And the Afrikaans word of the year is... not a word

2015-12-17 21:23

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - The journal LitNet has announced its Afrikaans word of the year, and it might not be what one would have expected - #.

Yes, that’s right. The word of the year is the hashtag symbol.

But can it be regarded as a word?

According to Emeritus Professor of Linguistics at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Ernst Kotzé, a hashtag (#) can be described as a logo graphic word that, like any alphabetical word in Afrikaans, can be expressed, in any manner whatsoever.

"This follows the tradition of word types that was created by the use of electronic text," Kotzé said in a statement.

"This includes pictographs like emojis (the face with tears of joy) that was selected as the word of the year by Oxford Dictionaries in the United Kingdom."

"#" was suggested by Lydia Potgieter, who also won R1 000 for the suggestion.

The other words that were shortlisted were: Studente-opstande, Zunami, Vlugteling, SlimWim, Droogte, Beurtwater, Terreur, Gaydebat, Afrikaans, Kakiebosch, Ekkie, Poenankies, Witgeit, Hommeltuig.


Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.