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'Pushback' has been declared 'Unword of the Year' 2021

The 'Unword' jury slammed the use of the expression 'Pushback' because it 'glossed over an inhuman process' that deprived people of the opportunity to exercise their right to asylum

Pushback has been declared 'Unword of the Year' 2021
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Mumbai, First Published Jan 12, 2022, 6:02 PM IST
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A jury of linguists has unanimously selected the word, 'Pushback' as the 'Unword of the Year' 2021. Pushback, according to the jury based out of the town on Marburg in Germany, was misused by politicians, journalists and organizations to describe the misanthropic process of pushing refugees back to the borders.

The jury selected the word a total of around 1300 submissions, which suggested 454 different terms to be branded as 'Unword of the Year'. The submissions were received by December 31. There were around 45 words that met the criteria.

According to German media, the 'Unword' jury slammed the use of the expression because it 'glossed over an inhuman process' that deprived people of the opportunity to exercise their right to asylum. The jury also expressly criticized 'the unreflected use of this word by critics of the measures' in the media.

The jury placed the term 'language police' in second place among the 'Unwords'. This would defame those who advocate an appropriate, fairer and non-discriminatory use of language. Besides 'Pushback', the other words that were recommended by people across the world included 'Tyranny of the Unvaccinated', which received 287 submissions, followed by 'illegal children's birthday' (71 recommendations) and 'lateral thinker' (47 recommendations). Some other terms included in the list were linked to the Coronavirus pandemic like 'boosters', 'Covidiot' or 'pandemic of the unvaccinated'.

Besides this, 'Cringe' was picked as the 'Youth word of the year' while 'breakwater' was selected as 'Word of the year' and 'Personal responsibility was 'Phrase of the year'.

The 'Unwords' from previous years were presented in the city of Darmstadt near Frankfurt. For 2020, the choice was between two terms 'Repatriation Sponsorships' and 'Corona Dictatorship'. Ultimately, it was 'Corona Dictatorship' that was declared 'Unword of the Year' 2020. With a change in the jury, the announcement moved to the University of Marburg last year.

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