The German Un-word of the Year 2017

Every year in Germany, they choose an un-word. An un-word is a word that is not beautiful or is offensive (or it is constantly misused etc.). So for the year 2017, the term “alternative Fakten” (alternative facts) was selected as the un-word in Germany.

“Alternative Fakten” stands for false claims. The term was first used by Kellyanne Conway, a counselor of Donald Trump, the president of USA. She said: The president did not lie. He just called for alternative facts.

The term “fakten” is usually used for something that has been scientifically proven. It’s a fact. Actually, you can not discuss facts because they are unique.

Language experts decided for “alternative Fakten” to be the un-word of the year (it is actually a term, but we’ll pretend it is one word) because it is usually used to cover up lies that are supposed to sound like the truth.

Experts say that more and more people are using such lies, where they pretend that there is another truth besides the truth that is very much evident. Experts have warned how dangerous that can be.

The jury that decided for the un-word of the year also criticized other words. One is the term “Shuttle-Service“, which has been constantly used to refer to the boats that refugee helpers use to take them into Europe, and according to experts this term is offensive.


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