Rock Bands And Their Love For Umlaut

By Divya G

Inspiration always comes out of nowhere for the band Mötley Crüe. The idea of using the “umlaut” [the punctuation sign ¨ that goes above a letter] in their band name also came up to them suddenly. Being one of the world’s most notorious bands, they still have the “umlaut” in the band’s name.

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The idea came to life during the 1980s, when bandmates Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee, and Vince Neil were drinking a German beverage called “Löwenbräu Beer.” The umlaut present in the beer’s name grabbed their attention.

While drinking the foreign beverage, they decided to call themselves “Mötley Crüe.” They did so because it made them appear more European. But they had no idea that the “umlaut” was a pronunciation. But Mötley Crüe was not the only band that used “umlaut” wrongly.

Bands like Motörhead, The Crüe, and Blue Öyster Cult all have “umlauts” in their names. Besides, using “umlauts” has become a weird signature move for all the rock bands. Even though Mötley Crüe helped popularize this punctuational accessory, they are not innovators.

The umlaut was first used back in the Middle Ages by Jacob Grimm, one-half of the morbid storytelling duo. Back in 1819, Jacob Grim defined “um” [ around] and “Laut” [sound] as a method to show how a vowel can influence another vowel when spoken aloud.

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This was indicated by two dots placed right on top of the vowel. This will direct a person to make an “oo-see” sound. But this pronunciation gained recognition in America through all the rock bands that started using it.