Shocker: Beats Tops Sony in First Ambush Marketing Rankings World Cup 2014 Nike outpaces Adidas, McDonald’s falls behind in first Ambush Marketing Rankings World Cup 2014
June 23, 2014, Austin, TEXAS — In the Global Language Monitor‘s first Ambush Marketing analysis of the FIFA World Cup 2014 has found that Beats Tops Sony for No.1 Ambush Marketer of the Tournament thus far. In fact, four of the top five positions on the chart were held by Ambushers of Sony, McDonald’s, Continental, and Adidas. We should note that Continental was in a class of its own — at 538.20, towering over the other partners and sponsors who had an identifiable ‘non-affiliated marketer’ (NAM) thus far.
Of course, Beats, the headphones created by Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine (and banned by FIFA at the World Cup), scored a remarkable one hundred plus BAI points, ahead of Sony, the FIFA Partner. McDonald’s, which had multiple competitors, and was bested by KFC by 16.56 BAI points. However when the competitors are added together the scores stand significantly ahead of Mickey D’s. We will analyze those numbers in a later report.
“The numbers tell the story, and it is very interesting story, indeed,” said Paul JJ Payack, the Global Language Monitor president and Chief Word Analyst. “Global marketers have decided that aligning their brands with the FIFA World Cup is every bit as valuable as the Olympics, and perhaps even more so for certain audiences and demographics.”
Other results include Nike cruising by Adidas by a comfortable margin and in the Healthcare sector, P&G crushed Johnson and Johnson (J&J), scoring five times higher in the brand recognition scorecard. Visa easily outdueled Mastercard. Budweiser, now part of the inBEV family, edged by Heineken, though Heineken has a small, but growing following in Latin America. The other patrons and sponsors without identifiable non-affiliated marketing competitors appear to have solid niche leadership as shown in the FIFA 2014 Overall BAI rankings below.
When measured by the Global Language Monitor’s Brand Affiliation Index (BAI), the individual brands comprising the FIFA World Cup Sponsors and Partners had significantly disparate results as shown above.
Previously, the Global Language Monitor tracked how much the ‘corruption scandal’ was affecting the brand images of the partner and sponsors. The brands were tested and ranked by their Brand Affiliation Index(BAI) when linked to 2014 World Cup and words like “corruption”. GLM will follow up with the ‘corruption sandal’, as the World Cup unfolds.
There are a number of press reports detailing the efforts of some brands to downplay the effects on the scandal to their brand. When your brand could be sullied in front of the 3.4 billion television viewers of World Cup 2014, their concerns, whether or not admitted, are serious and significant.
The individual numbers are determined by Global Language Monitor’s (GLM) Brand Affiliation Index (BAI), a proprietary, longitudinal study that analyzes the global association between (and among) individual brands and their competitors or, in this case, the FIFA World Cup 2014.
The value of World Cup sponsorship continues to rise, from $10 million for lessor arrangements to partnerships approaching $200 million, though these fees are dwarfed by Olympic partnerships, a cost estimated to be up to $1 billion, fully loaded, over a four-year Olympiad.
The Battle Over Climate Change Explained in Three Charts
Climate Change is like an asteroid heading in for a direct hit on Earth.
Obama’s Climate Change Warning (& National Climate Assessment) Doesn’t Touch on the Magnitude of the Threat.
June 18-19, 2014, AUSTIN, Texas — The recent report on human-enhanced climate change points to the problem. The US National Climate Assessment, released May 6, 2014, represents the most comprehensive attempt yet to assess the current effects of human-enhanced climate change on America’s (and the Earth’s) future. Why does confusion persist about the subject? After all, Global Warming /Climate Change have ranked near the top of our Top Word lists for more than a decade.
Perhaps the major difficulty is overcoming the fact that:
- Few news reporters are well-versed in technical and scientific communication.
- Few scientists are well-versed in communicating effectively to a large public audience in non-scientific terms.
- The public is not trained in deciphering the reams of information that presents the case that is being argued.
Therefore, lack of technical communications skills inhibit true understanding of climate change news. As a former university lecturer on Scientific and Technical Communications, I’ve created a few rules to keep close to heart.
Rule No. 1 When Communicating a Scientific Truth Be Sure to Communicate the Whole Truth — The audience instinctively knows when you are leaving out some of the story that you think might confuse the issue.
Well known Fact: The temperatures are now the highest in 1,000 years.
Larger Reality: The global surface temperature has fluctuated greatly over the last 2100 years. Scientific and Technical writing professionals would, one hopes, clarify the discussion by writing from the audience’s point-of-view. An educated audience would expect a phrase, such as ‘not in a thousand years’ to mean ‘not ever’. They would likely be concerned if they knew an author to be shading the truth that actually obscures the larger truth.
Suffice to say the global temperature has fluctuated greatly over the last 1200 years as shown in the graphic using four different sources. Also note there was the well-known historical fact of the Little Ice Age, with many early New England documents noting various ‘Year(s) Without Summer(s)”.
Temperature Fluctuation Over Preceding 1200 Years
Rule No. 2 Just because any particular analysis might be short-sighted, there is no need for you to be short-sighted also.
Well known Fact: PaleoIndians crossed the Bering Land Bridge to first settle the Americas.
Larger Reality: For the Bering Land Bridge to exist, the sea level had to be about 100 meters (290 feet) LOWER than its current level.
