Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: We are all twatcocks now (updated with prizes!)

126 Responses

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  • Stephen Judd,

    we should defer to Stephen Judd for the pronunciation, since his was the “twat” in question. So to speak.

    My "twat" rhymes with bat. A long-a "twat" has never passed my lips.

    Of course now we'll discover that Twatcock is a fine old English surname pronounced "Twakko".

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • peterpeasant, in reply to Robyn Gallagher,

    Rhymes with stopwatch?

    new zealand • Since Oct 2010 • 39 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Where was the voting announced? I saw people talking about voting, but can't recall ever seeing a link or an announcement, and I follow system reasonably fanatically.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    About a week or so ago, in the thread. Then you had to search the website for the form.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    I am going to use it as much as I possibly can, out in the wider community, from now on. Hey, it's the holidays soon, and I can be as profane as I want. Huzzah!

    It'll be interesting to see how it fares.

    The surging and cycling of fashion is not the only internal dynamic that decides the fate of words. Even if tastes remained stable, the success of a new word would depend on lexical epidemiology—the way a neologism spreads from its coiner to a new speaker, who then may infect others, and so on. Eventually the neologism either dies out or becomes endemic, depending on how many people a word-knower talks to in a day, and on how readily they notice and remember it. As with real epidemics, it's hard to
    predict what will happen. Depending on small differences in how catchy the word is, and on how well-connected, trusted, or charismatic its first adopters are, it may or may not reach the tipping point that would lead it to become entrenched in the community and perpetuated down the generation

    Steven Pinker- The Stuff of Thought Language as a Window into Human Nature

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Jan Farr,

    Too late, she cried!

    Today's SST p A14 under the heading 'US Set to Throw the Book at Julian Assange' has this gem:

    'Last week Eric Holder, the US attorney-general, said he was personally involved in the US investigation into the website [Wikileaks]. "People would be misimpressioned if they think the only thing we are looking at is the Espionage Act,' he said.

    Misimpressioned! How antiglorious! Why didn't he say that last week?

    Carterton • Since Apr 2008 • 395 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    Where was the voting announced? I saw people talking about voting, but can’t recall ever seeing a link or an announcement, and I follow system reasonably fanatically.

    It's been on the Public Address homepage list of recent posts for the past week or so. I tweeted the link four or five times and sent it out to the mailing list. And put the link in the discussion.

    *But* there was no discussion for the voting form itself because it seemed superfluous, given that we already had one. We'll change things a bit once Matt has some time, but for now it might be worth looking at the home of the site once a day.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Where was the voting announced?

    It's been on the Public Address homepage list of recent posts for the past week or so.

    The thread, yes, but, like Kyle, I must say I never saw any indication of where the voting form was. Anyway, old news now... :)

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher, in reply to chris,

    That Stephen Pinker quote was interesting. I think at this stage most of us are using twatcock self-consciously, with a silent "see what I did there?" after it.

    It will be interesting to see if/when it starts to get used automatically, in spoken language (not just online) and by people with no connection to PA System.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    It will be interesting to see if/when it starts to get used automatically, in spoken language (not just online) and by people with no connection to PA System.

    Yeah, I'm excited by the prospect of twatcock as a measuring stick to gauge the respective influence of individuals and the group/ site as a whole.

    I think at this stage most of us are using twatcock self-consciously, with a silent “see what I did there?” after it.

    I was pretty nonplussed by the word at inception, now I'm quite keen on dropping it at the right moment, to see how it flies.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Not that there's anything wrong with that right? I for one would be pretty disappointed if we chose commonsensical but soul-sapping words like credit crunch every year. What are we, Herald readers?

    And let's be fair, words like "vuvuzela" and "Eyjafjallajokull", let alone "#eqnz" are pretty unlikely to enter the English language long-term, except in circumscribed and very specific circumstances. I feel like the point of the Word of the Year is to sum up the zeitgeist of the year in question, and "twatcock" does a pretty good job of that.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    I think at this stage most of us are using twatcock self-consciously, with a silent “see what I did there?” after it.

    Who's most of us, white man? Speakee for yourself. Anything profane that passes my lips - and there's a reasonable stream of it outside work hours - never involves selfconsciousness. I still can't believe that at 46 years old, people are still telling me I swear too much. Use "fig" they say. How old are we? 10?

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    While twatcock no doubt enriches the language, those whose opinions I value assure me that I'm still a cunt.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    Who's most of us, white man?

    Did you just call me "white man", Jackie? I'm not sure what to make of that.

    I just meant most users of "twatcock". I didn't mean it in a racial context (?) or a gender context either. And I don't think that makes me a manly.

    #confused

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Robyn Gallagher,

    Did you just call me “white man”, Jackie? I’m not sure what to make of that.

    No offence, I'm very sure. It's a reference to an old joke involving the Lone Ranger, whose punchline is "What do you mean 'we', kemo sabay?"

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Tom, Megan, Hadyn -- it'll save our kind sponsor some money if you three could nominate a joint delivery address for the courier.

    I'm sure my house is somehow equidistant from all of theirs.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Just for purposes of disclosure, I do get a little something from this too.

    Meet my new favourite dram: the Adelphi Fascadale 10 year-old, which comes from a certain island where there is but one distillery ...

    I'm such an Adelphi fanboi. It's nice to have another one I can reasonably afford.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher, in reply to Russell Brown,

    It’s a reference to an old joke involving the Lone Ranger

    Ah! Not being an old white man, I didn't get that :-)

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Gio, there's so going to be a Wellington Whisky Wang-dang at someone's house, whether they like it or not.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Russell Brown,

    No offence, I’m very sure. It’s a reference to an old joke involving the Lone Ranger, whose punchline is “What do you mean ‘we’, kemo sabay?”

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • Greg Wood, in reply to Tom Beard,

    I'm completely convinced that when used to describe rudeybits, the word is pronounced "twot"; but when it's used to describe a person, it's pronounced "twat".

    Because frankly I just can't get my mouth around the double-glottal-swallow of "twotcock", whereas "twatcock" simply rolls off the tongue.

    Now back in Aucktown • Since Dec 2006 • 86 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark, in reply to Robyn Gallagher,

    I am so sorry, Robyn. I didn't mean to offend you. As Russell points out...........yes, my pop culture reference failed. Sorry. Again.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I did actually use it, in the heat of the moment, verbally, just the other day, without pausing for any effect. Admittedly I was in conversation with another PASer.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Greg Wood,

    Because frankly I just can't get my mouth around the double-glottal-swallow of "twotcock", whereas "twatcock" simply rolls off the tongue.

    We had a thread about pronunciation which covered an awful lot of this ground, but I'd just say I rhymed "twat" with "swat" the first time I saw it and it's never felt right to rhyme it with "hat". I'd also note (as that thread revealed) that the verbal sense of "twatting" someone is not common in colloquial Kiwi as she is spoke. So to speak.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • st ephen,

    I do believe the vote was for "The Public Address Word of the Year 2010", so I'd have thought that equal dashes of (self-knowing) geekery and cliquery were par for the course.

    In passing, while looking up the pronunciation of "twat", I came across Twayblade, which ought to mean "a bisexual dandy" but doesn't. Yet. We have 12 months...

    dunedin • Since Jul 2008 • 254 posts Report Reply

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