Feeds

Germans brew up a right Sh*tstorm

Quality English word named 'Anglicism of the Year'

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

Proof of the pervasive nature of the English language comes with the news that "shitstorm" has been named Germany's "Anglicism of the Year".

Our German cousins have embraced Shitstorm (capital "S", naturally, as is the local custom for nouns) as a way of describing "a public outcry, primarily on the internet".

The term rose to prominence last year on the back of the Greek financial meltdown and the scandal surrounding defence minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg's doctoral thesis on constitutional law - which was found to contain large chunks of plagiarised material.

Finding their own vocabulary inadequate to the task of representing the resulting hullabaloo, the Germans drafted in Shitstorm, which beat "Stresstest" and "circeln" (to add someone to a contact list online) to top spot in the annual Anglicism of the Year.

The jury explained in a statement: “Shitstorm fills a gap in the German vocabulary that has become apparent through changes in the culture of public debate.”

Previous winners of the Anglicism of the Year - established in 2010 by University of Hamburg linguist Anatol Stefanowitsch - include "leaken", derived from the Wikileaks brouhaha.

While this year's jury described such borrowings as "a natural process that occurs in any language", not everyone is prepared to take the English invasion lying down.

According to the Guardian, both the Society for the German Language (die Gesellschaft für deutsche Sprache) and the German Language Association (Verein Deutsche Sprache, aka VDS) are attempting to repel linguistic boarders.

VDS spokesman Holger Klatte said: "We believe that linguists should make more effort to develop German alternatives to new English words, particularly in the scientific and technological arena."

Unfortunately for Herr Klatte, he and his fellow purists are probably fighting a losing battle. A well-known example of the native-versus-imported-term struggle to the death is "Fernsprecher" (literal translation "Farspeaker") as a properly local construct, as opposed to the dominant word "Telefon".

The French similarly struggled in vain against the inexorable rise of English vocab, and now famously spend their samedis and dimanches enjoying "le week-end". ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
MEN WANTED to satisfy town full of yearning BRAZILIAN HOTNESS
'Prettier, better organised, more harmonious than if men were in charge'
Cops baffled by riddle of CHICKEN who crossed ROAD
'Officers were unable to determine Chicken's intent'
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
Drunkards warned: If you can't walk in a straight line, don't shop online, you fool!
Put it away boys. Cover them up ladies. Your credit cards, we mean
Why your mum was WRONG about whiffy tattooed people
They're a future source of RENEWABLE ENERGY
Murder accused DIDN'T ask Siri 'how to hide my roommate'
US court hears of cached browser image - not actual request
Chomp that sausage: Brits just LOVE scoffing a Full Monty
Sales of traditional brekkie foods soar as hungry folk get their mitts greasy
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.