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Old 04-22-2013, 10:51 PM   #31
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Heck.. one not use "A chicken in every pot"? That's from before my parents' time, but I still know it.
If it was during your time you should be dead, or close to it. Hoover.
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Old 04-22-2013, 11:35 PM   #32
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I knew Reagan but I didn't know JFK. I graduated in 1991.
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I probably would not have gotten that one right away... I might have guessed JFK because it was one of the options in the initial questions in the car, though.
For those of you who don't know the significance of the JFK quote, it was a very public and embarrassing gaffe. He was trying to show unity with the residents of Berlin by saying he was one of them. But someone on his staff didn't do their homework. In German, you don't say "I am a..." You simply say "I am..." So he should have said "Ich bin Berliner." Instead, by adding the article ein ("Ich bin ein Berliner"), he was suddenly declaring himself to be a specific kind of German pastry, also called a Berliner.
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:08 AM   #33
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For those of you who don't know the significance of the JFK quote, it was a very public and embarrassing gaffe. He was trying to show unity with the residents of Berlin by saying he was one of them. But someone on his staff didn't do their homework. In German, you don't say "I am a..." You simply say "I am..." So he should have said "Ich bin Berliner." Instead, by adding the article ein ("Ich bin ein Berliner"), he was suddenly declaring himself to be a specific kind of German pastry, also called a Berliner.
So he called himself a pastry? I had heard that he had called himself a sausage. Either way, funny.

But I don't think the significance was that it was a gaffe. I'll bet most Americans don't realize there was a gaffe involved. And I'll bet most Germans didn't care.
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:50 AM   #34
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For those of you who don't know the significance of the JFK quote, it was a very public and embarrassing gaffe. He was trying to show unity with the residents of Berlin by saying he was one of them. But someone on his staff didn't do their homework. In German, you don't say "I am a..." You simply say "I am..." So he should have said "Ich bin Berliner." Instead, by adding the article ein ("Ich bin ein Berliner"), he was suddenly declaring himself to be a specific kind of German pastry, also called a Berliner.
That's an urban legend that appeared in the English-speaking press in the 1980s: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ich_bin..._misconception

No one in Berlin was confused by what he was saying, and due to the context of what he was saying (that he was metaphorically a citizen of Berlin), it was correct to use "ein".

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Kennedy should, supposedly, have said Ich bin Berliner to mean "I am a person from Berlin", and so adding the indefinite article ein to his statement implied he was a non-human Berliner, thus, "I am a jelly doughnut". However, while the indefinite article ein is omitted when speaking of an individual's profession or residence, it is still necessary when speaking in a figurative sense as Kennedy did. Since the President was not literally from Berlin but only declaring his solidarity with its citizens, "Ich bin ein Berliner" was correct.

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Old 04-23-2013, 05:51 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by DevdogAZ View Post
In German, you don't say "I am a..." You simply say "I am..." So he should have said "Ich bin Berliner." Instead, by adding the article ein ("Ich bin ein Berliner"), he was suddenly declaring himself to be a specific kind of German pastry, also called a Berliner.
I actually knew all that part, I just didn't know who said it.
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:05 AM   #36
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So he called himself a pastry? I had heard that he had called himself a sausage. Either way, funny.

But I don't think the significance was that it was a gaffe. I'll bet most Americans don't realize there was a gaffe involved. And I'll bet most Germans didn't care.
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That's an urban legend that appeared in the English-speaking press in the 1980s: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ich_bin..._misconception

No one in Berlin was confused by what he was saying, and due to the context of what he was saying (that he was metaphorically a citizen of Berlin), it was correct to use "ein".
Believe me, I speak German and have lived in Germany. I disagree with that quote from Wikipedia. To any German speaker, it would sound very strange to put "ein" in that sentence.

