Draegerman
Posted: 10 December 2017 11:13 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Just watched a 1937 movie Draegerman Courage about mine rescuers. Not having come across the term before I checked it out in OED.

draegerman, n.

Etymology: < the name of A. B. Dräger (1870–1928), German scientist, inventor of a type of breathing apparatus + man n.

Earliest cite is 1918, latest 1958, frequency 1. (Unrevised, entry dates to 1972.) Most of the cites are Canadian but I don’t know if that’s significant. Is this term for a mine rescue worker still current?

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Posted: 11 December 2017 01:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Appears so, Aldi:

http://www.mexicominingreview.com/interviews/interview_10.html *

Excerpt:

When somebody has been using Dräger’s equipment for over 25 years, either in Canada or the US, it certainly makes a difference because that person already knows ... due to the tradition of Dräger in the mining sector with more than 100 years of experience, mine rescue workers are being called “Draegermen” in the US; …

* Other sites corroborate

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Posted: 11 December 2017 04:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Why the addition of the “e” after the “ä”?

Here is a picture of equipment with the name “DrägerMan” and the “e” is left out:

http://www.gas-detectors.com.au/images/file/bodyguard2_br_en.pdf

[ Edited: 11 December 2017 04:29 AM by Eyehawk ]
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Posted: 11 December 2017 05:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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The Dräger company has been around since 1889, making all sorts of atmospheric safety equipment. I’m familiar with Dräger tubes, which are used to take air samples which can then be analyzed to detect low levels of chemicals, from my days working with chemical weapons. I never encountered the term drägerman, but the US Army had its own masks and breathing equipment.

The Alexander Bernhard Dräger, mentioned in the OED, was the son of the company’s founder. The company, now Drägerwerk AG, is still run by the descendants.

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Posted: 11 December 2017 06:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Why the addition of the “e” after the “ä”?

Because umlauts don’t exist anymore in the English alphabet; The New Yorker’s odd practice to the contrary notwithstanding. Are there any diacritical accent marks on your keyboard?

My guess is that Dave copied it from one of the websites that uses the umlaut. You can make an umlaut on a PC by holding dowm the “alt” key and typing the number “0228” on the number pad (numlock needs to be off). There are other ways if you have an international keyboard.

[ Edited: 11 December 2017 06:31 AM by Oecolampadius ]
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Posted: 11 December 2017 06:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Oecolampadius - 11 December 2017 06:16 AM

You can make an umlaut on a PC by holding dowm the “alt” key and typing the number “0228” on the number pad (numlock needs to be off).

That’s exactly what I did. I have alternative keyboard maps for Old English and Old Norse, but for the odd modern diacritic or characters I use either the Windows Character Map application or the alt-keypad method.

The symbol used by the New Yorker is more properly called a diaeresis. It looks the same as an umlaut, but it has has a different phonetic quality (i.e., it just marks that the vowel should be pronounced, as opposed to being a distinct phoneme as in the German umlaut).

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Posted: 11 December 2017 07:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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The symbol used by the New Yorker is more properly called a diaeresis. It looks the same as an umlaut, but it has has a different phonetic quality (i.e., it just marks that the vowel should be pronounced, as opposed to being a distinct phoneme as in the German umlaut).

Thanks for that, Dave. You mean, of course, that the “second” vowel needs also to be pronounced in words like “reëxamine.”

And the numlock keypad need to be “on” not “off”.

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Posted: 11 December 2017 09:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Back in the days of stone knives, bearskins, and typewriters, diareses/umlauts were not an option, although you could make a fake one by doing a backspace + double quote mark.  The use of a following e was a standard way of representing any umlauted vowel in German.  This shows up in the spelling of lots of German immigrant names: Baer, Koenig, Schroeder, Mueller, etc.

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Posted: 11 December 2017 10:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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An umlaut on the Mac can be made by holding down the “option” and “u” keys at the same time, lifting your fingers off, then typing an “a”.

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