Dhe crisis topics of the past few months have dominated the search for the “nonsense word of the year” 2022. Among the more than 1100 suggestions received so far, many terms refer to the Ukraine war or the climate crisis, as reported by Constanze Spieß, spokeswoman for the jury of the language-critical ” Unword” action.
Other topics are social policy, linked to the debate about the energy crisis and the corona pandemic. The terms submitted include “special operation”, “special fund”, “free mentality”, “hygiene walk”, “climate terrorists” or “climate RAF”.
Corona no longer has a non-word economy
On the one hand, the proposals reflected the public debates of the year, on the other hand, of course, the big events, according to linguist Spieß. At the beginning of the year, submissions related to the pandemic would have dominated. With the Russian attack on Ukraine in February, that abruptly decreased. Since then, there have been “a lot of submissions” from this area.
The purpose of the free program is to draw attention to inappropriate use of language and thus raise awareness. The jury, made up of language experts, reprimands words that violate the principles of human dignity or democracy, that discriminate against social groups, or that are euphemistic, obscure or misleading formulations. Proposals must meet one of the criteria, the number of times they are mentioned is irrelevant.
Interested parties can still submit their suggestions by 31 December using the online form or by e-mail. The jury then wants to announce the “nonsense” on January 10, 2023 in Marburg, Hesse. Last year they chose “Pushback”.