German is a formulaic language: You put the right pieces in the right place and you have a fully comprehensible word that any German speaker can understand. No one loves doing this more than journalists.
This year, it was the "border of light" that topped the list this year thanks to the 25th anniversary celebrations in Berlin that saw 15 kilometres of the former East Berlin border lit up with thousands of helium balloons. They were released the evening of November 9th to symbolize the fall of the wall.
The annual list is compiled by the GfdS is the top buzzwords of the year as was reflected by newsmakers.
Judging from this years list, it was a year of terror, strikes and football madness in Germany.