Austria's Word of the Year Has 51 Letters
And it was born of a messy presidential election
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 10, 2016 6:33 AM CST
Presidential candidate Alexander Van der Bellen raises his arms in Austria's capital Vienna Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, after the first results from the Austrian presidential election showed the left-leaning...   (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
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(Newser) – For all those who don't speak German—and indeed for those who do—here is Austria's word of the year, adding to the challenges of reading and speaking the language. It's "Bundespraesidentenstichwahlwiederholungsverschiebung," or "postponement of the repeat of the runoff of the presidential election." The tongue-twister was born of the record time it took to elect Austria's president, reports the AP, and was announced following a poll of 10,000 people carried out by the Research Unit for Austrian German at the University of Graz, in cooperation with the Austria Press Agency. A first round in April was followed by a May runoff between the two most popular candidates. This was annulled because of irregularities. A new date set for October was then postponed because of faulty absentee ballots to Dec. 4, when the vote was won by Alexander Van der Bellen.

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