Finally here: The Un-Word of the Year

I know, I know, you have just about heard enough about the words and un-words of the year and what they all mean and where they all come from. But let me add this one, because it's a good one.

img credit: neuepresse.de - Vielen Dank.

img credit: neuepresse.de - Vielen Dank.

Followers of this blog will be aware that we had to wait until 15 January 2013 to find out about the word which has been "crowned" the Un-Word of the Year 2012. The Sprachkritische Aktion (Action for Linguistic Criticism) has announced that the king of lousy ethics and bad attitudes of 2012 is...

Opfer-Abo

The word breaks down into "das Opfer" (victim) and "das Abo" (short for Abonnement - subscription).

You won't find this in a dictionary, of course. The word was first used by ex weatherman and Germany's darling Jörg Kachelmann after he was accused of sexual violence by his ex-girlfriend. Kachelmann displayed a despicable attitude when he stated that women practically subscribe to a victim status (they have the Opfer-Abo) in today's German society. By this he meant that women consider it acceptable to accuse a man of rape or sexual violence in order to get what they want.

The Un-Word jury stated that this statement can be considered both factually inaccurate (an estimated 5-8% of women actually report the sexual crimes commited against them) and disrespectful to any victim's dignity.

In just one word, "Opfer-Abo", Kachelmann managed to sum up a real issue of disrespect to rape victims and an attitude that assigns ulterior motives to a woman standing up for herself. Un-Word title well deserved in my book. What do you think?

German speakers can read more about it on the German language Un-Word Homepage.

Related articles:
- Words of the Year
- Words of the Year: Redux