The only reason that quote is famous is because it was a mistake. Had he said it correctly, we'd likely never have heard anything about that speech. .
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:09 AM   #37
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Snopes also agrees that is was correct: http://www.snopes.com/language/misxlate/berliner.asp
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:15 AM   #38
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Why was JFK was making a speech in Berlin in the first place? The Russians had completely cut off West Berlin (surrounded by East German territory) from supply routes in West Germany. They wanted the entire city of Berlin to be East German territory. We started supplying them from the air and basically dared the Russians/East Germans to shoot down the planes. And they didn't.
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:23 AM   #39
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The only reason that quote is famous is because it was a mistake. Had he said it correctly, we'd likely never have heard anything about that speech. .
I don't recall anyone laughing about it or calling it a mistake at the time.
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:17 AM   #40
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Google translates "I am a Berliner" to "Ich bin ein Berliner." I'm not saying it's correct or not -- just interesting.
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:42 AM   #41
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Why was JFK was making a speech in Berlin in the first place? The Russians had completely cut off West Berlin (surrounded by East German territory) from supply routes in West Germany. They wanted the entire city of Berlin to be East German territory. We started supplying them from the air and basically dared the Russians/East Germans to shoot down the planes. And they didn't.
You answered your own question with the rest of your post.
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Old 04-23-2013, 03:02 PM   #42
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There's nothing otherwise noteworthy about hat speech. The only reason the quote is famous and the only reason anyone even knows about it today is because of the grammatical mistake. Why else would we know about that speech 50 years later?
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Old 04-23-2013, 03:24 PM   #43
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There's nothing otherwise noteworthy about hat speech. The only reason the quote is famous and the only reason anyone even knows about it today is because of the grammatical mistake. Why else would we know about that speech 50 years later?
I can't decide if you're serious or trolling.
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Old 04-23-2013, 03:25 PM   #44
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There's nothing otherwise noteworthy about hat speech. The only reason the quote is famous and the only reason anyone even knows about it today is because of the grammatical mistake. Why else would we know about that speech 50 years later?
I don't get your logic. There are a lot of quotes uttered by JFK and other presidents that are famous many years later.

I knew about that quote long before hearing about the "mistake" a year or two ago.
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Old 04-23-2013, 03:29 PM   #45
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I did find the Michigan manufacturers plates amusing, we see a fair number of those around here. Did kinda wonder about whether they'd be legal in Germany though.

As for the JFK quote, I knew who it was that said it, but honestly don't really remember it being taught in high school, and I graduated in 91. I did find it amusing that most of these people were young enough that they likely wouldn't even remember the Reagan quote. But when you caught a glimpse of their choices for answers for the ford touch ones, it wouldn't have taken very long for someone to figure those out.

I don't think Katie was upset at winning the cars, she even made a comment about it earlier in the episode, and at the time sounded like she really did want to win them.
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Old 04-23-2013, 03:45 PM   #46
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Believe me, I speak German and have lived in Germany. I disagree with that quote from Wikipedia. To any German speaker, it would sound very strange to put "ein" in that sentence.

The only reason that quote is famous is because it was a mistake. Had he said it correctly, we'd likely never have heard anything about that speech. .
Sorry, no. You've lived in Germany, and you speak German, but you did that when?

Language changes. If the Snopes article is correct, the language ability of the native speakers of German who were living in Berlin at the time of JFK's speech and reviewed his speech for him trumps your usage/knowledge, which is more reflective of the way Germans speak now.

You can say that it would sound strange to a German speaker *now*, but you can't speak with authority about how it would sound to someone who was in the crowd at the time of the speech. Not unless you have a Tardis, or some other evidence besides the OpEd piece in the NY Times, where the writer has a set theme and is constructing a piece to make himself (and by extension, his readership) look witty and smart by pointing out embarrassing mistakes made by other people.
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Old 04-23-2013, 04:08 PM   #47
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It's a good thing Kennedy didn't give his speech in Vienna.
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:59 PM   #48
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I can't decide if you're serious or trolling.
Not trolling.
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I don't get your logic. There are a lot of quotes uttered by JFK and other presidents that are famous many years later.

I knew about that quote long before hearing about the "mistake" a year or two ago.
The question isn't whether you heard about the quite because of the error. The question is whether the quote by itself was noteworthy enough to become iconic without the error.

