Zeitgeisters In Trouble

Well Folks,

According to a friend of mine, Dave, I’m committing a German faux pas by calling you Zeitgeisters. Dave, originally from Western Australia, now lives in Zurich and has been learning Swiss-German for the last five years.

He sent the following note, re: my standard blog greeting:

Hi Mr Trivia,

I’m not sure what I’m getting for Xmas but i know what you are getting from me: A mini German lesson (I bet you were not expecting that).# Dave’s – Weihnachten Deutsch Lektion 1

It is:
Der Geist (The Ghost/Spirit) singular
Die Geister (The Ghosts/Spirits) plural

Der Zeitgeist (The Time/Age-of Ghost/Spirit) singular
Die Zeitgeister (The Time/Age-of Ghosts/Spirits) plural

So you should start your mails with:

Greetings Zeitgeister,
By putting an “s” at the end you are adding an english conjugation to an already conjugated word.

You could go 1 little step further and say for the Kaiser:

Grüß Zeitgeister,

I hope those special characters show up for you in 8 point Helvetica:
They should – Helvetica is a Germanic font.
Grüß/Gruess – pronounced: groos – (like goose) is Greetings in german.

We could also argue that:

Greetings Zeitgeists, also possibly acceptable considering the quasi german/predominantly English context of your emails.

I end this lesson with “Raum Geist”

# End of Lesson 1.

Have a nice one.


I could change the way I do things, but somehow I feel I will remain stubbornly incorrect, although a little better informed.


Mr Trivia

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.