Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Word of the Year 2011 -- The Vote!

95 Responses

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  • Robyn Gallagher, in reply to Steve Cooke,

    I really can’t work out the fuss about ‘munted’. It’s not as though it’s a new word for 2011, spontaneously springing from the rubble of Christchurch. It has been around for at least 20 years to my knowledge.

    You could make a similar argument about almost every word on the list.

    Yeah, munted has been around for years, but it was only used by a particular subculture. But then along came Mayor Bob, who on 25 February wryly told a reporter, "The main sewer trunks are seriously munted. I believe that is the technical term."

    With that word, everyone knew what he meant. It wasn't "broken" or "pakaru" or "seriously damaged" or "in need of repair". It was munted. Real munted as.

    And people started using the word to describe other things that were munted. People who'd never had dreamed of using 'munted' before suddenly found themselves using it because no other word would fit. The bookcase is munted. The toilet is munted. The garage is munted. The water supply is munted.

    It moved beyond jokey slang and became an essential word to describe a state that had suddenly appeared, in need of an adjective.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1823 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    It’s about the word not the personality.

    Word.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 5725 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Robyn Gallagher,

    It moved beyond jokey slang and became an essential word to describe a state that had suddenly appeared, in need of an adjective.

    Dare I say it became middle class?

    Now, we can't have that here... can we?.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4453 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Robyn Gallagher,

    became an essential word to describe a state that had suddenly appeared

    The thing with “munted” is it kind of sums up a lot of different sorts of bent, broken, burst, buried, flooded, fallen down, cracked, cut off, subsided, and not functioning. It’s a good word when you’re at a loss to even begin to describe all the things that are wrong. “Munted” covers it.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3300 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch, in reply to Emma Hart,

    See, munted for me was what I was getting/being in high school and the first year or two of uni...

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2078 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    It also bears noting that a generational culture of Aucklanders associates the phrase "on the munt" with a different "e" word.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17969 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Impairment is not always a bad thing

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15741 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Lilith __,

    now and zen...

    The thing with “munted” is it kind of sums up a lot of different sorts of bent, broken, burst, buried, flooded, fallen down, cracked, cut off, subsided, and not functioning.

    ...and carries on into the uncharted regions,
    where wabi-sabi tapers off...

    "[Wabi-sabi] nurtures all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect."

    and

    Pared down to its barest essence, wabi-sabi is the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection and profundity in nature, of accepting the natural cycle of growth, decay, and death.
    It celebrates cracks and crevices and all the other marks that time, weather, and loving use leave behind. It reminds us that we are all but transient beings on this planet-that our bodies as well as the material world around us are in the process of returning to the dust from which we came. Through wabi-sabi, we learn to embrace liver spots, rust, and frayed edges, and the march of time they represent.

    Munted embraces the lack of beauty and love involved
    in the natural processes we have endured...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4225 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Of course. But it is a word that found its destiny in 2011.

    The word "munted" will endure for all eternity - the policy imperative's pursued by the so called left and right, with out any regard to what is the best thing to do - will ensure it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1157 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to DexterX,

    as they say in Oz...

    The word “munted” will endure for all eternity

    A real legacy would be - renaming Everest as Mount Ed
    thereby making a mountain out of a Hillary...
    (oops, I sense a sherpa tensing...)

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4225 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    I have to add my support to munted, for being the word for the year, not just a word in the year.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 824 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Munted embraces the lack of beauty and love involved
    in the natural processes we have endured…

    Yes. And thanks for wabi-sabi. Nice concept.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3300 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    I have heard the adjective munty from time to time, meaning "mean as" or "fuckoff big".

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3300 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Littlewood,

    Did anyone else look at that list of words and think "holy shit, this has been one fucked-up (munted, even) year"? It's a shame we could only pick three, because nearly all of those words listed seem very 2011. And it is fascinating how certain words did take on resonance because of the earthquake, to the extent that it's exactly what I associated them with.

    Either here or abroad, in terms of major events, you'd be hard pressed to name a crazy year, at least in terms of what's dominated the media landscape- whether it's the earthquakes (here and in Japan), Fukushima, the Pike River Inquiry, the cargo ship Rena, the NOTW phone-hacking (and the courageous work of the Guardian stuff to finally break the dam on that story), the Occupy protests, the Rugby World Cup...the freaking election that went into meltdown over a conversation over a teacup...and that's just for starters.

