Have your say on best quote of year

The Southland Times - - National News -

New Zealand look­ing like ‘‘a halfeaten lamb chop’’ or ‘‘racist as f...’’ and a slip of the tongue about ‘‘Paula Ben­e­fit’’ are among the fi­nal­ists for a na­tional quote-of-theyear com­pe­ti­tion.

From the au­thor of chil­dren’s book The Wonky Don­key, to the prime minister’s ap­pear­ance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, 2018 has been an­other in­ter­est­ing year for Kiwi quotes.

The 10 short­listed fi­nal­ists in Massey Univer­sity’s an­nual com­pe­ti­tion have been an­nounced and the pub­lic has one week to vote for the best quip. Vot­ing closes at noon on Wed­nes­day and the win­ner will be an­nounced the next day.

Massey speech writ­ing spe­cial­ist and com­pe­ti­tion or­gan­iser Dr Heather Ka­van said many of 2018’s nom­i­nated quotes were pre­oc­cu­pied with iden­tity.

‘‘The num­ber of quotes re­lated to New Zealan­ders’ iden­ti­ties was no­table,’’ she said. ‘‘This in­cluded our racial iden­ti­ties, with quotes from Taika Waititi and Rose Matafeo, and how other coun­tries per­ceive us, with quotes from the prime minister and Rhys Darby.’’

The judg­ing cri­te­ria in­cludes at­tributes such as wit, brevity, and vivid­ness of the lan­guage, but, ‘‘es­sen­tially we were look­ing for quotes that peo­ple would want to hear again’’, Ka­van said.

Ka­van, who was one of three judges who chose the short­list, said the first quote agreed on by the judg­ing panel was Craig Smith’s: ‘‘Wonky Don­key has had a good run for a don­key with three legs.’’

The au­thor’s quote was a re­sponse to the sales of his chil­dren’s book The Wonky Don­key sky­rock­et­ing thanks to a pop­u­lar on­line video of a grand­mother read­ing it.

‘‘For me, the quote sounded so in­no­cent and cheer­ful in a year of bru­tal po­lit­i­cal ma­noeu­vres and hu­mil­i­at­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tions be­tween MPs,’’ Ka­van said. ‘‘It’s hard to feel hos­tile or anx­ious while think­ing about Wonky Don­key.’’

The other quotes ap­pealed for a va­ri­ety of rea­sons.

Taika Waititi’s ‘‘as racist as f...’’ is ‘‘un­guarded, heart­felt and con­tro­ver­sial’’.

‘‘It’s al­ways hard to pick a win­ner, but I’m hop­ing Me­lanie Bracewell’s quote about Me­la­nia Trump will be pop­u­lar. The line is quick-wit­ted and topi­cal. When­ever Me­la­nia is in the news, it’s al­most a pub­lic sport to look for signs that she se­cretly wants to es­cape from her hus­band.’’

Ka­van be­gan the an­nual quote com­pe­ti­tion eight years ago as a way of cel­e­brat­ing New Zealan­ders’ best one-lin­ers.

Pub­lic vot­ing is now open at http://bit.ly/QOTY2018.

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