German Of The Day: Jamaika-Aus

That means, sadly, the collapse of the Jamaica talks to form a CDU/CSU/FDP/Green government. And is, coincidentally, Germany’s Word of the Year for 2017.

Jamaica

Sadly because the SPD has now been given the chance to come out of its we’re-absolutely-positively-never-ever-going-to-come-out-of-opposition pout after getting creamed during this year’s election. The SPD can do this kind of 180 degree turn stuff. Nobody cares. Just like nobody cares about who the chancellor is, apparently.

Denoting the ongoing failure to form a governing majority in German, Jamaica Out was one of several political neologisms chosen by the Society for German Language (GfdS) on Friday for its Word of the Year, which has been awarded since 2009.

PS: This kind of stuff gives me a hangover. I think I’ll drive over to the new Denny’s in Hanover and order me some pancakes or something (this article says Denny’s is where you go in US-Amerika for your hangover breakfast).

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German Of The Day/Year: Postfaktisch

That means post-factual – and has just been selected Germany’s word of the year 2016.

Postfaktisch

“This awkward adjective describes the development in which public debates are defined more and more by temperament and feelings than by facts. This may not be a term used in everyday speech, the experts admit, but crucial here is that it reflects central events that have taken place this year – from Brexit to Trump.”

Das sperrige Adjektiv beschreibt die Entwicklung, dass öffentliche Debatten zunehmend von Stimmungen und Gefühlen und weniger von Fakten bestimmt werden. Dies sei zwar kein Begriff aus der Alltagssprache, räumen die Experten ein. Entscheidend sei jedoch, dass er zentrale Ereignisse des Jahres widerspiegele – von Brexit bis Trump.

Finally, A German Non-Word Of The Year For The Rest Of Us

Please, someone please have this 2015 winner introduced into the English language ASAP, please (did I say please?): Gutmensch.

Gutmensch

A Gutmensch is a do-gooder or a starry-eyed idealist. Or the term can also be seen as a blanket reproach for being “naive, dumb and worldly innocent, or being someone suffering from helper syndrome or moral imperialism.”

Or if you want a more concrete example of what this kind of non-word ailment can lead to, take a look at what’s going in in Germany right now. That’s right. The Gutmenschen are behind all of this.

Wer Gutmensch sagt, verdient sich seinen Shitstorm.

German Word Of The Day About The German Word Of The Year: Abschätzig

That means pejorative. Disparaging?

Word of the Year

And the German word of the year? Like duh. Flüchtlinge. That means refugees.

But the German Society for the German Language warns us right off the bat that when we use this year’s winner we should do so very carefully because it is “tendentially pejorative” and that would be grammatically if not to say politically incorrect.

Wrestling with these German words is hard as hell sometimes, ain’t it? So I guess sometimes it’s best not to wrestle with them at all.

“GroKo”, “Rettungsroutine”, “Stresstest”, “Wutbürger”. In den vergangenen Jahren wurden Wörter zum Wort des Jahres gewählt, die nicht im Duden stehen. Wörter mit einer inneren Spannung, mit Originalität. Und mit einem Hauch von paradoxem Witz. 2015 ist das anders.

World Pain In The Butt

Why do Germans always have to pick out these fancy-dad-gum-new-fangled German words of the year like Lichtgrenze (light border or boundary) when they’ve already got a perfectly wunderbar selection of traditional German words of the year or at least I think they ought to be for crying out loud?

Weltschmerz

Weltschmerz (world pain), for instance, has to be one of my all time favorites because, well, it’s just about as moany, whiney, lamenty and Germany as you can possibly get.

Now available in the U. S. of Amerika for a limited time only! I hope.

Disillusioned? Has your initial idealism been ground into cynicism? Dismayed by discovering how things really work? There’s a term for what you’re suffering: Weltschmerz.