Everybody laughs at JFK for calling himself a doughnut back in 1963. However, I’m sure that he did his research – he probably walked into a Berlin bakery and scanned the all the scrumptious delicacies in sight to make sure that his speech did not contain any faux pas. He would have spotted the Amerikaner straight away – a kind of flat doughnut with either chocolate or lemon icing – and scribbled out the words ‘ich bin ein Amerikaner’ replacing them with ‘ich bin ein Berliner’ instead.
What the poor fool was not to know though, was that in Berlin, Berliners are not called Berliners – they are called Krapfens. Berliners are only called Berliners in the south of Germany. Why? I have no idea. It’s as illogical as the fact that Weiner sausages (from ‘Wein’ or Vienna) are only called Weiner sausages in Germany; in Vienna they call them Frankfurters.