Hard News by Russell Brown


Public Address Word of the Year 2017

Look lively lovely logophiles! It's that time of the year when Public Address readers convene to debate and then vote on the word or phrase that sums up the year that's been and gone. 

Will it be a year of hope and change? Or will it simply be the weirdest year since 2016, when in a controversial press release he later denied writing, Public Address founder Russell Brown "refuted" reports that "post-truth" had come in top in a Top 10 that, for the first time, included no New Zealand-derived words?

In 2015, Auckland councillor Theodorus Jacobus Leonardus "Dick" Quax was immortalised when Public Address readers went for "quaxing" as Word of the Year.

2014’s champ #dirtypolitics was the first hashtag to top the poll, beating out the wistful “at the end of the day”.

In 2013, “metadata” beat out the Oxford Dictionaries word of the year, “selfie”, in a final Top 10 that also included “Lorde and “berm”. (Disappointingly, Lorde did not then go on to record a hit single called ‘Berm’.)

In 2012, “brainfade", “Marmageddon” and “Planet Key” were the key words (and the the case of the winner, the John Key Word). To be honest, it wasn’t a great year for words. 

In 2011, the word “munted” found its its destiny – beating out popular memes “nek minnit” and “ghost chips” for the top slot.

In 2010, of course, Public Address readers bypassed the news and opted for a neologism – the great ungendered insult that was “twatcock”. In 2009, the list was dominated by words involving Michael Laws and an “h” and  in 2008, “credit crunch” came in ahead of “rofflenui”. In 2007, another coinage, “Te Qaeda” topped the poll and in 2006, the big word was “unbundled”.

How will 2017 shape up? Well, that’s up to you.

To recap, the process is this:

- Words are nominated in the discussion for this post. If you want to join in the discussion, you’ll need to register to comment, which will only take a minute. You can make more than one suggestion, but not just reel off all likely contenders in one comment, because that's not really fair. So you can only propose two words or phrases per comment. Try to make a brief argument for your proposed WOTY.

- Eventually, I’ll compile a list of finalists for voting.

- Everyone votes.

- We have a winner!

Did I mention prizes? There are prizes.

Both the first person to propose the winning word and one lucky voter drawn at random will win double passes to Auckland City Limits in Auckland on March 3, 2018, to enjoy Grace Jones, Beck, Justice, the Libertines, Young Thug, Thundercat and many more fine musical acts. That's $360 worth of musical joy. If you can't make it to Auckland, you hate crowds or you're still gonna be partying somewhere on the road back from Splore, then, yes, the passes are transferrable – and wouldn't that be a cracking Christmas present to give?

BONUS: There's also a $100 voucher for Rockefeller Oyster Bar, to be awarded at the judges' discretion. And a delicious pack of organic cultured nut cheeses from Savour.

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