Words of the Year

Everybody who is anybody seems to create a Word Of The Year - so today, the Swiss German contribution to that phenomenon has been made. It's actually not just a WOTY, we also get an Unwort (non-word, booh-word) OTY as well as a Phrase OTY and a press release OTY!

Apart from the fact that the designation of these items is largely an exercise in political correctness, they give us an interesting insight into the state of the union, as it were:

WOTY: Meh Dräck (more dirt) refers to the need for more emotional content in the Swiss TV program Musicstar, I guess, which I am proud to say that I have not watched one single installment of. Uninteresting.

More interesting are the runners-up to the WOTY: Spuckaffäre (spitting affair), Sahlenweidli, Kopftuchverbot, Krawattentragverbot, Jugo and Fürsorgestopp. The Spuckaffäre refers to this earth shattering event while the other terms designate either prohibitions (Verbot), a reduction in social contributions or negatively perceived foreigners from the Balkans. The only exception to the rule is Sahlenweidli: This is a hit TV production on Swiss TV which would go under the heading of reality TV, if it were not for the fact that it shows the life of a farmer family as it would have been 150 years ago. Kind of reality TV gone history channel. I find it rather disturbing that this naïve program attracts so much attention - I am afraid it shows a strong streak of structural conservatism in the Swiss population, which would love to have the whole place locked up in a museum.

The Unwort OTY is Oekoterror (ecological terrorism) which was used against the green opposition to a shopping center.

The Phrase OTY might be symptomatic: Switzerland, zero points which was uttered at the Eurovision Song Contest. That apparently was a low point in national confidence. Poor us.

Last, but by no means least: the Press Release OTY - the best ever! It is about a police sortie which was necessary subsequent to a man stealing two ... CROISSANTS at a train station! Go figure!

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