Tag Archives: history

Composing Word Play?

I’m working my way slowly through Anekdoten, Legenden und Sagen and today’s chapter concerned J.S. Bach. I was delighted to learn that Beethoven used a bit of wordplay to describe Bach that I think would delight a modern advertiser or marketeer:

»Nicht Bach – Meer soll er heißen, Meer

Ein Bach is “a stream” in addition to being the composer’s name, thus given what a “big” composer he was, his name ought to call out something equally big such as an “ocean” or ein Meer. Perhaps we should return the favor and upgrade Beet-hoven from his “patch” – das Beet – to at least a” field” and make him Ackerhoven!

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