Tag Archives: alternativlos

Unwort des Jahres – alternativlos

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!

By Christoph Speccius ([1]) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The German language is constantly in flux.


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Filed under About Germany, german education, German language, Life in Germany