“Pushback” is the “bad word of the year” in 2021. That was announced by the jury of the “Sprachkritischen Aktion” on Wednesday in Marburg. The term, which comes from English, describes the – contrary to international law – sending refugees back across a national border, without having had the opportunity to apply for asylum.
With the use of the expression “a misanthropic process is glossed over, which deprives people on the run of the possibility of exercising the human and fundamental right to asylum”, according to the jury.
The “Sprachkritische Aktion” – a jury consisting mainly of linguists – wants to draw attention to inappropriate, veiled or defamatory public language use with the bad word of the year. Words are selected that violate the principles of human dignity or democracy, that discriminate against social groups, or that are euphemistic, obscuring or misleading formulations.
In 2020, the terms “repatriation sponsorships” and “corona dictatorship” For the first time a pair of bad words was chosen. In 2019 “climate hysteria” was the bullshit of the year, in 2018 “anti-deportation industry”. The election has been taking place since 1991.