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'Kebab-Murders' called 'worst word of 2011'
Photo: DPA

'Kebab-Murders' called 'worst word of 2011'

Published: 17 Jan 2012 12:55 GMT+01:00
Updated: 17 Jan 2012 12:55 GMT+01:00

A jury of language experts has picked Döner-Morde (Kebab Murders) as 2011’s most despicable German word, saying that in the wake of racist murders the term reduced a victimised minority community to food hawkers.

“This term supported the assumption that the motive behind the murders lay in a criminal milieu surrounding protection money or drug selling,” wrote Nina Janich, the spokeswoman for the Unwort des Jahres (Non-Word of the Year) judging panel in a written statement.

“With the factually inaccurate, folkloric-stereotypical labelling of a series of right-wing terrorist murders, entire populations are marginalized and the victims themselves discriminated against to the highest degree.”

Janich was referring to the widespread use of Döner-Morde by German media for the series of murders of shop keepers, eight of Turkish origin and one Greek, who were killed by a group of neo-Nazis.

Among the runner-ups, the panel complained that marktkonforme Demokratie (market-compliant democracy) a term first used in a speech by Chancellor Angela Merkel, inappropriately conflated democracy and economics when both should stand alone.

Gutmensch (do-gooder), the panel said, was used particularly on internet forums last year to paint people proposing new ideas as naïve and unrealistic.

The panel also worked with the Düsseldorf Stock Exchange to find the worst word of 2011 related to the stock market, which it decided was Euro-Gipfel or “Euro Summit,” used to describe the seemingly endless series of top-level political meetings on the eurozone’s financial problems.

More than 2,000 Germans nominated 923 different words for consideration by as the Non-Word of the Year, which has been selected annually by a panel of four academics, one journalist and on other, since 1991.

Previous winner have included notleidende Banken (needy banks) and Gotteskrieger (warrier for god), often used to refer to Islamic militants.

The Local/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:04 January 17, 2012 by LecteurX
Too bad it took them to find out that the murders had been committed by a neo-nazi cell until it dawned on them that the expression was odious.
17:37 January 17, 2012 by JohnnesKönig
tot lachen!
21:45 January 17, 2012 by Navigator_B
Up until now I assumed from the expression "Döner-Morde" that nearly all of the ten victims sold döner kebabs, but it turns out that only two of them did. Even the mainstream media described the murders in that way even though they could just as easily have called them the neo-Nazi murders. The fact that the expression has so little to do with reality makes me wonder if there is some stereotyping behind it.
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