Diva / Mensch pair for March 24, 2021
This French pair is a little abstract, but please stay with me:
Diva: l'accent aigu
Mensch: l'accent grave
The accent aigu goes from southwest to northeast, the accent grave from northwest to southeast. The best example I can come up with is the French version of the name Helen, Hélène, pronounced (more or less) "ay lenn." The first E has the accent aigu, it changes the pronunciation of the E and makes it bright and impressive. It announces itself, it thinks it's something special. The accent grave is on the second E. It does not significantly change the pronunciation, it's not really clear what it's purpose is, but it does seem to add some quiet sort of elegance.
I found this adorable video about the difference between these two accents. She seems to think that the accent grave does change the pronunciation, but I don't really hear it...