Chicken Wings Classic – Going to an airshow

Summer time is airshow time! So we thought we’d dig out this classic strip for you. By the way, is it “airshow” or “air show”? Or can you say both? As a native German speaker, I tend to form long combinations of words, while in English the tendency goes towards putting words in a row but keeping them separate. It’s probably a common mistake of mine. I think the German way makes it easier to identify which words actually belong together and form a term. But on the other hand, in extreme cases it can lead to words like “Rind­fleisch­eti­ket­tie­rungs­über­wa­chungs­auf­ga­ben­über­tra­gungs­ge­setz” (which is officially the longest German word) or “Donaudampfschifffahrtsgesellschaftskapitän”.

Anyway, hope you’re having a nice and sunny summer day like I do! And I hope you don’t have to spend it painting your garden fence, like I do.

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13 comments on “Chicken Wings Classic – Going to an airshow
  1. jan olieslagers says:

    My late father used to quote “Maschinenbruchschadenversicherung” – he worked in insurance brokerage. For myself I too prefer joining words that belong together. If in doubt, a hyphen can be useful, though “air-show” would look a bit ridiculous. As would “run-way”. But the tendency to write the components apart seems to be spreading, led by the English (I did read “run way” somewhere, not too long ago!) with the Dutch following close.

    As for air shows: I saw my best since long a couple of weeks ago at LKRK Rakovník – more compliments to the local aeroclub!

  2. Captain Dunsel says:

    It all depends on what Microsoft decides, because they write the spell-checkers. Every time I build a new computer, I have to add all those words Microsoft doesn’t recognize. :-(.


    p.s. I’m a native ‘Americanese’ speaker, but I write for a British model airplane magazine, so I’m constantly switching between the two (i.e., ‘colour’ vice ‘color’), plus I took German in high school (and lived there three years, courtesy of the USAF — which added its own terms to my vocabulary). Sometimes, I get so mixed up that even I don’t know what I’m saying ;-).

  3. H. Wilker says:

    Another one:


    … short German for “drone register” (application help)

  4. jan olieslagers says:

    Microsoft? Who’s that? 😉 Sounds like the typical commercial outset that I’ll keep well upwind from!

  5. Merijn @ home says:

    Shouldn’t it be Micro Soft?
    I am always strugling with Messroom which is not accepted by Mr M Soft.
    If I split it, it makes a mess…

  6. Jean Loup says:

    «And I hope you don’t have to spend it painting your garden fence, like I do.» No, I’ll spend it painting la Perica (my 7 seats ’73 VW Combi 1,700 cc automatic):

  7. Quill says:

    According to Google Translate, “Rind­fleisch­eti­ket­tie­rungs­über­wa­chungs­auf­ga­ben­über­tra­gungs­ge­setz” means “Beef labeling monitoring delegation act,” and “Donaudampfschifffahrtsgesellschaftskapitän” means “Danube Steamship Company Captain.” Is this correct?

  8. reynard61 says:

    @ Quill: Not sure about the first; but, yes, the second one is correct.

  9. ThisGuy says:

    @Quill Not entirely sure as I’m not a German speaker, but I’m pretty sure the first one is also correct.

    Dutch does exactly the same thing by the way, although we make it extra fun by not ALWAYS combining words. Hottentottententententoonstelling is an entirely acceptable word for example (And possibly a little bit racist nowadays… It means “hottentot tents exhibition”).

  10. Merijn @ home says:

    As the law “Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz” has been repealed in 2013, one could say the word officials no longer exists.….html

    But the same could be said about Napoleon or the Dodo which also no longer exist.
    At least it is out of date
    And that also applies to all “Dampfschiff” words.

  11. Captain Dunsel says:

    Jan, Merijin, I agree. I don’t know about other languages, but MS tries to push its version of American English on US users. From having taught others to use MS Office software (I was a computer tech and teacher), I saw too many students blindly following the software, taking the easy way out by always agreeing with it. Personally, I’m trying to push back by using Linux as an operating system, with LibreOffice as my primary Office suite. So far, it’s working pretty well, although I do have to keep a Windows partition on my hard drive for my CAD software.

    Regarding the long words, long ago I read somewhere (and don’t know if it’s true) that Luftwaffe pilots adopted the English word “Break” to signal separating under attack. Supposedly the German term was too long to shout when you’re being fired at!


  12. Speedsix says:

    Those german chainwords are one thing. For foreign speakers, things get worse when they are abbreviated. Seemingly a popular kind of sports with german public authorities. Those acronyms and abbreviations can really make your head hurt.

  13. Rick Westerman says:

    My favorite American chain word is supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

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