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
Austria's Word of the Year Has 51 Letters
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 candidate with what appears to be an unbeatable lead over right-winger Norbert Hofer.   (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

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. (More word of the year stories.)

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