Hard News by Russell Brown


Word of the Year 2007: Te Qaeda

Word the Year 2007: Te Qaeda
For immediate release
December 17, 2007

The ironic coinage "Te Qaeda" is the Public Address readers' Word of the Year for 2007.

Readers of the award-winning group blog site Public Address (publicaddress.net) ranked their top five words or phrases from a list of 22 finalists generated in a discussion thread on Public Address System, the community section of the site.

Although Flight of the Conchords' iconic "It's business time" was ranked number one more than any other finalist, when the ranking points were totalled, Te Qaeda was a clear winner.

"Sub-prime", meanwhile, just edged out "It's business time" for the silver medal spot.

"Overall, the Top 10 washes up as a fairly good summary of the year's issues," says Public Address founder and editor, Russell Brown. "The so-called terror raids commanded the headlines late in the year, the sub-prime crisis has shaken world financial systems, and, of course, Flight of the Conchords got cultural cut-through.

"Looking down the list, we can see the environment, the Rugby World Cup, smacking and family violence -- and technology, in the form of Xtra's abysmal migration into its Bubble."

The original provenance of the "Te Qaeda" phrase isn't known, but it turned up in blog discussions without hours of the news breaking of the October 15 police raids. The first mention Google can find is in a post to Kiwiblog at 4.08pm on the day of the raids, in which a user called Seamonkeymadness said: "This just in - NZ ‘terrorist ‘ group named - Te Qaeda."

The Top 10 Word(s) are:

1. Te Qaeda
2. Sub-prime
3. It's business time
4. Sustainability
5. Reconditioning
6. Rotation
7. Smacking
8=. Not okay
8=. Carbon
10. Xtra Service

Readers were also able to write in further suggestions, and "Peak Haka", "First Life" and "underwhelming" all featured.

Public Address (publicaddress.net) is a New Zealand group weblog site. It was been named Best Blog Site in the NetGuide Web Awards in 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2007, and features Russell Brown's Hard News, which was named Best Blog in the 2007 Qantas Media Awards.


Russell Brown

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