Of course there are many quotes by presidents that become famous/iconic. They generally have some specific reason why they are remembered. For example, Reagan's quote as referenced in this episode is iconic because it was a very brash demand directed toward the Soviet leader at the height of the Cold War. But JFK's quote was nothing special by itself. The only reason it became iconic was because of the humorous nature of the grammatical mistake.
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Old 04-23-2013, 06:43 PM   #49
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The only reason it became iconic was because of the humorous nature of the grammatical mistake.
I was born in 1961 and have heard and heard of this phrase NUMEROUS times in my life. It wasn't until reading this thread that I was even made aware that there was any kind of grammatical mistake in what he said. In all the times I've heard it replayed, in many situations, not once was reference made to a grammatical error.

I really have to beg to differ with your contention quoted above. Yes, that is my opinion, as, it would seem, your contention is yours.
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Old 04-23-2013, 07:02 PM   #50
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There's nothing otherwise noteworthy about hat speech. The only reason the quote is famous and the only reason anyone even knows about it today is because of the grammatical mistake. Why else would we know about that speech 50 years later?
I think I answered that in my post. It was a big Cold War standoff with high stakes.
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Old 04-23-2013, 07:08 PM   #51
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The only reason it became iconic was because of the humorous nature of the grammatical mistake.
Then how come I and other people I know knew about the quote for so many years (decades!) without having heard about the alleged mistake?!?
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:30 PM   #52
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I don't know German, and DO think it's funny, and I'm one who picks on grammar mistakes all the time… But this seems to me, even if it's "wrong", it's more along the lines of Pidgin English. Something that's wrong from a non-native speaker, but it's obvious what they really mean.

I also think it's iconic not because of the "big mistake". Saying that I am a Berliner is a big thing, during the blockade.
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:32 PM   #53
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And yet the Germans cheered rather than laugh.
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Old 04-24-2013, 12:46 AM   #54
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Not trolling.

The question isn't whether you heard about the quite because of the error. The question is whether the quote by itself was noteworthy enough to become iconic without the error.

Of course there are many quotes by presidents that become famous/iconic. They generally have some specific reason why they are remembered. For example, Reagan's quote as referenced in this episode is iconic because it was a very brash demand directed toward the Soviet leader at the height of the Cold War. But JFK's quote was nothing special by itself. The only reason it became iconic was because of the humorous nature of the grammatical mistake.
Were you alive when JFK made the speech? If the answer is 'no', I suggest that you don't know enough about the historical context to judge the matter.
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Old 04-24-2013, 01:59 AM   #55
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Why was JFK was making a speech in Berlin in the first place?
Berlin was not technically part of Germany (though practically it was) and was administered by Four Power Agreement. One sector was under US control. We had US Commanders there from 1945 until 1990.
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Old 04-24-2013, 06:05 AM   #56
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I was born in 1961 and have heard and heard of this phrase NUMEROUS times in my life. It wasn't until reading this thread that I was even made aware that there was any kind of grammatical mistake in what he said. In all the times I've heard it replayed, in many situations, not once was reference made to a grammatical error.

I really have to beg to differ with your contention quoted above. Yes, that is my opinion, as, it would seem, your contention is yours.
Exactly my case. And given how much the Cuban community felt about JFK, I would have heard the criticism/mocking had it been an issue at the time. I heard just about every bad thing you can say about JFK, and that "error" was never, ever mentioned.
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Old 04-25-2013, 04:39 AM   #57
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For example, Reagan's quote as referenced in this episode is iconic because it was a very brash demand directed toward the Soviet leader at the height of the Cold War. But JFK's quote was nothing special by itself. The only reason it became iconic was because of the humorous nature of the grammatical mistake.
JFK's quote is iconic because it was also a very brash statement directed mostly at the Soviets.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ich_bin_ein_Berliner
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Old 04-26-2013, 11:16 AM   #58
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Add me to the list of those who knew the quote very well and hadn't heard of the "error" until just now.
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Old 04-26-2013, 12:16 PM   #59
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I knew about it.

I also know about the Neil Armstrong mistake, too!
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Old 04-26-2013, 12:32 PM   #60
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Even the German Wikipedia article on it (presumably written and edited by German speakers) calls it a legend with no basis in fact. It says 1) the indefinite article is appropriate in this context (assigning the noun to a class) and 2) they didn't call that food item "Berliner" in Berlin -- they called it "Pfannkuchen"

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ich_bin_ein_Berliner
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