W örter des Jahres

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Thu Dec 11 19:55:15 UTC 2008

Lovely!  And I read it all!  The luxury tax
sounds like something out of 18th-century New
England Puritan jeremiads, only those would more
likely have been aimed at luxurious clothes.  And
in early New England lobster was so common it was fed to gaol prisoners.

By the way, ADS-L can handle the common (West
European) accents, if one uses (is given?)
Latin-1 encoding.  See my Subject line (and add
an apology for using ä previously -- I was so
concentrating on getting the umlaut that I mistyped the letter!).


At 12/11/2008 01:51 PM, Chris Waigl wrote:
>Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit
>On Thu, 11 Dec 2008 12:06:15 -0500, "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
> >
> > At 12/11/2008 10:59 AM, Chris Waigl wrote:
> >>In the third
> >>place, we get Wachteleierkoalition (quail-egg coalition).
> >
> > Now you've got me curious.  What's the background for this
> > agglomeration?  (No hits on Google, for the English; thousands for
> > the German.)
>OK, this is going to be slightly complicated. Bear with me, or hit N.
>The term was coined some time in September 2008 by the leader of the
>Austrian Green Party, Alexander Van der Bellen. This was shortly before the
>2008 parliamentary election. The election had become necessary because the
>ÖVP (classic large right-wing party) decided to leave the ruling coalition
>it was in partnering with the SPÖ (classic large social-democrat party,
>Austrian style). This coalition ("red-black") had become quite unpopular as
>well. So Austria went into an election with, it turned out, 5 parties that
>would get over 10% of the vote, and no clear suggestions who would be
>forming a stable government, at least not one including the SPÖ (which had
>been and would become again the largest group in the national council).
>These 5 parties range from extreme-right (BZÖ) via hard-right (FPÖ),
>right (ÖVP) and left (SPÖ) to left-Green (Green Party, no abbreviation).
>Shortly before the election, in a move that was widely perceived as
>populist, and on the background of widespread exasperation with the
>political squabbling and lack of actual, solid and effective policy
>suggestion, the SPÖ minority government made public its plan to abolish
>VAT on food, but with a list of precisely 12 'luxury foodstuffs' that would
>be excluded from the tax exemption: Kaviar
>* Langusten (langoustes)
>* gestopfte Leber (foie gras)
>* Hummer (lobster)
>* Safran (saffron)
>* Trüffel (truffles)
>* Wachteleier (quail eggs)  <----------- !
>* Schnecken (snails)
>* Austern (oysters)
>* Strausseneier (ostrich eggs)
>* Krabben (crabs)
>* Garnelen (shrimp)
>This was widely ridiculed -- and other luxury food items were cited all
>over the Austrian blogosphere (Kobe beef, moose cheese...), which would
>under the proposal be exempt. The ridicule reached its peak when the FPÖ,
>perceived as an impossible coalition partner for the SPÖ, made it known
>they were agreeing with this proposal. Van der Bellen's bon mot therefore
>refers to an understanding between two unlikely political partners based on
>their common take on how to tax quail eggs.
>Chris Waigl
>PS: Austria, predictably, went back to an SPÖ/ÖVP coalition after the
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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