Word of the year / Untiefen der deutschen Sprache

Some organizations look for the English word of the year.

In Germany, the search is for the Unwort (non-word) of the year. Bremer Sprachblog points out that people often suggest words that refer to phenomena they don’t like, for instance Kopftuchverbot (headscarf ban). The word itself is unexceptionable.

Last year’s expression (Wort can mean a single word or a phrase) was freiwillige Ausreise. If kraut means a German, then we foreigners must be Unkraut.

Looking at the list of words since 1991, it’s interesting that more than one of them has to do with foreigners.

The Bremer Sprachblog entry points out that Kopftuchverbot is recommended by Muslim organizations, but is rejected because it is a correct word referring to an Unding. But last year’s freiwillige Ausreise was exactly the same, except that it was not recommended by Muslims.

Dabei kommt mir eine Unidee. Die „Sprachkritische Aktion“ schränkt in ihrer Pressemeldung den Teilnehmerkreis stilsicher ein:

Vorschläge können von allen Deutschsprachigen im In- und Ausland gemacht werden.

Warum schließt man Muslime nicht einfach mit der Begründung aus, dass sie per Definition keine „Deutschsprachigen“ sind?

8 thoughts on “Word of the year / Untiefen der deutschen Sprache

    • Yes, very good. That is the local double-decker train to Nuremberg or Erlangen and beyond.

      The link to ‘Schrebergarten’ in the article brings up several pages on the allotment – the rest of the train pictures are there.

  1. Have you noticed more pheasants around this year? The reason I ask is that we’ve seen considerably more pheasants this year in the orchards around Mainz-Finthen than at any other time in the past seven years. I wonder if it has something to do with the mild winters and late springs we’ve been having. Makes me hungry to see them :-)

      • You don’t even need a gun: Real has been selling (admittedly smallish) frozen English pheasant for EUR 6.50 a shot (if you’ll pardon the pun).

        • I had one! from Edeka. Did I photograph the label? I can’t even remember when it was, but a couple of months ago, and yes, English.
          Are those the ones you’re seeing more of in the orchards?

    • Ah! The Anderson shelter, a kind of back-garden air-raid shelter. I used to play in one of these at a friend’s house (I was born in 1947).
      I believe Churchill had a better underground realm.

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