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"Climate Catastrophe" is the Word of the Year in Germany

"Klimakatastrophe" (climate catastrophe) is the Word of the Year 2007 chosen by the Society for the German Language, notes Deutschlandfunk. The word of the year is supposed to say quite a bit about public debates. In the last two years, the chose the words "Fanmeile" ("fan mile," referring to the public viewing and celebrating spaces during the Soccer World Cup in Germany in 2006) and "Bundeskanzlerin" (the female version of the word "chancellor"). 

Americans had the chance to vote in Merriam-Webster's Word of the Year contest until Friday. The results are not in yet. I have no clue what seven of the candidates mean:

Apathetic, babymoon, blamestorm, charlatan, conundrum, cruft, eleemosynary, facebook, hyprocrite, linkability, melancholy, Pecksniffian, pretentious, pugnacious, quixotic, sardoodledom, sputum, subpoena, vanity_sizing, and wOOt.

I assume that there are many Word of the Year contests in the United States. Please post information of other contests and your own favorite Word of the Year 2007 in the comments section.

Or we could have our own contest: What was the most interesting or most important word used in transatlantic debates on Atlantic Review and in the real world in 2007? "Caveats" (i.e. national restrictions on military mandates in Afghanistan) or "Pro-American" (referring to Merkel's and Sarkozy's policies) or something else???

I love the 2006 winner of the American Dialect Society contest: "Plutoed." CNN explains the meaning.

Swissinfo reports that "Sterbetourismus" (death tourism) has been selected from over 2,000 suggestions as Word of the Year 2007 in German-speaking Switzerland.

Check out last year's Atlantic Review post: World Press Photo and Word of the Year: Grief and Truthiness


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Jung on :

Germany's word of the year should be "gammelfliesch"

Joerg - Atlantic Review on :

For those not speaking German: [url][/url] ;-) "Gammelfleisch" is old meat that humans should not eat according to the law. Sorry, I can't come up with a better definition quickly. There have been many scandals of companies selling very old meat etc.

David on :

I'm going with "subprime" as the 2007 word of the year. Close second would be "foot-tapping" or the phrase "wide stance", which took on new meanings this year (thank you, Senator Craig!).

Joerg - Atlantic Review on :

I have rewritten this post and published it on The Moderate Voice. [b][u][url=] My post over there includes this line: [/url][/u][/b] [quote]Anyway, I can't remember who said it first about some international security related matter, but I think it is true regarding environmental policies as well: Americans and their elected representatives might not be fast in making a decision, but once they have made up their minds, they implement their decisions quickly and with full force, while Europe is much slower in the implementation. So perhaps US environmental practices will soon be much more progressive in all areas than those in Europe; in some they are already.[/quote] What do you think?

Pat Patterson on :

There was a German, or a European, environmental movement that preceded the establishment(1872) of the national park system in the US? Or even predated Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir or Gifford Pinchot?

Merkel-2 on :

Merkel should be more positive to help developing countries to improve their productivity and reduce green-house wastes' emitting. At this moment, we see Merkel and Sarkozy only pay lip services to climate protection. From one side, they are the hardliners on climate discipline which earn them good reputation, but on the other hand they are the same hardliners on technology (environment-protection related) transfering to the developing country. Industrial powers developed with the cost of ecologic system deteriarates. The new emerging powers and under-development states could not and should not develop in the old way. They must balance between economic development and ecological system protection. That's the sacrifice they need to make. Developed countries also should take the obligation to reduce their Green-House waste's emittion, transfer their advanced evironment-protection related technology. Some Giant pharmaceutical company had set good example for Merkel and Sarkozy by giving up patent fares and allow African states to freely manufacture anti-AIDS and anti-malaria drugs. Comparing with politician's fake and futile gesture, Their conducts are very positive and very helpful to the native African people. I want to prompt Merkel these: Ecological system's protection and sustainable development will benefit all the mankind. Don't make people's such admirable efforts drilled with dirty greenback. It's immoral to take the advantages of climate control as a means to promote its exports and restrict other developing country 's imports. Treat climate control as a trade barrier will not only bankrupt Merkel own crediblity. It will also lead to German image's unrecoverable damages.

Bernd on :

I find it strange that "Klimakatastrophe" was elected, as I have the impression, as the change of climate is certain by now, people have started to use the word "Klimawandel".

Merkel-2 on :

Merkel will not achieve any significant progress in German's economic and welfare reform in the forseeable future. Because there are so many controversy there. Any major change in society will threat CDU and Merkel's election. Merkel need an imaginative enemy , who is very powerful and unpredictable. Klimakatastrophe is an very exaggerating expression. I don't mean it is not important to fight the climate-changes. I just think it is immoral to avoid her obligation of solving German's urgent internal affairs(like economic prosperity,employment rate improvment ,more fair and effective welfare) and only make fake gestures under spotlight. Althrough Merkel earns widely public supports,Quantitative analysis indicates that her government actually is not qualified. Most of her election promises will not be fulfilled within her 2 years' chancellorship.

Merkel-2 on : German environmentalists accuse Merkel of 'double game' on climate Berlin - German Chancellor Angela Merkel is "playing a double game" on climate change, the national environmental group BUND said Thursday in reference to German transport policy. German government opposition would block upcoming European Union initiatives on rules for the motor and aviation sectors, BUND Chairman Hubert Weiger said in Berlin as the UN Climate Conference in Bali entered its final phase. While Merkel was claiming a "pioneering role" for Germany in cutting greenhouse gas emissions, Germany was preventing significant efforts in Brussels for reducing emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), one of the main global warming gases, Weiger said. "She's playing a double game," the BUND chairman said. If the Bali conference did not reach agreement on climate goals, the German government would be partly to blame, Weiger said. "In Bali, the government is putting forward the demand that urgent action is needed, but in Germany it is blocking a speed limit that could immediately cut CO2 emissions by around 3 million tons a year," he said. Merkel has expressly rejected calls for a speed limit of 130 kilometres an hour on German motorways, where motorists are allowed to drive at any speed over around half of the 12,000-kilometre autobahn network. She has also defended the German car industry, which focuses on upmarket cars that consume more fuel and generate more CO2 than its European competitors. Weiger also said Merkel was also refusing to act on including air travel in carbon trading or on taxing aircraft fuel. Merkel should abandon highly publicized actions like flying earlier this year to Greenland to see the effects of global warming on the polar ice, until she had changed these policies, Weiger said. ------------------------ Hypocritical Merkel ------------------------

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