ÁÇCENTÜAL

ABÓMIŅATIÕNS

 

     

 

The 21st century is an increasingly cosmopolitan age, where business owners are looking to add that little touch of international sophistication in order to set themselves above the hoi polloi and stand out from the competition.

 

So you've already heard of the heavy metal umlaut? Well how about....

 

 

 

....the Californian shopping mall umlaut?

 

 

 

 

Or the Palmerston North hotelier's umlaut?

(No need to settle for just one when you can have two!)

 

 

 

 

Then there's the Parnell shopping strip

"merge the dots into the U and really confuse the peasants" umlaut.

 

 

 

So the umlaut's not exotic enough for you? What about the....

 

 

Wanganui car hi-fi dealer's macron?

 

 

 

Or perhaps you need the sophistication of a French accent?

 Well then, try the...

 

  

... Wanganui hairdresser's accented c!

(No, I don't know how it's pronounced either...)

 

 

 

Some companies just have really boring names, so they'll do anything to attract attention. For example:

 

    

 

The coffee chain accented i! (Just that little bit Spanish.)

 

 

 

 French or Spanish accents too pedestrian for you? Okay then, how about the...

 

 

... Eastern European accented h!

Once again, another Parnell shopkeeper strikes a blow for accentual élitism!

(Eastern European languages don't actually have accented h's,

 but such pettifogging details should be of no concern here.)

 

 

 

And for that sophisticated transnational Kiwi Mediterranean look, take the French word "café", convert the accent to an old-school Italian-style apostrophe accent from back in the days when they were still using manual typewriters, plonk it in front of the "e", et voilà:

 

 

 Why settle for boring old "café" (French and Spanish), or "caffè" (Italian), when you can make up a completely new word that no one can pronounce?

 

 

 

 Ahh, but the true sophisticates live in Masterton, where not only do they correctly spell "café", they also use the French spelling of the Spanish word "Trocadero":

 

 

 

 

 

And then when one looks in the window, one finds...

 

 

... hačeks used in strange and exciting ways!

(Is that second haček over the "s"? It's almost Romanian!)

 

 

And Masterton's hairdressers are a cut above Wanganui's

 in accentual sophistication, judging from this creation:

 

 

You take a "g", turn it into two "o"s, and then put a little vertical accent on top just to confuse people.

Brilliant!

 

To round off, and just to prove that redundant accents are not a conceit peculiar to English-speaking shopowners, here is a fine example from Vienna, Austria:

 

 

 

 

   

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