A few weeks ago, the Verein Deutsche Sprache awarded its 2013 Sprachpanscher prize to the Duden dictionary, for Duden's role in the "shitstorm" shitstorm ("'Shitstorm' Shitstorm: Dictionary Wins Award for Ruining German", Spiegel OnLine):
The most respected dictionary in the German-speaking world has come under fire for its excessive use of English words.
The Association for the German Language (VDS) — a group that campaigns to protect and promote German — gave the dictionary its annual "Sprachpanscher" (language adulteror) award, which singles out people or organizations responsible for legitimizing anglicisms in German.
(For background, see "Das Wort "Shitstorm" hat nun einen Platz im Duden", 7/4/2013.)
Meanwhile, Spiegel is engaging in a creative relationship of its own with English: Aside from the -or/-er issue with "adulteror", I believe that panschen actually means "to adulterate", not to commit adultery.
But "language adulterer" is a much better concept, it seems to me — I guess that the German word would be Sprachehebrecher, or maybe Sprachhurenbock. Perhaps some kindly German-speaking readers can help out with the terminology.
Whatever the right purely-teutonic expression for illicit intercourse among languages, it will resonate nicely with James Nicoll's famous characterization of English:
The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary.
„Die Deutsche Telekom hat ihre Kunden über Jahre hinweg mit englischen Sprachimporten verärgert. Der Besuch der Netzseiten der Firma ist eine Schocktherapie im Horrorkabinett der deutschen Sprache“, begründete der Vorsitzende des VDS, der Dortmunder Wirtschaftswissenschaftler Walter Krämer, die Wahl.
Im|port … engl. import, zu: to import < frz. importer < lat. importare, importieren
Fir|ma … ital. firma,
Schock … frz. choc, zu: choquer
The|ra|pie … griech. therapeía
Hor|ror … lat. horror; b: engl. horror
Ka|bi|nett … frz. cabinet
Why is it I have such trouble taking it seriously when people make a fuss about using "pure" German? :-)
But maybe we should view this sort of thing as linguistic teen spirit rather than adult sleaze. Kory Stamper put it this way ("English is a little bit like a child", 10/27/2012):
English is a little bit like a child. We love and nurture it into being, and once it gains gross motor skills, it starts going exactly where we don’t want it to go: it heads right for the goddamned light sockets. We put it in nice clothes and tell it to make friends, and it comes home covered in mud, with its underwear on its head and someone else’s socks on its feet. We ask it to clean up or to take out the garbage, and instead it hollers at us that we don’t run its life, man. Then it stomps off to its room to listen to The Smiths in the dark.
Everything we’ve done to and for English is for its own good, we tell it (angrily, as it slouches in its chair and writes “irregardless” all over itself in ballpoint pen). This is to help you grow into a language people will respect! Are you listening to me? Why aren’t you listening to me??
Like well-adjusted children eventually do, English lives its own life. We can tell it to clean itself up and act more like one of the Classical languages (I bet Latin doesn’t sneak German in through its bedroom window, does it?). We can threaten, cajole, wheedle, beg, yell, throw tantrums, and start learning French instead. But no matter what we do, we will never really be the boss of it. And that, frankly, is what makes it so beautiful.