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The world's most romantic postbox (bbc.com)
132 points by MiriamWeiner 8 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 26 comments

Incase you are in a rush and scanning for how it works: You send a letter to the tree. It gets placed in the tree. Someone who is looking for a partner, goes to the tree and picks out a letter. If they don't wish to reply, they place it back in the tree.

I wonder what the oldest letter stuck in the tree is...? Would hate to have mailed it from another city 20 years ago. Finally get the time to trek up there, and find out it is still in the tree :-)

Happy Valentines day hackers!!

I doubt it will last more than one winter due to weather conditions.

I thought this was going to be about how you can mail your letter in a second envelope to the postmaster in Romance, Arkansas and ask them to mail the contents so that it gets postmarked from there.

You can also do this with Loving, New Mexico.

And in Loveland, Colorado.

Also Valentine, Nebraska

Is the expectation and posture different for people who are brave/curious/willing to write/look to the tree for a relationship?

Do they behave differently and cause such positive outcomes?

Small nitpick: It is "Die Bräutigamseiche", not "Der Bräutigamseiche".

(That is, even though "Bräutigam" (bridegroom) is of course male, the last word "Eiche" (oak) is female, so the composed word as a whole becomes female. German grammar is strange sometimes, but in this case strict and consistent.)

As with many small nitpicks, very interesting. Do I understand correctly that "girl" is a similar thing, where it might naturally be expected to be female, so die Maedchen, but is actually das (neuter) due to the -chen? And/or that all -chen words would be das?

Not a native German speaker, but yes - it is my understanding that any German word ending in -chen is neuter.

(My guess: as the -chen ending is used to signify that it is a smaller version of the stem of the word, this takes precedence over the gender of the stem - and then some German at some point decided that such smaller items were neuters and be done with it.)

Same holds true in Dutch - although male and female words share the same article ("de"), neuter words use a different one ("het"), diminutive words (ending in -je) are always neuter, and we usually say "meisje" for girls. Hence girl is neuter.

Thank you! I was wondering whether I could use ‘diminutive’ or not in that context.

I happen to be Norwegian, by the way - and Dutch happens to be quite fascinating in that there are enough similarities with Norwegian and German for me to be able to read Dutch well enough to understand what is going on - I’d never read a novel in Dutch, but newspapers are fair game.

To be fair, I'm not sure if I could either, so don't assume it is valid just because I used it. I tried to look it up, but didn't get anything conclusive about it within two minutes so I just assumed people would understand what I meant.

It's really fascinating that you're able to understand Dutch newspapers though! Despite knowing quite some German as well, Norwegian doesn't really make a lot of sense to me. I can correctly guess some Swedish (which I seem to recall is similar?) words when written down some of the time, but far from often enough to be able to follow newspaper articles.

It's definitely a diminutive form, along with -lein, which operates the same way regarding gender and umlaut.

Yes. "Mädchen" is the diminutive of "Magd", and thus neuter, as are all words in the diminutive. This not only goes for the diminutive suffix -chen, but for all German diminutive suffixes.

FWIW I believe “die Fräulein” is accepted, despite the -lein suffix. Sure, it’s accepted in _addition_ to “das […]”, but IIRC you may sound a bit odd with the “das” in that specific case, no?

> you may sound a bit odd with the “das” in that specific case, no?

No. As a native speaker, I would consider "die Fräulein" incorrect in the singular. "Die Fräulein" is the correct plural of "das Fräulein", however.

Regardless, at least in Germany, "Fräulein" is considered archaic, bordering on offensive.

As a native German speaker, "die Fräulein" sounds odd to me, while "das Fräulein" is perfectly fine.

I rescind my comment!

*> die Maedchen (Mädchen), but is actually das (neuter) due to the -chen

Yes, that's true. Roughly speaking, little and cute means neuter. [1]

To confuse you even more, however, note that "die Mädchen" is still correct, but for an entirely different reason: It means plural! ("the girls"), because it happens that the plural of "Mädchen" is the same word "Mädchen", and that the plural neuter noun marker "die" is exactly the same as the sigular female noun marker "die". (Moreover, also the male and female plural noun marker is "die".)

[1] Now that I think more if it, that's quite progressive in terms of gender-equal language and early childhood. (But many other aspects of the German language aren't, so don't expect too much here.)

Brautigamseiche.com is still free, just think of the monetization potential. /s

You don't have to turn all cultural characteristics into money.

Fill a tree with trash...this have to be the true valentine gesture...

We have some people in my city who put up tinsel on trees along a certain road each year at Christmas. Of course they never come back to clean it up, so it quickly becomes trash and litter on the edge of a preserve.

I've wondered if I could make a citizen's arrest for littering but knowing the authoritarian state of the US police I'd likely be the one formally arrested.

I know that citizen's arrest obviously varies alot depending on country etc, and even then seems to be a somewhat grey area. However would assume (and hope) that you couldn't perform a citizen's arrest anywhere for simply littering.

> I'd likely be the one formally arrested

If you spend your time going around trying to execute citizens' arrests, I should hope so.

It's a casual thought. I don't appreciate littering.

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