American Dialect Society kürt „enshittification“ zum Wort des Jahres 2023

Enshittification
Bild: Richard Schneider

Die 134 Jahre alte American Dialect Society (ADS) hat sich bei ihrer 34. Wahl zum amerikanischen Wort des Jahres für den Ausdruck enshittification entschieden.

Mehr als dreihundert Sprachwissenschaftler, Lexikografen, Etymologen, Grammatiker, Historiker, Forscher, Schriftsteller, Redakteure, Studenten und unabhängige Gelehrte beteiligten sich an den Beratungen und Abstimmungen im Rahmen der Jahrestagung der Linguistic Society of America (LSA) in New York.

Wortschöpfung eines Bloggers

Der Ausdruck enshittification wurde 2023 populär, nachdem der Autor Cory Doctorow ihn in seinem Blog Pluralistic prägte. Er beschrieb in einem Artikel den Lebenszyklus digitaler Plattformen wie Facebook oder Twitter:

Here is how platforms die: first, they are good to their users; then they abuse their users to make things better for their business customers; finally, they abuse those business customers to claw back all the value for themselves. Then, they die. I call this enshittification.

„Erfolgreicher Neologismus“

Den Vorsitz bei den Abstimmungsrunden in New York führte Ben Zimmer, Vorsitzender des ADS-Ausschusses für neue Wörter und Sprachkolumnist beim Wall Street Journal. Er sagt zu der Entscheidung:

Enshittification is a sadly apt term for how our online lives have become gradually degraded. From the time that it first appeared in Doctorow’s posts, the word had all the markings of a successful neologism, being instantly memorable and adaptable to a variety of contexts.

Wörter des Jahres können auch Phrasen, Wortkombinationen und Vor- oder Nachsilben sein (wie zum Beispiel e- wie in e-mail im Jahr 1998 oder -ussy 2022). Sie müssen nicht unbedingt neu, aber im betreffenden Jahr besonders hervorgetreten oder auf andere Weise bemerkenswert sein.

Nein, liebe ADS, eure Kür ist nicht „die älteste derartige Wahl überhaupt“

Die ADS führt ihre Wahl zum Wort des Jahres seit 1990 durch. Nach ihren Angaben handelt es sich dabei um „die älteste derartige Wahl überhaupt“ („the longest-running such vote anywhere“).

Das gilt jedoch allenfalls für die USA. Die Gesellschaft für deutsche Sprache (GfdS) kürt schon 13 Jahre länger die Wörter des Jahres, nämlich seit 1977 regelmäßig und davor schon 1971 einmalig.

Wahlen zum Wort des Jahres sind eine deutsche Erfindung, die im Lauf von Jahrzehnten viele Nachahmer in anderen Ländern fand.

Bestimmung von Wörtern des Jahres hat auch unterhaltsamen Charakter

Die ADS legt Wert auf die Feststellung, dass ihre Wahlen zum Wort des Jahres keine amtliche Veranstaltung sind und dass die Gesellschaft nicht vorgibt, Wörter offiziell in die englische Sprache einzuführen. Vielmehr habe die alljährliche Kür auch einen unterhaltsamen Charakter und begleite lediglich den fortlaufenden Sprachwandel.

American Dialect Society
Bild: ADS

Nachfolgend das gesamte Abstimmungsergebnis im Wortlaut:

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AMERICAN DIALECT SOCIETY VOTING RESULTS

Raw vote totals and percentages of the vote are given after each nomination. In cases requiring a runoff, two figures are given. Winners are indicated by an asterisk.

WORD OF THE YEAR (2023)

  • * enshittification: worsening of a digital platform through reduction in quality of service 68/92/158
  • babygirl: older male fictional character or celebrity seen as emotionally damaged, helpless, or vulnerable 10
  • ceasefire: rallying cry for those seeking a stoppage of hostilities in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict 29
  • context: word invoked by presidents of Harvard, MIT, and Penn to questions at a House hearing about prohibiting speech on campus 45/63
  • (derogatory): parenthetical comment humorously appended after a word that might not be expected to be derogatory 43/73/121
  • girlie: lighthearted and affectionate term of address for young women (also used in a broader more gender-inclusive way) 20
  • Kenaissance: renaissance in the wake of the Barbie movie’s depiction of Ken (also Kenergy, Kenough) 14
  • let (someone) cook: allow a person to do something that they are good at without interference 14
  • stochastic parrot: large language model that can generate plausible synthetic text without having any understanding 37/52

