Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase

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  • Ian Dalziel,

    'Virtue signalling' - still prevalent among those with performance and anger issues coupled with an internet connection.
    (...and as opposed to 'Verjus signalling' which literally is 'sour grapes'!)

    'Impeachment' - obviously derived from the Imp every High Official has on Each shoulder, and the consequences of listening to the wrong one..

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7948 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    The Spinoff: All the things National MPs think are virtue signalling

    In an interview with the Spinoff a little over a year ago, then prime minister and National Party leader Bill English was asked whether he considered himself a feminist. Though he believed in equal rights for women, came the reply, he would not want to “confuse people” by using the term. For a man to do so, he suggested, would amount to “virtue signalling”.

    The term has been adopted by finger wavers across the spectrum but has been especially embraced by the right. It is deployed to denounce statements regarded as vacuous or disingenuous efforts to demonstrate goodness, without any real substance.

    There’s no denying that it captures something real. The trouble is, much in the way its pejorative cousin, “politically correct”, can be substituted via a plugin with the words “being decent to people”, “virtue signalling” sometimes seems like it would be better swapped out for “doing/supporting a good thing”.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • Katita,

    Anti-vaxxer (or as I like to call them total fucktards)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 67 posts Report Reply

  • Adrian Humm,

    OK Boomer.

    Global heating.

    Dargaville • Since Nov 2006 • 16 posts Report Reply

  • Adrian Humm,



    Dargaville • Since Nov 2006 • 16 posts Report Reply

  • kiwifarang,

    “Precocious” Greta Thunberg
    “42 Joints” a day
    “Shadow Banning”
    “Prince Andrew”

    Christchurch • Since Aug 2007 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Brown,


    Auckland • Since Mar 2013 • 137 posts Report Reply

  • Andre,

    I posted probably too many potential WOTY above and think of them all the term Ihumatao resonates most strongly. It no longer only denotes a geographic place, now also representing a movement and a new ideology in New Zealand and Maori public affairs.
    This year the actions of the protectors at Ihumatao highlighted what to most seemed an obvious injustice and public sentiment drove local and central government leaders, Fletchers and iwi leaders to seek a new solution. We don't know what that is yet but we can be sure that last year the word Ihumatao was fairly unknown but is now firmly seated in the public consciousness, will be included in all official national histories and school children will be learning about Ihumatao in NZ history (whereas I think it has been mentioned broadly as Mangere mountain in most major histories to date). They may also learn about SOUL and Pania Newton, but it is the term Ihumatao that will always resonate. It's a strong word, distinctly Maori unlike Bastion Point. In the end, its the one that I think stands out to us as New Zealanders, more so than climate and other more global possibilities.

    New Zealand • Since May 2009 • 368 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Andre,

    You make a good point. And I'd like to nominate this most influential artist of the year


    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • Heather Gaye,

    "The new normal"

    Perhaps a little under the radar, but just recently I realised how often I've heard this term this year. Lying as a political strategy, white supremacy, catastrophic climate events (most recently the Aust fires), nationwide protests &c. All the new normal.

    Morningside • Since Nov 2006 • 533 posts Report Reply

  • william blake,

    Mana whenua.

    Since Mar 2010 • 380 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Bennett,

    'Smocking gun'. The new 'Covfefe'?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 172 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    You Crane.


    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Brislen,

    I'd like to add PAWOTY as the Public Address Word of the Year because it's the last player picked and it deserves an outing.

    Only question - do you pronounce it paw-outty or pa-wotty.


    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Scott A,

    "Mana whenua"

    The wilds of Kingston, We… • Since May 2009 • 133 posts Report Reply

  • Morgan Nichol, in reply to Paul Brislen,

    paw-outty or pa-wotty


    Auckland CBD • Since Nov 2006 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Brislen, in reply to Morgan Nichol,

    hmmmm. Might need an accent.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Simon Bennett,

    Smocking gun

    The railway station serving my campus in northern Tokyo is surrounded by “No Smorking” signs, because getting anything checked by a native speaker of English just causes unnecessary delay, as eny fule no…

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1938 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    About time... and kiwi as.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1436 posts Report Reply

  • Felix Geiringer,

    Quid pro quo

    New Zealand • Since Aug 2014 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Righto – that's it! The korero phase has ended and I'm going to compile the longlist.

    Thanks everyone! Stay tuned for voting!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

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