > Superman, and so Superpackager "sounds" more like what Lennart was getting
> > at than does Uberpackager.  To me, anyway.
> Uh, no. The problem I see is specifically with the german language
> prefix "Über-" used (as prefix to a word of any other language) as
> some kind of superlative when used in reference to Nietzsche's
> "Übermensch" -- because that term at least Germany has been
> appropriated by the Nazis.

It was misused out of context. We shouldn't allow this
misinterpretation and wrong quotation to mark the term and the

And Über- is just another prefix, it can mean a range of things like
over, above, trans, through, via, top etc. Here are some innocent

Überschrift	heading
Übergabe	handover
sich übergeben	to throw up
Übergewicht	overweight
Überlegung	thought
Übermaß		excess
Überbleibsel	remainder

> I fully understand that not everyone is aware of this connection,
> especially outside of Germany. But uh, in Germany it is very obvious.
> Also note that the "über" in the first stanza of the "Deutschlandlied"
> played a role in the decision to make only the third stanza the German
> anthem. (i.e. "Deutschland, Deutschland, über alles.")

This has also been misquoted and misinterpreted. The Germany that was
to be above all was a Germany that didn't exists at the time this
anthem was written and the text is universally interpreted as the
author calling the different German countries and counties to lay down
their minor conflicts and to form a common country.

The imperialist reinterpretation was added 100 years later by the
singing Nazi troups.
Axel.Thimm at
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