We already had the German word of the year. Now it’s time for the un-word of the year. The Unwort des Jahres.
German has a great way of adding an “un” at the beginning of a word to create a new concept, by the way. For example Kraut means cabbage or herbs… but Unkraut means weeds. If you receive a cheque you have to hope it is gut rather than ungut.
Anyway… I digress. This year’s un-word is alternativlos – meaning without any alternative. The reason for the choice, according to the jury spokesman, was that it is a debate killer. It implies that there is no point in discussing the situation any further as there is only one possible solution or course of action. Such argumentation has, according to the jury, been far too common during 2010, leading to greater polemics in political views and less openness to debate and listening to other viewpoints.
The runner up this year was Integrationsverweigerer – an immigrant who refuses to integrate with the native population. I don’t think many readers of this blog fall into that category at least!
The German language is constantly in flux.
I was alerted this week to a small ad on the Leipzig University notice board. It was from a Russian student and she was looking to buy a second hand copy of Planet Germany.
I emailed her and found out that she needed the book because it was a set text for her univerity English course. She was looking to buy it second hand (and for this she apologised to me profusely) because as a student without a grant or scholarship, she cannot afford all the course books she needs.
Of course I was delighted to learn that Planet Germany is being pored over now by students of English. I hope it turns out to be one of the course books which genuinely gives delight, rather than loathing and last-minute pre-exam panics (what was that quote about the cat and the enema again?)
Of course, I sent a copy to the Russian student – and I hope she manages to sail through her exam with a top grade now!
Just a quick alert for anyone in Düsseldorf on October 3rd. I will be appearing at Teatime and Cellos on Planet Germany.
The event is organised by Rhinebuzz. It will be an afternoon of fabulous classical music interspersed with me reading funny passages from Planet Germany . It starts at 5 p.m. (that’s 17.00 if you’re German) and will be at Kwadrat, Blücherstrasse 51, Düsseldorf.
I really hope to meet some of my regular readers there!
Deutsche Welle is running a series about expat blogs in Germany and this week they’ve featured none other than Planet Germany!
Do remember to click through to the podcast… where you can hear me whittering on abut blogs and blogging. I think I’ll need a lie down now after listening to this.
Meet the McBurgerQueen Burger.