The European Commission on Languages has passed a landmark resolution against the lengths of German nouns. From next year it will be against European law for the Germans to string individual words together to create lengthy so-called ‘super-nouns’.
The new noun Directive or ‘das neuer Deutsche Shoertennounendirectivbrusselsbullscheisser aus kommen ist’ as it was billed in the German press this morning was first proposed back in 1998 or ‘neunzehnhundertachtundneunzig’ as it is known in Germany. Delegates from smaller European countries had reported feeling intimidated by the size of these big German words and finally Luxembourg and Denmark jointly proposed that Germany scale down it’s nouns to less menacing levels. Germany responded by explaining that compound nouns were part of their ‘historischesprachentradition’ at which point several delegates ran out of the chamber claiming ‘linguistic bullying’.
A further suggestion, that the Germans put their verb earlier in the sentence to help interpreters get on with their job a bit quicker was defeated when the German hit back with resolutions aimed at ending French shrugging and excessive Italian hand gestures.
The Commission has come under criticism in the past for the huge amounts of time and money spent trying to resolve the differences between the various European languages. Last year they abandoned years of talks aimed at standardizing the noises attributed to European farm animals. Negotiations broke down after the French refused to budge from its historic position that the cockerel goes ‘cocorico’ despite the United Kingdom gaining Irish and Dutch support for ‘Cock-A-Doodle-Do’. The Germans were insistent that the horse went ‘hu-u-u-u’, the English said that the horse went ‘neigh’ and the French said a horse went perfectly with shallots and a red wine sauce.
Tomorrow the committee is expected to vote that it would all be a lot simpler if everyone in the European Union just spoke English. ‘We do this every time there is a new French delegate. It’s worth it just to see their faces.’
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