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‘Put the umlauts back on the Lindström sign,’ Dayton demands

Calling the new “no-umlaut” rule non-sensical, Dayton issues an executive order to put the ö back in Lindström. 

MinnPost illustration by Tom Nehil

Stop the nonsense, Gov. Mark Dayton said Wednesday, as he ordered state Transportation officials to put the ö back in the Lindström highway signs.

The Star Tribune ran a story this week about unhappiness in the Swedish enclave when residents noticed the umlauts were missing in updated city limits signs.

The o with an umlaut is a critical part of the Swedish alphabet, one of three vowels that don’t appear in English. Thus the pronunciation of the town is changed without the letter. And lots of Swedish tourists visit the city, north of the Twin Cities near Chisago Lakes.

The signs had included the ö in Lindström until recently, when state officials replaced them and left off the umlaut because of a new federal “Standard Alphabets for Traffic Control Devices.”

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In ordering the umlauts reinstated, Dayton said:

“Nonsensical rules like this are exactly why people get frustrated with government. Even if I have to drive to Lindström, and paint the umlauts on the city limit signs myself, I’ll do it.”