    Madness. Utter, utter madness.

    Today, Tomorrow, Timaru • Since Jan 2007 • 434 posts Report Reply

  • Tamsin6, in reply to Robyn Gallagher,

    While I understand that the concept of word of the year could apply to munted, as 2011 has seen plenty of opportunity to use it, could I just add that it does seem as though it is 'new' to quite a few PAS posters, which I cannot quite grasp. I thought it was common parlance (as was 'munter' as an insulting term for someone less aesthetically pleasing than they could be) - I have used it consistently through my teenage years, my university years and beyond, and so has my family and most people I have come into contact with. I find it really odd that it is being described as being from a 'subculture'. I do get the distinct impression from some comments here that the emphasis is on 'sub', and that somehow the term has only recently become acceptable in polite society. When you say

    People who'd never had dreamed of using 'munted' before suddenly found themselves using it

    it makes me realise that New Zealand isn't quite as class-less as we like to make out. As I haven't ever really been part of a sub-culture, I suppose it is quite nice to find myself having been in one all along. Just a shame that it wasn't the 'right kind' of sub-culture.

    I nearly didn't post this as it seems to be quite snaky and snarky and I don't mean it that way AT ALL. Well, maybe just a little bit. It's just that little town v country, right side of tracks v wrong side of tracks thing that sneaks up and screams in my face every now and then.

    London • Since Dec 2007 • 123 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX, in reply to Tamsin6,

    Just a shame that it wasn't the 'right kind' of sub-culture.

    It wasn't the left kind of subculture either as regards "munted": it is rather bourgeois.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1157 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX,

    The best next (cover) version of Bourgeois Blues.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1157 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Anecdata point: I am as middle-class as they come (I grew up on the Shore, for goodness' sake) and I am equally puzzled by munted being on the list because I've been using it forever.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3583 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Danielle,

    the Shore

    a whole nother layer :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15741 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Danielle,

    Anecdata point: I am as middle-class as they come (I grew up on the Shore, for goodness’ sake) and I am equally puzzled by munted being on the list because I’ve been using it forever.

    Dude, I personally explained “munter” to Kim Hill on the radio some years before the much-loved character of that name turned up in Outrageous Fortune.

    The point isn’t that munted is new -- and I don't think it carries any great weight of class either -- it’s that it had a particular resonance this year in the context of #eqnz.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17969 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Russell Brown,

    The point isn’t that munted is new -- and I don't think it carries any great weight of class either -- it’s that it had a particular resonance this year in the context of #eqnz.

    I engaged in a discussion about munted many years ago, 3 out of 6 were familiar with it from different geographical and contextual sources, we decided it travelled via regional vectors, going in and out of vogue, with surviving endemic colonies dotted about the country - but this year Bob Parker, Web and TV media acted as Typhoid Marys to send it rushing spirally, virally into a national epidemic. (or is that an etymademic?)

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4225 posts Report Reply

  • Greg Dawson, in reply to Russell Brown,

    it’s that it had a particular resonance this year in the context of #eqnz.

    I'm with Matthew - the entire fricking year is munted, not just #eqnz.

    The sheer weight of meaning taken for granted within the hashtag #eqnz is munted. Japan leaking radioactivity into the pacific is munted. America teetering on the edge of open rebellion is munted. Hell, there were random riots in the mother country this year and no-one can quite explain why just yet. Shit is munted.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 196 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark, in reply to Greg Dawson,

    Shit is always munted but then shit is also always awesome. It's called life.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3112 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Danielle,

    Anecdata point: I am as middle-class as they come (I grew up on the Shore, for goodness' sake) and I am equally puzzled by munted being on the list because I've been using it forever.

    And I can lay claim to growing up in Karori in the 1980s.

    I've been known to use the word munted before the media made it infamous.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 3907 posts Report Reply

  • Isaac Freeman, in reply to Tamsin6,

    For my part, I used munted as a teenager, until I heard someone say it had its origin as a term of racial abuse in South Africa. I now know that's somewhat doubtful, but perhaps that idea had a role in the history of its usage. That is, perhaps there are a bunch of people who wouldn't use it until it had attained such currency that it clearly couldn't be taken as racist.

    Christchurch • Since Feb 2007 • 127 posts Report Reply

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