Politics

Dinner for one in 2012

Article published on Jan. 9, 2012
Article published on Jan. 9, 2012
The Brits have spent the end of year in a 'lull' whilst the Germans are going through 'new year's fatigue'. In their new year's addresses at least, Europe's Franco-German leaders warned us it won't be getting any better this new year

The majority of people are all ‘back at work and school’, leading to the British newspaper The Guardian to nickname the ten-day holiday period 'the lull'. The noun comes from the same expression which also exists in German, albeit in the context of ‘lulling somebody’ to sleep (jemanden einlullen). They may not have a specific term for the laziness of the end of year break but the Germans do describe themselves as being in a more meteorological state of ‘calm’: the expression eine Flaute haben indicates that they are 'becalmed'. The closest they get to a British sense of a ‘lull’ can also come from the German sentiment of ‘new year’s tiredness’ (Neujahrsmüdigkeit).

Our leaders are supposed to be soothing us in 2012...In any case, the Germans were sure to pinpoint that as they kicked the year off. Their traditional new year’s eve movie classic Dinner For One, a British comedy sketch strangely best known outside of Britain, hit the news for its parody of France and Germany’s leaders Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel’s dealings of the eurozone. Their heads were superimposed onto those of 'the butler' and the 'elderly lady diner' as she welcomed imaginary guest leaders from other European countries. One day later, as the euro turned ten years old, both leaders appeared in their real-life skits of new year’s addresses to warn citizens that 2012 would be a ‘tough year’ financially. Or should we say, financi-lull-y.

Image (cc) CrazyFast/ flickr/ video (cc) OpenEyes911/ youtube