Monday, January 9, 2012

And the Winner is....

drum roll please....

The Word of the Year 2011* is

after much debate and deliberation***


Please note, this is 'Stresstest' - all one word, not 'stress test' the way the rest of the world would have it, and the stress (ho ho) will be on the second syllable, not the first where one would think it should be - these Germans are quite, quite bonkers sometimes.

So who else was in the running for first place? There was 'hebeln', which is a new verb that seems to mean to crank or lever something - a word much used over the last 12 months due to the ongoing crisis in the financial sector and the rescue of the euro countries, and there was 'Arabellion' which only made it to 3rd place, and reflected the need for a generic term for the numerous revolutions and political upheavals in the Arab and North African countries, the Germans do love to adopt new words, just because there are fewer words in the German language than in the English, they cannot be beaten by the English.

Stresstest was chosen because
not only were banks tested for their resilience, the railway station project Stuttgart 21 came under pressure as did the green-red state government of Baden-Württemberg and German nuclear power plants were also subjected to stress tests.

The top 10 looks like this (if you're interested):
1. Stresstest
2. hebeln
3. Arabellion
4. Merkozy
5. Fukushima
6. Burnout
7. guttenbergen
8. Killersprossen
9. Ab jetzt wird geliefert
10. Wir sind die 99%

We have to wait another week or so before the 'unwort' of the year is revealed, I can't wait, the anticipation might be too much, if you're lucky I'll forget all about it, the killersprossen**** might get me before then or maybe I'll get burnout, though as always I will try my hardest not to guttenbergen*****!

* according to the jury of the GfdS**
** Gesellschaft für deutsche Sprache (society for German language)
*** I'm assuming the jury took a long time to make a decision, afterall it is a very serious decision, not to be taken lightly and as Germans take everything seriously this would have been a doubley serious decision making process surely.
**** back in the 'summer' we never had there were too many cases of people ending up in hospital seriously ill after possibly having eaten beansprouts, I don't think it was the beansprouts that did for them but I'm blowed if I can remember now what it was actually traced back to. I think at one point all fruit and veg was suspect so we ate cake.
***** Guttenberg was the very silly German politician who got caught copy and pasting in his doctoral thesis, oops, hence the new verb, to guttenberg = to plagiarise.

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