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Sweden to Phase out Å, Ä and Ö -- April Fool's Day, 2007
Sweden's English-language paper, The Local, reported that in the interests of globalization and technological competitiveness Sweden's government was considering banning "complex letters" such as Å, Ä and Ö. Å would be replaced by AA, Ä by AE and Ö by OE. The Centre Party's Åsa Bäckström was quoted as saying, "Language is constantly changing and we must be prepared to meet the linguistic challenges of the modern world. Communication barriers are a hindrance to competitiveness, so we should do whatever we can - within reason - to eliminate them." However, the move was resisted by many, including the town council of Båstad, whose spokesman said, "We already have enough trouble with English-speakers who think the name of our town is amusing. If the Å becomes a regular A it will just make things worse. We might as well go the whole hog and include an R."
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