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'Shitstorm' Shitstorm: Dictionary Wins Award for Ruining German

The most respected dictionary in the German-speaking world has come under fire for its excessive use of English words. Zoom
obs/ Duden

The most respected dictionary in the German-speaking world has come under fire for its excessive use of English words.

Germany's respected Duden dictionary has received a spoof award for its excessive use of English words. "Shitstorm," "app" and "Facebook" are among the anglicisms recently added to the reference book.

The most respected dictionary in the German-speaking world has come under fire for its excessive use of English words.

The Association for the German Language (VDS) -- a group that campaigns to protect and promote German -- gave the dictionary its annual "Sprachpanscher" (language adulteror) award, which singles out people or organizations responsible for legitimizing anglicisms in German.

The award was presented at a Dortmund press conference on Monday, where the group's founder, Walter Krämer stated, "whoever suggests in a dictionary that the alternative word for 'Fussball' (football) should be the pretentious anglicism 'soccer' deserves this award."

The VDS is particularly concerned with anglicisms that could, by its own account, easily be avoided. Among the words rejected by the society were "stalker" and "laptop," which it argued should be replaced by the German alternatives "Nachsteller" and "Klapprechner" -- both of which are rarely used by the public.

'Shitstorm', 'app' and 'Facebook'

The news comes after the dictionary issued its 26th edition in July -- which included the word "shitstorm" (referring to widespread, vociferous outrage expressed on the Internet) among its 5,000 new additions.

First recorded in German usage in 2010, the word was deemed so popular by Duden's lexicographers that it made its way into the reference book just three years later. Other newcomers to the dictionary, which contains a total of around 140,000 words, were "social media," "flashmob," "app" and "Facebook."

Duden was quick to dismiss the criticism. A spokeswoman commented that the organization didn't invent the language, but merely reflected it objectively.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble was awarded second place in the awards -- according to the VDS, the politician's tendency to speak English at government summits, even when there are translators present, undermines attempts to establish German as one of the main languages spoken in the European Union.

fh -- with wire reports

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1. Suddenly Europe is not speaking German
pmoseley 09/03/2013
The Association for the German Language (VDS), along with its French counterpart Académie Française, are fighting a losing battle against history, modernity and common usage. They are both outdated organisations, bent on defending the indefensible, ie. they put up a formulaic pretence that they can pigeon-hole human behaviour and defend an attack on ossified language conventions from the influence of the internet. The English language willingly absorbed words from many languages over the millenia and as a result is a growing, flexible and ever growing influence on the world that leads to an ever-growing exposure of Anglo-Saxon history, literature, politics and even economics. Suddenly Europe is not "speaking German" after all. That was just a shitstorm in a teacup.
2. optional
chuchu3151 09/03/2013
So what if you can speak a little English. That does NOT mean you should pretend to be so "IN" by replacing good German words with another language. Be proud to be German and speak German without having to bastardize with English.
3. germanic
spon-facebook-10000139396 09/03/2013
Au contraire: If you are au fait with etymology you will find both "shit" and "storm" are both of Germanic derivation. Hardly an avant garde innovation I think. C'est la vie. I am lunching at my local restaurant so Au revoir.
4. not pretentious
spon-facebook-10000139396 09/03/2013
The word 'soccer' is not pretentious: it is a diminutive of Association Football.
sylvesterthecat 09/04/2013
I would suggest that English has incorporated more German words than ever the German language will, English words. If you doubt this, don't bother reading the official Endlish dictionary, just measure the thickness of it.
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