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3. Soc.Culture.German

This USENET newsgroup was created to be an international forum for discussion of German culture, history, etc.

3.1 What Language to use?

I'd have never imagined, I'd write this paragraph...but hey!, after all, it seems to be an FAQ, doesn't it? (If I may add a personal note: <sigh>)

Picking up the previous, it should be noted that while a fresh discussion of a nation's culture certainly is about its language, too, this does not at all imply the sole use thereof. S.c.g is arguably a unique newsgroup in the soc.culture.* hierarchy, featuring two main languages (German and English) as widely accepted modi operandi. The vast majority of s.c.g readers do read/write both German and English -- on varying levels of mastery, of course -- and for posting to the newsgroup they use either language at will.

Now, this ambiguity of s.c.g frequently has lead someone to wondering about two questions, for which ultimate answers have been found only the other day:

The third question, Should it be that way?, is mostly a matter of taste, since this is anarch..., pardon me, USENET! Looking up the netiquette we find: a great big nothing in this case. My best answer would be the old McCartney song: Let it be!

As a suggestion about what language to use, please take the following into consideration:

3.2 How to Type Umlauts?

As you may have noticed, there are various ways to write umlauts. Alas, there is no generally accepted way to do this in soc.culture.german. Periodically, therefore, you will observe hard-fought battles on this topic in this group.

Here are the two methods most often used:

Please! if you have a German-style keyboard with umlauts, and if you're using it to post something in soc.culture.german, don't use the umlauts. They probably won't get displayed correctly on terminals in, say, North America. Call'em poor user's of ancient equipment or victims of lousy 7-bit administration -- many people simply don't get the vital 8th bit...it's a fact, ey!

For much more in-depth description of how to handle 8-bit characters (not only German umlauts) look at the

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