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Cool German Words - Korinthenkacker

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I love going through the posts in the German Reddit group. There is always one post with an example of extreme Germaness, usually some petty fight between neighbours about the correct way to recycle, slightly crooked doormats or "unkempt" looking gardens. There is a reason we do not only have the word Spießer, but also define several subspecies. There is a level of severity to consider. Spießer can be as neutral or sever as the speaker chooses. A Erbsenzähler is more of a nuisance than actively antagonistic, they just really like going over every little detail. But if someone is pedantic about the smallest rules and regulation out of sheer pettiness and in an active attempt to make you miserable a stronger word is needed. This is where the Korinthenkacker comes in. It translates to "someone who shits small raisins". The word itself is pedantic, it is not just someone who shits raisins, it is someone who shits "Korinthen" a particular kind of small raisins. The Wikipedia article lists several local variations, because of course we have those, too. Our dutch neighbours also use the word (Krentenkakker), but there it is a stingy person, like Erbsenzähler used to be in German. It is one of the many examples where Dutch people use words wrong, which at some point should be it's own series of blog posts.

Picture of the Week - Sea in Black and White

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Last year summer holiday:


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This weekend I got to vote in Iceland for the first time! We dirty foreigners are only allowed to vote in local elections. The law was just change to reduce the waiting time from 5 to 3 years of residency. I have lived on and off in Iceland for 20 years now, but due to my wanderlust I never reached the 5 consecutive years I needed. But that is over now.
Icelandic voting is different from German voting in that you do not have a first and second (direct and proportional) vote, but you vote for a list of people from a party (proportional). The cool thing is that you can edit the list you vote for, change the seats of candidates (put someone on a lower seat to the first for example) and cross people out. I have been long enough in Iceland to have personal grudges and friendships with people on the list, so I had a lot of fun doing that.
There were also local elections in Germany, but I missed the deadline to apply for voting by post. I managed to do that in the last parliament elections in Germany. I had a lot of fun reading all the names of the fringe parties (there is a HipHop party) and wonder about the envelope sizes (the ballot needs to be folded strangely to fit in the inner envelope, causing me to read and reread the instructions).

Pictures of the German ballot, obviously I couldn't take pictures in the voting booth

A very inside joke

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Today is Good Friday, and in Germany and Iceland it means that by law one is not allowed to dance, gamble or make jokes. I'm nothing but not a rebel, so here is my very inside joke for today:

The office of Efling union is restructuring. To safe costs all employees are fired and replaced by Andri Sigurðsson and his never to be finished web site.

Cool German Words - Erbsenzähler

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I'm probably thinking of the word because I made lentils the other day. A Erbsenzähler (pea counter) is an overly pedantic person. It is a subspecies of the Spießer. In the good old days it was also used for a stingy person, but these days it refers to people who end up working for government institutions, so that they can deny your applications because of the smallest technicalities.

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