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"Fake news" trumps "halal snack pack" for word of the year

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A term made famous by Donald Trump through the marathon US election has filtered into the Australian vernacular, with “fake news” voted the Macquarie Dictionary word of 2016.

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The Macquarie Dictionary committee has chosen “fake news” out of a list of 15 category winners, including ‘halal snack pack’, ‘enby’ and ‘fatberg’.

The Australian public will however have a chance to have their say, with voting for the people’s choice word of the year award open until the end of January.

‘Fake news’ refers to disinformation and hoaxes published on websites for political purposes.

“There has come a point with fake news where people are beginning to believe what they want to believe, whether or not the news story is actually true,” the committee spokesman said in a statement today.

Federal Labor MP Sam Dastyari, who has helped halal snack packs gain cult popularity, tweeted his disappointment that the fast food had placed second.

“Robbed by the word ‘fake news’. Hasn’t it done enough damage?” Dastyari said on Wednesday morning.

‘Alt-right’ took out the political word of 2016, defined by the dictionary as “extremely right-wing”.

Notable category winners:

Arts: Racebending – the process of altering the ethnicity of a character in a book, film, for a new version of it

Colloqial: Shoefiti – the practice of tossing shoes over power lines

Communication: Fake news – disinformation and hoaxes published on websites for political purposes or to drive web traffic, the incorrect information being passed along by social media

Food: Halal snack pack – fast food comprising layers of hot chips, grated cheese, halal doner kebab meat

Environment: Fatberg – a congealed mass in a sewer system consisting of material that does not break down

Political: Alt-right – extremely right-wing

Social interest: Enby – not identifying as male or female; non-binary

– AAP

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