Alte vs Neue Rechtschreibung (German Styleguide)

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The German Style Guide mentions the alte and neue Rechtschreibung (old and new orthography), but doesn’t explicitly say whether titles that were correct when they were printed should be corrected according to the spelling reform (e.g. muß -> muss).

I’m guessing we wouldn’t correct titles in Old High German, to New High German, but that’s arguably different as it’s almost a different language. Also if e.g. a recent album title was written with the old orthography and in an old-timely font then I’d also leave it and assume artist intent.

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Some of my friends in Bavaria still speak and even write in “Uhrbayerisch” (Ancient Bavarian) which is pretty much a language onto itself, so I can only imagine what they think about neue Rechtschreibung. Let’s just say we had a lot of fun teasing northern Germans: We understood them, but they not us!

I think you are right, but sooner or later the sharp S and umlaut’s will no longer be found in fonts and on keyboards.

It’s still the correct s for many cases in the current form of the German language, so I wouldn’t bet on that.

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Agree that this sounds like it will become an “artist intent” question. Look at the English band Motörhead who use the umlaut for stylish effect.

I’d go with “what is on the cover should appear in the database”. Many people will want to pull the data out of this database and expect to see the same old words as was originally written.

I am certainly against any “correction” of current data.

Ultimately MB is a database of titles as text. Nothing says that these titles need to be grammatically correct.


I never update spelling on a release and use what is written. Why would I change that? Of course there is something to be said about recording and work titles, but for those I usually use the oldest variant for the main title (remember, there are always aliases that can be added), unless the newer title is way better known.

Note that the part in the German style guide only refers to writing “SS” in lower case, because then you have to decide whether to use “ss” or “ß”. It’s not something that happens often.

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