Date: Wed, 21 Jan 1998 22:53:15 -0600 From: Samuel Jones Subject: Re: German word of the year - REPLY PLEASE SEE AFTER YOUR INQUIRY -=20 >A friend, Martin Dickey, sends me this. I too don't understand it completely >and hope someone on ADS-L will undertake a perfect translation. - Allan >Metcalf >-------------- >(from German News 1/20/98) I don't understand it completely. > >- "Wohlstandsmuell" Unwort des Jahres > >Frankfurt. Das Wort "Wohlstandsmuell" als Umschreibung von >Arbeitsunwilligen, Arbeitsunfaehigen oder sogar kranken Menschen ist das >Unwort des Jahres 1997. Die Wortschoepfung geht auf Nestle-Chef Maucher >(sp?) zurueck, wie der Sprecher der Jury, der Germanistikprofessor >Schlosser in Frankfurt mitteilte. Mit "Wohlstandsmuell" sei ein Gipfel in >der zynischen Bewertung von Menschen ausschliesslich nach ihrem Marktwert >erreicht. Geruegt wurden unter anderem auch die Begriffe Organspende >und Blockadepolitik. _____________________________________________________________ GenevaREPLY: Saw your posting. Hope this may help. =46irst, a quick translation of the item from the German News of 20 January 1998: [ Frankfurt. The word "Wohlstandsmuell," as an oblique reference [circumscription or paraphrasing] to 'people unwilling to work, people unfit or unable to work' or even 'sick people,' is the 1997 Unword of the Year . The word's creation is attributed to Nestl=E9 CEO [Helmut] Maucher [Head offices of Nestl=E9 are in Vevey, Switzerland], as the foreman of the jury, Germanistics professor Schlosser, informed us in =46rankfurt. With "Wohlstandsmuell," a peak in the cynical evaluation of humans/people, exclusively according to their market value, has been reached. Also criticized were, among others, the expressions "Organspende" [the selling of body organs for transplant] and "Blockadepolitik." [What the USA is doing to Iraq and Cuba at the moment - "blockade politics".] ____________________________________________________________________ And for whatever further assistance my comments may offer: "Wohlstand" =3D "prosperity, affluence, good economic times" "Muell" =3D "trash, rubbish, garbage" As is so often the case, nouns in German readily combine to form other words. In this instance, the word "Wohlstandsmuell" is produced. The idea or concept of "Wohlstandsmuell," and no doubt its usage, has in fact been around for sometime now and in use in a very productive, affluent, upbeat, "throwaway" German society, which is patterned to no small extent after the USA. The earlier meaning of the word actually made reference to the kind and nature of rubbish, trash, or garbage thrown away, discarded, or jettisoned by well-heeled (maybe also well-healed from WWII ?), well-living, well-to-do West Germans. =20 What the German News report seems to signal is a rather dramatic change in or a broadening of the meaning of "Wohlstandsmuell,": lending it a more particular or specialized (and somewhat bitter and degrading) meaning, so as to encompass "throw-away people" in a very productive, affluent, upbeat, throw-away German society, "throw-away people" to include the "Arbeitsunwilligen" (those people who do not wish to and are unwilling to work), and the "Arbeitsunfaehigen" (those people who are unable to work, or who are unfit for or unfit to work - i.e., "kranken Menschen" =3D "sick people." [unfitness for work, inability to work, non-viability]. smjones _______________________________ DR. SAMUEL M. JONES =20 Professor Emertitus Music & Latin American Studies =20 University of Wisconsin-Madison =20 "Pen-y-Bryn" - 122 Shepard Terrace Madison, WI 53705-3614 USA _______________________________ =20 EMAIL: smjones1[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] _______________________________ =20 TELEPHONE: 608 + 233-2150 =20 _______________________________ =20