Thanks for the additional info!  All I know is what is based on my 7 years of studying German, where the story had been repeatedly reinforced.  Also, this presentation intro was very effective when I used it in Berlin last fall at a mobile web conference (and no Germans corrected me on the story), so I'm not sure that the About.com story about it being a confirmed urban legend stacks up with my own experience.

Regardless, the story's most important point for us is still a valid one:  we want to know our customers as well as possible.  As for our personal German use, good luck.  :-)

Kris


On Jan 28, 2013, at 10:52 AM, Glen Beltt <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> The point in Kris' presentation about needing to know your audience is valid, but the JFK "Ich bin ein Berliner" example may not be the best possible illustration. The story about the phrase having been interpreted as "I am a jelly doughnut" is a long-standing (untrue) urban legend. 
> 
> As was intended, the phrase was actually understood to mean "I am one with the people of Berlin." The alternative, "Ich bin Berliner," would have been parsed as "I am from Berlin," which was obviously not the case.  As one of the linked references notes, "Similarly, after 9-11 many politicians said 'today we are all New Yorkers' and nobody thought they meant 'we are all glossy magazines' or 'we are all cars.'" Further, jelly doughnuts are generally referred to in Berlin as Pfannkuchen, not Berliners.
> 
> As it turns out, JFK's speech-writers knew their audience pretty well in that case.
> 
> Glen Beltt
> University of Minnesota Foundation
> 
> On 1/25/2013 2:11 PM, Layon, Kristofer wrote:
>> Thanks so much for setting up the video capture, Tony!  (and thanks to Gabe and the other Web Standards meeting organizers)
>> 
>> It was great to be back on campus today  thanks to everyone who attended.  The slides (with notes) from my talk are here:
>> 
>> http://wp.me/p1r51W-8Z
>> 
>> Have a good weekend,
>> 
>> Kris
>> 
>> Kristofer Layon
>> Web & Mobile Design  //  Product Management  //  Speaking & Writing
>> http://www.kristoferlayon.com/
>> @klayon
>> 
> 

Kristofer Layon
Web & Mobile Design  //  Product Management  //  Speaking & Writing
http://www.kristoferlayon.com/
@klayon