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    “Climate terrorists” is the nonsense of the year 2022. This was announced by the jury at the Philipps University in Marburg on January 10th. The reason for the decision: the word was used in public discourse to discredit activists and their protests for climate protection.

    The commission also criticized the term because it equated activists with terrorists and “thereby criminalizes and defames them”. The jury complained that non-violent forms of protest were equated with violence and hostility to the state.

    The word “social tourism” follows in second place. It was already voted a non-word in 2013. CDU leader Friedrich Merz used the expression last fall when he spoke about Ukrainian war refugees. The jury saw this as “discrimination against those people who are fleeing the war and are looking for protection in Germany”. Third place is taken by the term “defensive architecture”. It refers to a type of construction of benches, for example, that prevents the homeless and other people from staying longer in public places. The Commission criticizes the expression as misleading and euphemistic.

    The jury at Marburg University consists mainly of linguists. Every January they determine the nonsense of the previous year. With their choice, they want to draw attention to inappropriate, obscure or defamatory use of language. Suggestions for the nonsense of the year 2022 could be submitted beforehand by email. The “Südwest Presse” reported that more than 1,100 terms were submitted. These included words like “free mentality”, “special assets” and “hygiene walk”. In 2021, “pushback” was the nonsense word of the year.

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