People: Father of the “unword”: Horst Dieter Schlosser died

The father of the language-critical campaign "Unword of the Year", Horst Dieter Schlosser, is dead.

People: Father of the “unword”: Horst Dieter Schlosser died

The father of the language-critical campaign "Unword of the Year", Horst Dieter Schlosser, is dead. As his widow confirmed to the German Press Agency, he died on February 24th and was buried last week.

Schlosser became known nationwide as the initiator of the “Unword of the Year”. Terms and phrases that violate the principles of human dignity or democracy, that discriminate against social groups, or that are euphemistic, obfuscating, or misleading are eligible for the dishonorable title.

The first “unword” was chosen in 1991 - until 1994 this took place within the framework of the Society for the German Language. After a conflict, Schlosser struck out on his own with the jury. In 2010 he stopped serving as jury spokesman. As he said goodbye, he said: "In the field of language criticism one loses some sympathies."

Professor and author

Schlosser was born in Düsseldorf in 1937. As a German scholar, he held a professorship for German philology at the University of Frankfurt from 1972 to 2002. From 1976 to 1978 and from 1988 to 1999 he was also Vice President of the Goethe University. Schlosser has published numerous books, including “Language under the Swastika” and “The Power of Words. Ideology and Language in the 19th Century.”

The “unword” is now being used in Marburg. The most recent “bad word” of 2023 is “remigration”.

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