Public Address Word of the Year 2008

269 Responses

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  • Paul Litterick,

    Could this be the year for 'caverage?'

    I guess not. In which case, I will go for "rofflenui."

    Shout "rofflenui" in a crowded room
    Liquidity's not there.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • James Millar,

    BTW: does anyone else become irascible on hearing the phrase "PC gone mad"? Surely a bigger threat to linguistic freedom comes from the purveyors of management-speak such as "restructuring" and "down-sizing". I'd rather have a "PC-er" replacing "midget" with "little person" than a mendacious CEO talking about "expanding our global franchise".

    Yes!

    Actually, the thing that gets me is more the substitution of an actual argument with that loathed phrase.

    "I don't agree with X, because it's... it's... PC gone mad!"

    It's very hard to find people claiming to be pro-PC. I have a hat somewhere around here that would look great on that straw man...

    For its sheer implanted pervasiveness across the NZ media for a particular period of time and purpose, lets hear it for ..... 'Nanny state'

    I'm guessing that those who repeatedly brandish those two words have never lived in the UK...

    We mustn't forget 'hockey mom'...

    Any relation to Joe the plumber?

    Tāmaki Makaurau • Since May 2007 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    'rofflenui' - us, up to speed, saying what we mean in our-speak. Thanks Sacha!

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    O, and not being letter-by-letter-literal! A word we can *say*!

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    We mustn't forget 'hockey mom'...

    We'll remember. Just as we remember Dan "potatoe" Quayle.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Dave Millar,

    One candidate for Word of the Year has to be John Key's opening to just about evrything he says: "well look"

    Since Nov 2008 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Dave Millar,

    and then of course we have "YES WE CAN"

    Since Nov 2008 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Kebabette,

    Palin. a photo of my sister Sarah with Michael Palin has 24,890 views just because it contains the magic word.

    and in a Billy Joel "we didn't start the fire" stylee:
    Palin/Obama/Veitch/credit crunch
    Beijing/iphone/twitter/we need a change/
    nanny state/Noelle etc

    Christchurch • Since Feb 2007 • 221 posts Report Reply

  • John Quinn,

    It has to be "like"--the teenagers' comma, fullstop and general all-round fill-in word. As in:

    "An' she like said like that I was like you know like being like silly!"

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 15 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    "An' she like said like that I was like you know like being like silly!"

    innit.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Adrian Wills,

    Wi-Five....

    Usually used after a witty remark, the raising of a hands to perform a High Five, without the physical clapping of the hands.

    Parnell, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 45 posts Report Reply

  • James Green,

    It has to be "like"--the teenagers' comma, fullstop and general all-round fill-in word.

    Like has been expanding its scope for rather longer than that!
    The Scottish have been using it since the 1700s at the end of sentences, like. Linguists suggest that it has acquired a new grammatical function with every generation.

    There is probably an extent to which like serves a social rather than semantic function, but it does mostly still convey meaning.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 703 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    I'm guessing that those who repeatedly brandish those two words have never lived in the UK...

    Or Singapore for that matter:

    "If Singapore is a nanny state, then I am proud to have fostered one." - Lee Kuan Yew

    What'll be Axl Rose's follow up album? "Singaporean Democracy" methinks?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5429 posts Report Reply

  • Helen Searancke,

    'around'

    My pick for most annoying new use of a word.

    Why do we have discussions 'around' subjects now instead of discussions 'about' stuff? Right up there with 'issues', especially when combined to form 'issues around [insert subject here]'.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 24 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    What'll be Axl Rose's follow up album?

    More to the point, will any of us live to hear it?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    I have not an original thought in my head on this lovely day, so I nominate roflnui because it beautifully transects our indigenous language and internet speak. I like Ranapian, because it is so accurate. (It should denote vast and singular passion for a subject, as well). All the other words are international, and seeing as after the rest of the world explodes itself, we'll be the ones to survive, I think all entries should be local. May I also suggest that someone remove the phrase "brain drain" from our lexicon. People leaving their home country for "greener" pastures is not something that happens only in NZ, and quite frankly, I'm sick of the MSM bringing up this old chestnut year after year after year. It's lazy and pointless.

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

  • Sam F,

    More to the point, will any of us live to hear it?

    If an album comes out in twenty years' time, and nobody cares enough to listen, does it make a sound?

    GnR's next album is apparently in the works already, but they have to knock off their soundtrack for Duke Nukem Forever first.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1609 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    I'm sick of the MSM bringing up this old chestnut year after year after year. It's lazy and pointless.

    They seem quite happy to stoke the small-minded suburban mediocrity/Kath-&-Kim-ism that they purportedly bemoan is driving away our "best & brightest". And no, Liz "f--- you NZ Idol" Shaw doesn't count.

    I think Obama's best ever ICBM (IntelleCtual Ballistic Missile) sums it up quite nicely.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5429 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    3. lipstick on a pig

    The animal Palin compared herself to was a pit bull!

    One candidate for Word of the Year has to be John Key's opening to just about evrything he says: "well look"

    Well, look, I completely agree with you there. Substitute an "um" and the meaning stays the same!

    It has to be "like"--the teenagers' comma, fullstop and general all-round fill-in word.

    I first started hearing "like" in the '80s. It made it into the NZ Oxford dictionary a few years ago. And my 60-year-old dad says it from time to time.

    Also, do we have a definition for rofflenui? Something like "big laughs"? I tried googling it, but it lead me only to this very thread and nowhere else! Surely it can be antedated to earlier than the start of this thread...

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Cecelia,

    "Going forward"

    John Key was saying it a lot during the campaign. Tony Veitch used it during his media statement. It was then played and replayed and the term got maximum exposure.

    Where did it come from and why did it take off the way it did?

    At least "to be honest" is dying out.

    Hibiscus Coast • Since Apr 2008 • 559 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    lipstick on a pig

    There is another opportunity, to say, "slippery".

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4411 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    'Talking Around'. "There will be a lot of talking around the environmental issues". "The first thing we'll do is have a lot of talks with everyone concerned, around what they think can be done to....". Talking about is totally out of fashion.

    Overvalued. It implies we know the value.
    Package. Everyone's got one, it's always better to have a package than a clue.
    Volatility. It sounds so much better than Crash.

    @Jackie, my comeback to people moaning about the best and brightest always leaving is to say 'are you saying you are not the best and brightest?' Of course you don't use it on people who have actually left.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • hamishm,

    Word of the year should be climate.
    Climate of Fear
    Climate of uncertainty
    Climate of fear and uncertainty
    Climate change
    Climate of change
    Climate for change
    Economic climate
    Hillary climate the mountain

    Since Nov 2006 • 357 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Also, do we have a definition for rofflenui? Something like "big laughs"? I tried googling it, but it lead me only to this very thread and nowhere else! Surely it can be antedated to earlier than the start of this thread...

    Sacha might correct me if I'm wrong, but I think he came up with it in in this comment.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Alastair Jamieson,

    My vote this year is for melamine. Great word, rolls off the tongue beautifully, but before 2008 who knew it was anything but some kind of benchtop? And it may yet bring down NZ's largest exporter...

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 99 posts Report Reply

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