Why did 'verboten' come into use when English already has a perfectly good word, 'forbidden', that means exactly the same thing but is much more widely understood? Is there a subtle difference that I do not get?
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In addition to agreeing with the excessively-prone-to-follow-orders-without-question connotation FumbleFingers mentions in his comment, I believe that the use of "Das ist verboten", with an over-the-top stress pattern, as a mild reproof hedges it: "That is forbidden" or, more commonly, "You mustn't do that" sounds far more censorious. The pomposity is now partly self-acknowledged, so the person being told off doesn't feel so cut off as the only non-normal person.
Perhaps this only works when the recipient has watched " 'Allo 'Allo " or the like.
protected by RegDwigнt♦ Aug 15 '12 at 11:05
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