"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