Es wurde ein Ausschuss gebildet, um das Problem zu untersuchen.

This has to be the #1 weirdest word I have ever encountered in German. It has always thrown me for a loop. It most often means “committee” but can also refer to defective goods or rejected material? I don’t understand the logic of how it means “committee” either.

Do people ever make jokes that play off the double meaning of this word? Given how often people like to talk trash on the committee or overseeing boards of various organizations, it seems like this word would lend itself to all sorts of word plays like this.

No, we don’t joke about it but I think you miss the connection between Ausschuss and Ausschuss. In both cases it refers to a selection derived from a larger ‘‘mass’’, just that one is negative and the other is positive. Ausschuss as a negative selection never refers to people and Ausschuss as a positive selection never refers to anything but people.

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Thanks much, that clarification makes a lot of sense!