News"Personal responsibility" is "phrase of the year"

"Personal responsibility" is "phrase of the year"

A meaningful term is reinterpreted and ends up as an empty phrase. This is the case with “personal responsibility”, find the language critics of the network project Floskelwolke.

Berlin – Language critics have given the negative “phrase of the year” prize to the word “personal responsibility”.

The reason: “A legitimate term of great social importance is being hollowed out and ends up as a catchphrase for those politically responsible who inconsistently counteract the pandemic. Misinterpreted as a synonym for social responsibility and hijacked by vaccine opponents as a justification for egoism, ”explained the operators of the network project Floskelwolke, Udo Stiehl and Sebastian Pertsch.

“Instrument box” occupies 5th place

The term “climate-neutral” (“A melodious label that does not always deliver what it promises”) and the formulation “left-yellow” (“The combination is a deliberate disrepute against political competition” are ranked 2 to 5 in a new dimension “), the attribute” unpredictable “(in the second year of the pandemic, perceived truths would often have the upper hand over rational facts,” if it is predictable about the favor of the voters “) and finally” instrument box “(” The composition suggests a nationwide common and uniform approach, which in practice, however, breaks down into country-specific idiosyncrasies ”).

Since 2014, the language and media-critical project Floskelwolke has been drawing attention to “clichés, phrases and other questionable formulations in German-language news texts”. One does not want to “denounce, but sensitize”, so co-operator Pertsch.

The number of suggestions for 2021 has decreased compared to the previous year. While 178 suggestions were received for the first “phrase of the year” award exactly a year ago, there were only 72 terms and formulations for the current negative price at the beginning of 2022. The reasons are obvious, according to Pertsch: “In the first year, the pandemic caused numerous neologisms and empty phrases that also preoccupied journalism.” This time, the suggestions relating to the pandemic have become fewer. “10 of the 72 submissions were related to vaccination.” The phrase-cloud makers made the final decision about the top 5. dpa

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