I spy…Ku klugs klugen

In The Economist, 26th Nov – 2nd Dec, 2016. Read it here.

This is a very interesting example of intertextuality and linguistic landscape: in any interaction, readers and speakers bring in a network of textual relations. “Meaning becomes something which exists between a text and all the other texts to which it refers and relates, moving out from the independent text into a network of textual relations.” Allen (2000: 1). The term intertextuality was first introduced in linguistics by Bulgarian-born French semiotician Julia Kristeva who said that [any text] is “not simply the product of a single author, but of his/her relationship to other texts (both written and spoken), and to the structure of language itself.”

The resurrection of  Lügenpresse from an already bloody past and its appropriation by white alt-right Americans is certainly disconcerting. The Economist reports that Mr Trump’s supporters adopt the term Lügenpresse to refer to the mainstream media, or to any journalists who criticise the president-elect

Having a look at the trends of use of Lügenpress in the German corpus using the Google Ngram below (in texts between 1800-2008), we can clearly see a two high peaks: 1919 and 1937 corresponding the reporting of Kristallnacht, where ” Hitler and Goebbels once again applied it to the foreign press”. ngramg

Running the same word in the English corpus, however, does not find any instances of Lügenpress. I also tried to run this in the BNC corpus but without results.


Have you come across this word? Tell us about it and leave a comment below.

The author is willing to remove any content that may infringe on copyrights

2 thoughts on “I spy…Ku klugs klugen

  1. Thank you for the insightful article and the call for comments. Kate Connolly of The Guardian is one journalist who follows the German language for alt-right slogans such as Lügenpresse:

    There is also a German website that is very useful:
    I also recommend Rick Noack’s piece for The Washington Post:
    Hope these help 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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