MOST USEFUL/MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED

  • * (derogatory): parenthetical comment humorously appended after a word that might not be expected to be derogatory 116
  • cunty: having an audaciously exceptional appearance or displaying fierce femininity (from LGBTQ ballroom culture) 26
  • enshittification: worsening of a digital platform through reduction in quality of service 37
  • era: a personal period defined by a noteworthy style or behavior (esp. in in my X era) 30
  • girl/boy X: way of doing something associated with a gender, as in girl dinner, girl math, boy math 55
  • mother: (adj.) admirable (as a term of endearment); (v.) to perform something admirably (from LGBTQ ballroom culture) 16

POLITICAL WORD OF THE YEAR

  • * (watermelon emoji): symbol of Palestinian solidarity used on social media 103/143
  • context: word invoked by presidents of Harvard, MIT, and Penn to questions at a House hearing about prohibiting speech on campus 61
  • hot labor summer/hot union summer: summer of 2023, when a number of unions went on strike 106/133
  • I/P: shorthand for the Israeli/Palestinian conflict 1

DIGITAL WORD OF THE YEAR

  • * enshittification: worsening of a digital platform through reduction in quality of service 111
  • chat: collective term of address for those participating in a streamer’s chat 59
  • gamers: second-person plural term of address, as on a gaming livestream 11
  • ice cream so good: response by TikTok streamer Pinkydoll to receiving an ice cream emoji 11
  • millennial pause: pause by a millennial at the beginning of a recorded video, as opposed to the Gen Z shake (shaky video at the start of recording) 45
  • skibidi: nonsense word popularized by the YouTube animated series Skibidi Toilet 46

INFORMAL WORD OF THE YEAR

  • * babygirl: older male fictional character or celebrity seen as emotionally damaged, helpless, or vulnerable 39
  • (derogatory): parenthetical comment humorously appended after a word that might not be expected to be derogatory 75
  • gyat, gyatt: exclamation expressing surprise, excitement, or admiration (esp. on seeing someone with a large butt) 12
  • let (someone) cook: allow a person to do something that they are good at without interference 90
  • rizz: charm or attractiveness, now used as a combining form or blend component (rizzler, pre-rizz-toric) 60

ACRONYM/INITIALISM OF THE YEAR (ad-hoc category)

  • * FAFO (fuck around and find out): warning that foolish actions will result in unwanted consequences 177
  • AITA (am I the asshole?): question asked to an online audience (as on Reddit) to determine if the person is at fault in a situation 47
  • IYKYK (if you know, you know): indication that something is a reference understood by a select group 14
  • LFG (let’s fucking go): exhortation to action 26
  • MOOP (matter out of place): waste material left behind at an event (esp. Burning Man) 12

AI-RELATED WORD THE YEAR (ad-hoc category)

  • * stochastic parrot: large language model that can generate plausible synthetic text without having any understanding 106/147
  • ChatGPT: name for OpenAI’s chatbot, now becoming generic for generative AI systems 111/130
  • hallucination: AI-generated response containing false information presented as factual 10
  • LLM (large language model): machine-learning model trained on a vast text corpus 6
  • prompt engineer: expert in developing text prompts for generative AI models 40

MOST CREATIVE WORD OF THE YEAR

  • * Kenaissance: renaissance in the wake of the Barbie movie’s depiction of Ken (also Kenergy, Kenough) 100/161
  • assholocene: the current era of human history, defined by the ubiquity of assholes 42
  • delulu: delusion, as in delulu is the solulu (delusion is the solution) 72/109
  • tush push: quarterback sneak for short yardage perfected by the Philadelphia Eagles (also called the brotherly shove) 64

EUPHEMISM OF THE YEAR

  • * structurally restrictive housing: solitary confinement (rebranded by the New York City Department of Correction) 101
  • artificial intelligence: computerized simulation of human intelligence that is not actually intelligent 60
  • effective altruism: movement ostensibly to benefit humanity, used as an excuse for spending other people’s money 57
  • free bird: alternative to “empty-nester” promoted by Gwyneth Paltrow 17
  • stenographer: journalist seen as uncritically reporting statements made by officials and others in power 22

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Richard Schneider

Leipziger Buchmesse 2024