More than 2000 entries: free mentality or social ploy? These are the suggestions for the “bad word of the year”

Social and migration policy, climate protection – the explosive political issues of this year can also be found in the suggestions for the “bad word of the year” 2023.

More than 2000 entries: free mentality or social ploy? These are the suggestions for the “bad word of the year”

Social and migration policy, climate protection – the explosive political issues of this year can also be found in the suggestions for the “bad word of the year” 2023. The linguist and jury spokeswoman Constanze Spieß told the German Press Agency upon request that more than 2,000 submissions had now been received, more than in the whole of last year. Suggestions for the language-critical campaign can be submitted until December 31st. The “unword of the year” will be announced on January 15th in Marburg.

The "bad word" suggestions include, for example, the terms "social climate" as a derogatory term for financial resources and support measures for children in poverty or "free mentality" as a term for the demand for local public transport that is affordable for everyone. “Remigration” for the deportation or return of migrants and “Pride Month” as the opposite term to “Pride Month” and thus as a discrediting of the LGBTQ movement were also mentioned as suggestions, explained Spieß.

Other candidates include the terms “deportation package” as a term for measures for faster deportations of rejected asylum seekers, “social welfare career” as a term for people who live on social benefits or “war of attrition” as a term for the Russian war of aggression on Ukraine.

The "unword of the year" has been determined since 1991 and is also selected in the current round from suggestions that interested parties submit by the end of this month. In general, formulations that the jury believes violate the principles of human dignity or democracy, that discriminate against social groups or that are euphemistic, obfuscating or misleading are generally considered. The aim of the language-critical campaign is to raise awareness of appropriate language use. The decision does not depend on how often a word was suggested. “Climate terrorists” was named “bad word of the year” for 2022.

The “Word of the Year” for 2023 was only chosen on Friday – it is “crisis mode”. “Anti-Semitism” came in second place and “unable to read” came third. Terms are regularly selected as “Word of the Year” that, in the opinion of the jury, have particularly linguistically determined political, economic and social life in Germany in a given year.

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