Unfortunately, I don't read German. But that headline! "Kölns OB Reker erntet Shitstorm wegen 'Armlänge'-Tipp." One word jumps out. And it kind of proves my point in reverse. I know how "Shitstorm" sounds to me, but I've got to doubt that German readers are feeling it the same way. A search at the same news site shows that Germans seem to have accepted the English migrant "Shitstorm" without any serious scrutiny:
(Click to enlarge.)
"Shitstorm" is in the OED, defined as "a frenetic or disastrous event; a commotion, a tumult," with the oldest usage going back to 1948, Norman Mailer's book about WWII "The Naked and the Dead": "The hell with Brown... He's been missing all the shit storms. It's his turn." It's also in Ken Kesey's "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" (1962): "They finally got to arguing with each other and created such a shitstorm...." A good substitute for "shitstorm" is: "clusterfuck." "Clusterfuck" is also in the OED. It's first in-print sighting was in a 1969 Vietnam account: "These are the screwups that the American public rarely hears about. They happen often enough over here that we have a term for them—‘cluster-fuck’!"
Now, back to what I was looking for, the news about Henriette Reker's advice to women. In English. The Guardian has "Cologne attacks: mayor lambasted for telling women to keep men at arm's length":
Asked by a journalist how women could protect themselves, Henriette Reker said: “There’s always the possibility of keeping a certain distance of more than an arm’s length – that is to say to make sure yourself you don’t look to be too close to people who are not known to you, and to whom you don’t have a trusting relationship.”... Reker also advised women to “stick together in groups, don’t get split up, even if you’re in a party mood.”We're told Reker seemed caught off guard and groped for an answer. There's perhaps unintended revelation in unprepared blurtings, but something this unplanned isn't really a "code of conduct." The shitstorm in social media has the hashtag #einarmlaenge (which means "an arm’s length"). Example:
Christopher Lauer, a politician, tweeted: “Man: 'I had intended to mug this woman and molest her, but shit! She’s an arm’s length away from me!'”
IN THE COMMENTS: Discussion of the shitstorm/clusterfuck distinction.