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The time did come again. The German “Unwort des Jahres” (non-word of the year) has been chosen in Darmstadt again. The “Unwort”-jury, whose chairperson is linguist Nina Janich, received 1340 entries with 746 different words. The first place term 2013 is “Sozialtourismus” (social tourism) as the jury informed on Tuesday.
Politicians and the media used the word “Sozialtourismus” in order to refer to unwanted immigrants – especially from Eastern Europe – who come to Germany with the prospect of a better future life and who are, at the same time, said to be just interested in pocketing social welfare.
Chairperson Janich explains: “The root ‘tourism’ suggests a travel activity for pleasure and recreation.” But those who are affected suffer hardship in their homeland. Thus Janich further expounds, the term “discriminates people who are searching for a better future in Germany. Additionally, the term obfuscates the fact that these people have principally the right to immigrate to other European countries.”
In 1991, the “Unwort des Jahres” was initiated by Horst Dieter Schlosser who still represents the initiative. Until 1994 the “Unwort” had been chosen within the framework of the Gesellschaft für deutsche Sprache (GfdS) – the association for German language. After a conflict with the board of the GfdS, the initiative “Unwort des Jahres” became independent.
The aim of Schlosser and his colleagues is to raise peoples’ awareness of language and make them more conscious of it. The jury consists of four linguists who are permanent members and two co-opting members from the media who change annually.
Every German citizen can hand in suggestions with the respective indication of source. The suggestions must receive the initiative by December 31st of the corresponding year. In the first half of January in the upcoming year the jury chooses one of the nominations on the basis of extensive discussions.
In order to become an “Unwort des Jahres” words or wordings have to meet one of the following criteria.
Here you can find all the twenty-two other un-words of the years 1991 to 2012.
Sources: http://www.faz.net/aktuell/gesellschaft/sprachbewusstsein-sozialtourismus-ist-unwort-des-jahres-12751032.html http://www.zeit.de/kultur/2014-01/unwort-des-jahres-2013-sozialtourismus http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unwort_des_Jahres_(Deutschland)