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Austria’s Word of the Year Is A Ridiculous, Unpronouncable 52 Letters Long

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It sounds like it was a tough year in Austria.

According to a new poll in the European nation, the word of the year over there is — drum roll, please:

“Bundespraesidentenstichwahlwiederholungsverschiebung”

That’s German for “postponement of the repeat of the runoff of the presidential election.” It’s 52 letters. Fifty-two! Aside from being a guaranteed way to win in Scrabble, that’s two entire alphabets, the number of cards in a deck and the number of weeks in a year, which is about how long it will take you to figure out how to pronounce it.

It sure is a far cry from this choice, yet more proof that politics and language make for strange and ludicrous bedfellows.

The word itself is a response to the wild eight-month process undertaken to elect the president in Austria. According to the AP, “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.”

And you thought our presidential election had more twists and turns than the number of vowels in “Bundespraesidentenstichwahlwiederholungsverschiebung.”

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