Hard News by Russell Brown



Immediate release: all media

The word of the year for 2006 is "unbundled", according to the readers of the popular New Zealand blog website Public Address.

The keyword of telecommunications reform trumped all others in an online vote at Public Address' community site, Public Address System over the past few days.

A little way back in second place was the euphemistic phrase injected into the culture by the animated TV series Bro' Town: "peow peow".

A couple of international buzzwords - "truthiness" and "emo" - came next, with a peculiarly local coinage - "coddingtonswallop" - rounding out the top five.

Readers voted on a list of words that had been suggested and debated in the course of an online discussion in the Public Address System Café. The debate process threw up a number of neologisms, including the number seven word, "brouhaka" (that is, a brouhaha about the haka).

"The choice of 'unbundled' reflected the significance of this year's telecommunications reforms for internet users, whether they consider themselves geeks or not," says Public Address founder, Russell Brown, "although geekspeak was pretty big too, and the prominence of 'munter' might be ascribed to the development of everyone's favourite character in Outrageous Fortune.

"A number of the year's big news stories got a look in - 'cancerous', 'frankly', 'stadium', 'brethren' and anything-ending-in-gate all made the top 15. But I must say I was particularly pleased with the neologisms. Clever lot, our readers."

The top 15 words as voted by Public Address readers are:

1. unbundled
2. peow peow
3. truthiness
4. emo
5. coddingtonswallop
6. munter
7. brouhaka
8. schadenfreude
9. cancerous
10. -gate
11. pwned
12. w00t!
13. frankly
14 stadium
15 = aspirational
15 =brethren

Russell Brown and other Public Address bloggers can be found at publicaddress.net and publicaddress.net/system for comment, interviews and offers of free seasonal drinks.

PS: Yes, there was a winner for a bottle of the Longmorn single malt from Whisky Galore . I'm just confirming a name.

PPS: Please do note our new Public Address System feature, Summer Holiday. Keep us in mind and drop us - and your fellow readers - a line as you forge through the Great New Zealand Holiday over the next few weeks.

Oh, and check out DanNews' video montage 2006: The Year in Review in our OurTube section. Is nice!

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