Hard News by Russell Brown


Public Address Word of the Year 2014

It's that time again! The time, that is, when Public Address readers nominate, debate and vote for their Word of the Year. What winning word or phrase will emerge? Will it come from the hurly-burly of the weirdest general election ever, or from another part of the culture?

As ever, the Word of the Year 2014 will unfold thus: in the discussion for this post, readers will nominate their favoured words or phrases. Then, after a few days of fussing and fighting, I will draw up a short list of nominated words for voting.

Last year, "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 caled '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 2014 shape up? Well, that’s up to you.

Te recap, the process is this:

- Words are nominated in the discussion for this post. If you want to join in, you'll need to register to comment, which will only take a minute.

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

- Everyone votes.

- We have a winner!

Well, more than one winner, actually. The first reader to suggest the eventual winning word will receive a glorious gift hamper from Farro Fresh, as will a reader drawn at random from all those who vote.

Massive props to the award-winning Farro Fresh for supporting the conversation. If you're struggling for an ideal Christmas present, check out the full range of artisan food hampers at their online store.

(Thanks also to Beer Without Borders . My current advice is that the law now prevents us promoting any alcohol as a prize, but you can be sure that Hadyn Green -- who codes up the voting form -- and I will be enjoying a sneak preview beers from San Diego's Modern Times brewery, which launch here in January.)

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