Moher, marum, mohin?

So much has been written about the demolition of the banqueting hall in the Park Hotel in Fürth, and so little about the demolition of the MacDonalds branch on the ground floor, although the latter has been the main function of the hotel for some years.

So we ask ourselves: Marum?

I have my suspicions as to whether the Three Kings really visited MacDonalds this year (20*C+M+B*13 (Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar – but Wikipedia says Christus mansionem benedicat))

Stuart Bugg legal English workshops in Nuremberg

For details see below.

See also Lawspeak, a monthly Legal English newsletter on contract and commercial matters.

Nürnberg Seminar Workshops 2013 with Stuart Bugg

Places (participants limited to 14 per seminar) are still available in the following seminars:

1. Masterclass on Boilerplate Clauses in Contracts (NEW!)

controlling liability with contractual clauses

13-14 September 2013

NH Hotel Nürnberg City

2. German Law Contracts in English (NEW!)

coming to terms with cross-border and cross-system contracts

20-21 September 2013

NH Hotel Nürnberg City

3. Working with Contracts in English – Workshop

an introduction to basic concepts of common law contracts

8-9 November 2013

NH Hotel Nürnberg City

4. Masterclass on Contracts in English: Update 2013

the latest cases and legal developments from this year

22-23 November 2013

NH Hotel Nürnberg City


For further information on the above seminars and workshops please contact us by telephone +49 (0) 911 945 8867 or by email or see our homepage at for further details and seminar programmes.

J.K.Rowling – lawyer confidentiality

The Sunday Times reported last Sunday that a crime novel that appeared under the name of Robert Galbraith three months ago was actually by J.K.Rowling. She was said to be angry about the revelation.

It now appears that her lawyer told his wife’s best friend, who tweeted it, although shortly afterwards she deleted the tweets.

David Allen Green asks Can J.K.Rowling sue for breach of confidentiality? It’s an interesting question beasue Rowling did not suffer financial loss as a result of the breach – quite the contrary.

Green links also to Richard Moorhead at Lawyer Watch on Harry Potter and the Breach of Confidence.

Lawyerly reaction to the news, insofar as twitter is a gauge, has been a mixture of incredulity and empathy: they see it as a stupid and clear breach; damaging to the firm’s (and lawyers) reputation but also recognising, I suspect, the human temptation to gossip and show off. Lawyers are human and some are more human than others. I too felt both empathy and incredulity; but felt – some may say harshly – that any empathy for ego- or vanity-driven gossiping has to be short lived. And whilst the firm in question has according to the BBC report fessed up with admirable clarity, there is some rather unbecoming blame shifting or sharing.

One question is what the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority will do.


It’s been widely reported in both the German and the British press (inter alia) that the Duden has included the new German word shitstorm. Shitstorm seems to be an American word for an internet uproar. I wonder what a synonym would be? Online sources are not helpful. I think it must be something like a flame war.

Anyway, it seems that the word has come to be seen by many Germans as a standard English expression. Nothing strange about drawing such conclusions about a foreign language. We had a discussion about public viewing, a term possibly originally used in English but much more widely so in German. The thing about shitstorm is that it epitomizes itself, in that these language discussions do become a veritable … shitstorm.

Sense can be found in Sprachblog and Lexicographieblog.

English press reports are frequently accompanied by pictures of Angela Merkel pulling faces, apparently because she used the term recently. (The Independent)

In the Guardian, Philip Oltermann regurgitates the reasons why it is wrong to think Germans are obsessed with shit.
A shitstorm in a dictionary
Germans are not obsessed with faecal matters, just very reluctant to use sexual metaphors in a negative way

And he adds:

The question remains why the German language would, in any case, need to import an English word such as “shitstorm” if it already suffered from such a surfeit of faeces-related metaphors. The answer may be that “shitstorm” in German actually means something very different from what it means in English. The Duden defines it as “a storm of outrage on the internet” – highlighting how social media have increased the speed and reduced the length of our daily outrage. The Urban Dictionary, on the other hand, defines it as a disaster in a much broader sense (and Collins doesn’t recognise the term at all).