Public Address Word of the Year 2008

269 Responses

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  • philipmatthews,

    Craig, if John Key had been running for President of the United States you might have a point. But I think Giovanni just put that better in three words.

    Here in NZ, anti-semitism has never been much of an issue, which is why no-one bothered talking about John's Jewishness during the campaign.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2007 • 642 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    There's three ways to look at this:

    1. The glass is half full.
    2. The glass is half empty.
    3. Craig's "just cause the water in the glass has finally got some colour in it for the first time, we shouldn't call it black."

    Up to you which one you follow I guess.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6162 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Full of what? Ethnicity is about meaning as well as belonging - and it's highly relevant no matter how uncomfortable it makes some people.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16478 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    And anti-Semitism is a thing of the past?

    You're just being wilfully obtuse now, Craig. You remember which country we're talking about, right? The United States, with the slavery and the Jim Crow and the civil rights movement and Dr King and whatnot? My Dad grew up in a segregated south; now there is a *self-identified black dude* as POTUS. Sorry, but that is a big fucking deal.

    John Key's mum is Jewish? Yeah, interesting, but frankly: not such a big fucking deal. History. Context.

    Pardon me if I call bullshit right back at you.

    I didn't call bullshit. I said it was a false equivalence, and I think that stands.

    I really don't get the hostility around the equally descriptive -- and more accurate -- description of Obama as America's first bi-racial President

    Wait. The hostility is where?

    I think there is some *discomfort* with this 'he's not actually black, so we can all rest easy' commentary floating around in some circles. Because it implies that if he was totally black, that would be a bad thing, somehow. The discomfort isn't about the fact of the biracialness.I feel like you're conflating those two things.

    (I am weirdly reminded of Stephen Colbert by this conversation. 'I don't see race!' Heh.)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3628 posts Report Reply

  • James Green,

    Rather than wasting time arguing on the internet, Craig has inadvertently reminded me of a very realistic nomination for Word of the Year.

    a heartbeat away from X

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 683 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    a heartbeat away from X

    YES. Let's say a heartbeat away from rofflenui and be done with it.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7351 posts Report Reply

  • James Green,

    Oh wait, I do have an echo on Danielle.

    If you were studying the effect of ethnicity in interaction, you might consider
    1. Person A's apparent ethnicity (what other people see)
    2. Person A's ethnic identity (self-identity, probably manifested in behaviour)
    3. Relevance of ethnicity to the context.

    Let's fit this model to Obama & Key
    Ob JK
    1. Y N
    2. ? ?
    3. Y N (or at least less so)

    Does false equivalence need to spelled out more clearly?

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 683 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Or is it roflnui to avoid the ennui reference?

    And when did word of the year become phrase of the year?

    And how on earth did we end up talking about what black means..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16478 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Oh dear God.

    Don't take my name in vain, darling. We are not amused.

    Craig, if John Key had been running for President of the United States you might have a point.

    *sigh* Thanks for tuning in, Phillip. Joe Lieberman (who happens to be an orthodox Jew) was on a presidential ticket eight years ago, and there was plenty of angst about America was ready for a Jew in the Oval Office. We don't generally slap religious identifiers on people in this country because we're not that angst-y about it, and while it's perfectly accurate to describe John Key as New Zealand's first ethnically Jewish Prime Minister, anyone who made a point of gratuitously leading with that factoid would be considered rather odd. And their motives would be questioned.

    You're just being wilfully obtuse now, Craig.

    And you're just being patronising, Danielle.

    3. Craig's "just cause the water in the glass has finally got some colour in it for the first time, we shouldn't call it black."

    Up to you which one you follow I guess.

    Wow... and I'm the weirdo in this conversation?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11864 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Wow... and I'm the weirdo in this conversation?

    In so many words, yes.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7351 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Hoho. I just re-read the comments to that. One of the people debating with you writes for, er, Investigate.
    http://www.amybrooke.co.nz/about.php
    .

    On the plus side, she's energetic and enterprising. Her Sounds Symposium is a kind of Foo Camp for right-wingers.

    On the minus side, I know people who've been to the symposium and pretty much had to hide from the batshit-crazy right-wingers who go there. There was a near-riot when Chris Finlayson turned up there this year and explained that the Treaty settlements process was perfectly in accordance with conservative principles of property rights and due process.

