“No child left behind!” shouts the SPD election advert, which was published in the Mülheimer Woche recently.
The advert counts the ways in which the SPD has invested in education over the past seven years. It claims that an extra €200 billion has been invested in children and education since 2010, that kindergarten places have doubled, and that 7,200 new teachers have been hired.
The only problem is that the advert states: 7,200 Lehrer mehr seid 2010. Even someone struggling to study for their A2 German exam no doubt recognizes the mistake here, with seid being a form of the verb sein, while seit is the correct word for "since."
But some Germans clearly confuse the two, and thus the mnemonic seid ist sein und seit ist time has been created to help them remember.
The conservative Christian Democratic Party (CDU) were quick to jump on the mistake, crowing in a tweet that “the picture demonstrates more than 45 years of education policy from the SPD and Hannelore Kraft.”
With state elections in North Rhine-Westphalia on Sunday, SPD Minister President Hannelore Kraft is trying to defend her office from the CDU challenger Armin Laschet.
The most recent polling by public broadcasters ARD and ZDF shows the two parties neck-and-neck in Germany’s most populous state.