Subject: Re: bin/34048 (Flaws in German sysinst messages)
To: None <,,>
From: Christian Biere <>
List: netbsd-bugs
Date: 09/30/2006 12:55:02
The following reply was made to PR bin/34048; it has been noted by GNATS.

From: Christian Biere <>
Subject: Re: bin/34048 (Flaws in German sysinst messages)
Date: Sat, 30 Sep 2006 14:53:20 +0200 wrote:
 > Synopsis: Flaws in German sysinst messages
 > Since several (good at spelling, unlike me) people I asked were not sure,
 > I asked a real expert. Mrs. Rick, head teacher at the Institute for Dyslexia,
 > Lage, Germany, told me there is no formal rule for this case, but she
 > would prefer the hyphen-less version.
 Have you discussed exactly the provided examples? This surprises me
 a little because it doesn't match what I recall to have learned
 in school. My memory might be lossy of course or there might have
 been changes in this area in recent years.
 Since this information doesn't seem to be available online (for free),
 I've copied the relevant from the "yellow book" as of 1996. This
 includes the "Neue deutsche Rechtschreibung". Changes to the old
 rules are marked using red color in the original, they look greyish
 on these greyscaled pictures:
 In my opinion, this gives strong support for using hyphens in
 the shown sysinst messages. I believe the confusion whether hyphens
 are required or not derives mainly from two issues:
  * English has a strong and increasing influence on German. In
    English words are almost never concatened. This can cause
    ambiguities, especially as English uses lowercase letters
    almost exclusively. The German language tends to avoid such
  * The rules say that hyphens "may" be used. This can lead to
    the assumption that you may write spaces instead of hyphens.
    This is a false assumption, as far as I understand, the
    only(!) alternative to hyphens is the concatenation of the
    nouns. For example, you may write either "Computermonitor"
    or "Computer-Monitor" but NOT "Computer Monitor".
 Names, trademarks and such are somewhat special but this is covered
 by the extracted pages. Note that there isn't a single example
 with two nouns side-by-side without a hyphen.
 OT: Why are there two spaces after a period? I believe that's an
 emacsism and looks rather odd.