    By the time a group of them insisted on dancing around a bonfire singing 'Land of Hope and Glory', my contact started to feel seriously weirded out.

    Also, Brooke's absurd whingeing in that that thread (how dare those bullying liberals intrude with their factual facty things!) is a textbook example of right-wing victim culture. And no sensible person likes that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18707 posts Report Reply

  • James Green,

    Thanks for re-making my point Craig. Lieberman also gets to tick at least two boxes. Obama still gets at least two, and Key still gets nil.

    Also, it's a bit of a stretch, by most definitions of ethnicity to call Key "ethnically Jewish". Statistics New Zealand have a long and a short definition of ethnicity, but this to paraphrase "degree of cultural affiliation not just ancestry".

    Yes. Perhaps the 'first black president' is getting old, but it is at the very least a bit more relevant and a bit more accurate.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 683 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    On the plus side, she's energetic and enterprising.

    So was Hitler. By which I mean, it's not a quality per se.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7351 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Yes. Perhaps the 'first black president' is getting old, but it is at the very least a bit more relevant and a bit more accurate.

    Let's not prance around: it's entirely accurate, and enormously relevant, and anybody who says different either lacks good faith or is a complete moron. If you pardon my Greek.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7351 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    "The Summer Sounds Symposium is simply food for a starving mind"

    Mike King

    Oh dear. Yeah right.

    Really, try as I may I can't buy the token right-wing intellectual thing. Every bloody one of them gives the impression of playing up to some kind of equal-time, striving-for-"balance", affirmative-action program.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3370 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    "food" - surely pork. :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16478 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Craig is being disinegnuous, everyone else won't let drop, and I'm tiring of this argument.

    It's too self-evident an argument to feel the need to win: there is no meaningful equivalence between Key being elected in New Zealand (did anyone, anywhere regard his Jewish heritage as an issue?) and the election of the USA's first self-identified black President amid widespread speculation about the critical obstacle that his race might present. There just isn't.

    So, what are the words of the year?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18707 posts Report Reply

  • Beatrix,

    From an especially noxious PR seminar on 'What Those CRAZY Kids Are Up To' and yoof-speak in general...DILLIGAF...or Do I Look Like I Give a...

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 15 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    I'm hoping our resident linguistics prof Jen Hay will weigh in on the correct spelling of roflnui/rofflenui.

    If it's all the same to Sacha the originator, I'm leaning towards the former.

    Not just because of ennui, but also because I'm pretty sure Roff le Nui was a bandmate of Russ le Roq, back in the day. And if he wasn't, he should have been.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1410 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    <quote> And you're just being patronising, Danielle.

    Oh FFS. (That's my acronym of the year by a country mile.) I wasn't, but whatever.

    I vote for the 'roflnui' spelling also, for whatever that's worth. 'Roff le Nui'. Heh.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3628 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Settled, then. And I can imagine Roff being a Tongan film assistant from Ponsonby with big hair, for some reason. Not that I'm trying to reactivate any discussion about ethnicity.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16478 posts Report Reply

  • James Griffin,

    Word of the Year:

    Flip-flop.

    (Although I reserve the right to change my stance on this.)

    Since Nov 2006 • 28 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    So was Hitler. By which I mean, it's not a quality per se.

    I dunno. The goose-stepping that lots of the people are doing on that post, kinda funny. I can see John Cleese doing it now. "Your factual interjections are not welcome! Not welcome I tell you! Schnell!"

    Since Nov 2006 • 6162 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    You know, as much as I love rofflenui, I'm really reluctant to support it as the Word of the Year, simply because - according to Google - it's never been used outside of PA System.

    Especially when you compare it to previous years' high-voted words - unbundled, peow peow, truthiness, Te Qaeda, sub-prime, it's business time - rofflenui just doesn't stand up.

    I fear that rofflenui would require a definition to be understood by someone outside of PA System, whereas the previous words - even Te Qaeda - are instantly comprehensible to most New Zealanders.

    But perhaps rofflenui will be 2009's Word of the Year.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1851 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    My failed attempt to coin a phrase was 'Tinkerblogger', defined as the author of a blog who believes that by writing about something with great frequency or conviction they will cause it to be true.

    See The Standard's coverage of the NZ election or (much funnier) NoMinister on the US campaign.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 900 posts Report Reply

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