Drei Wünsche....correct protocol for genies?
I was surprised to read: "Wow! Wo bist du hergekommen?!"
in Duo's recent Drei Wünsche story.
I would have expected, "Wo sind Sie..." Just in case I ever meet one, may I assume that magical beings can always be addressed as du?
Just in case I ever meet one, may I assume that magical beings can always be addressed as du?
If you're brave enough .. ;-)
I think in fairy tales, people generally address each other as "Du", or "Ihr" when speaking to a king or queen or similar.
The level of formality with "Sie" used today didn't exist in former times.
It's also in prayers: Christians say: "Vater unser, der du bist im Himmel, geheiligt werde dein Name, dein Reich komme ..."
If I would anywhen meet a magical being, I would address it as "du". Except it is an old and "ehrwürdig" (venerable, reverend) man or woman. Then I would say "Ihr" (plurales majestates) or "Iro Gnaden" such as "mylord" in English, I think. Or I would although call him/her "du". I think, "Sie" is only for real persons. I call you "du", because I do not know you and I do not really know, if you exist at all, or if you are just a very good computer. I would never call an animal "du"[Edit: "Sie"] except I play him to be a person (rollplay). What Heike wrote about the useage of "Sie" in former times, might also be correct. In fairy-tales it is in deed like this.
For me, animals are always "du". :-) Otherwise, my commands would be lost. Imagine I had a dog called Senta. Now I want to call Senta. In the "Du"-Form, I say:
"Senta, komm her!"
You can see: The first word after her name already tells her what to do.
In the "Sie"-form, this would have to be, to sound appropriately polite:
"Senta, würden Sie bitte herkommen?"
Senta, running around, would hear me only until I reached "würden", and would run away because she wouldn't know what I expected her to do. ;-)
(That's also my reasoning for giving short names to animals, by the way ...)