Point of Interest, das

Even in English, the meaning of this cartography term is not exactly self-evident. Whereas a "place of interest" usually connotes a location in the land that would reward a visit because it is interesting, a point of interest that is recorded on a sat-nav device may be something dull and entirely uninteresting, such as a petrol station, a parking building or a business that has paid to be thus promoted. On a visit by road to Munich, I was surprised to find that the rental car's sat-nav listed dozens of points of interest, but the museums and palaces were not among them. Sat-navs connect a series of dots (junctions and curves) to create routes: anything off the route is of no interest to the device, but may be meaningful to a human being. Oddly, German has a richer vocabulary than English to describe how the significance of places or things may be enhanced by our "Erkenntnisse", yet German sat-nav designers have failed to find a truly German term for the point of interest. They have thus forged an anglicism out of the English term: das Point of Interest. Even odder is the pluralization of this term in German, with the plural S added to both "point" and "interest". Examples: Sehr gefragt sind ... die Points of Interests wie Hotels oder Restaurants (Andreas List in Pressetexte, 2007-08-16); Die Software kann ... Points of Interests (POIs) aus verschiedenen Wählbaren Kategorien - etwa Blitzer - darstellen (Felix Rehwald, Hamburger Abendblatt, 2007-07). Neuter gender, twice capitalized and pronounced with an uvular -r-.

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