German

The German language is notorious for its lengthy constructions, but the Austrian word of the year for 2016 really goes the distance.  At a magnificent fifty-one characters it is Bundesprasidentenstichwahlwiederholungsverschiebung.  Try pronouncing that!  It means ‘postponement of the repeat of the runoff of the presidential election’, marking the seven month period it took to elect Austria’s new president.  A first round in April was followed by a runoff in May between the two most popular candidates.  This was annulled because of irregularities and a new date in October was postponed due to faulty absentee ballots.  The independent Green candidate finally beat the far right one early in December.  The word came top in a poll held at Graz university and its meaning and length are ‘a symbolic, ironic comment on the year’s events’!!!  Well, in 2017 we shall continue our conversations using much shorter words and wish you all ein gutes neues Jahr.  Sylvia Mountford.