The Bering Land Bridge About 15,000 BCE
The US National Climate Assessment is estimating a one-to-two meter rise by the turn of the 22nd century. Add in the human-enhancement factor and climate change will be even more dramatic (and possibly happen more quickly) than anticipated.
Rule No. 3 In 10,000 BCE, (8,000 BC), New York City was also under a mile (1.6 km) of ice. Jericho was a thriving (albeit small) city at this time. Most people who are aware of this fact, place it in the distant past, say, 1,000,000 years BCE.
Well known Fact (though not true): Climate Change began in the late 20th century OR with the advent of the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century.
Larger Truth: Climate Change began with the advent of the atmosphere as we know it about 600 million years ago. This atmosphere enabled the ‘Cambrian Explosion’ as millions of life forms suddenly appeared on land.
The climate created by this atmosphere began to change at that time and continues to do so some some 600,000,000 years later though we only have specific details of the last half million years or so, as shown below.
These are a broad outline of temperature changes over the last 400,000 years as recorded by three different methods. Perhaps the most familiar is the Vostok Ice Core (Antarctica), drilled to a depth of 11,887 feet (3623 m) in 1998.
Conclusion: There are well-known facts that pale before a larger reality. Do not trim your arguments (whatever they be) to exclude the larger reality.
Well Known Fact: Climate Change is happening and its profound effect upon humankind is real. Human-influenced climate change is a new scientific reality
Larger Reality: Climate Change has a detailed in the scientific record for about 4oo,ooo years — and it has been ongoing for about 600,000,000 years.
What was the ongoing debate of our paleoindian ancestors as they watched the megafauna (wooly mammoths, sabre tooth tigers, etc.) disappear as the 5,000 ft (1.6 km) ice cap atop Manhattan melted away beneath their feet?
The paleoindians had it within their power to preserve the megafauna if they had known the consequences of their overhunting. However, the retreating glacier, a consequence of global cooling, was beyond their control.
Today humankind faces the same two problems. And this time we have a bigger stake in the game. If the will is there, we can stop or at least alter the course of the Fourth Great Extinction. And if the will is there, we can curb at least the human-enhancement portion of climate change, whether or not the planet is subject to the larger, longer-term climatic cycles.
FIFA Corruption Scandal Impacts World Cup Marketing Partners
June 13, 2014, Austin, TEXAS — The apparent disarray in Brazil, and the looming corruption scandal involving the Qatar bid for 2022 World Cup, has had outsized impact on FIFA 2014 Sponsors and Partners. This according to an analysis completed by the Global Language Monitor the first day of play in the beleaguered 2014 World Cup.
Overall, some 9.26 percent of mentions of the FIFA Partners and Sponsors are affiliated with ‘corruption’, ‘disarray’, or similar terms. When Partners and Sponsors are measured for these terms separately, Partners come in with a 9.2 percent brand-affiliated rate while Sponsors’ brand affiliation number came in at 9.3 percent. This means that overall both Sponsors and Partners are both implicated evenly. However, this is not the case on a brand-by-brand level. Overall brands had differing rates of affiliation. When measured by the Global Language Monitor’s Brand Affiliation Index (BAI), the individual brands comprising the FIFA World Cup Sponsors and Partners had significantly differing levels of ‘affiliation’. Overall, the average BAI of the partners was 166.7, while that of the sponsors was 28.7. The higher the BAI, the more closely a brand is linked to the corruption scandal.
The six World Cup 2014 Partners are ranked by their Brand Affiliation Index(BAI) when linked to 2014 World Cup and words like “corruption”. Their scores range from 279. to 50.86.
Here are the six World Cup Partners ranked in descending order of their BAI scores.
The eight World Cup 2014 Sponsors are ranked by their Brand Affiliation Index (BAI) when linked to 2014 World Cup and words like “corruption”. The scores range from 73.47 to 1.42.
- OI Telecommunications
- Moy Park
- Yingli Solar
- Continental Football
- Johnson & Johnson
- Castrol Motor Oil
There are a number of press reports detailing the efforts of some brands to downplay the effects on the scandal to their brand. When your brand could be sullied in fro of the 3.4 billion television viewers of World Cup 2014, their concerns, whether or not admitted, are serious and significant. The individual numbers are determined by Global Language Monitor’s (GLM) Brand Affiliation Index (BAI), a proprietary, longitudinal study that analyzes the global association between (and among) individual brands and their competitors or, in this case, the FIFA World Cup 2014. The value of World Cup sponsorship continues to rise, from $10 million for lessor arrangements to partnerships approaching $200 million, though these fees are dwarfed by Olympic partnerships, a cost estimated to be up to $1 billion, fully loaded, over a four-year Olympiad.
The Importance of Tracking Evolving Narratives
Gulf Oil Spill Vs. Katrina
Obama vs. BP
The Lesson of the Gulf Oil Spill narrative is the importance of controlling the narrative, since whoever wins of the narrative, controls the story in terms of political capital – for good or ill.
Austin, TX, June 02, 2010 (Updated May 24, 2014) — In an exclusive analysis by The Global Language Monitor’s NarrativeTracker™, there are now several differing story lines emerging from the Gulf Oil Spill. The ‘narrative’ refers to the stream of public opinion captured by blogs and other social media outlets on the Internet, as well as the leading print and electronic databases.
The Narratives emerging from this on-going (and slow-moving) disaster include: Obama was Slow to Respond – 95% of the social media conversations characterize the President Obama as ‘slow to respond’. Obama vs. BP: who’s in charge? — 52% see BP in charge of the spill. This may or may not be a political liability. Democrats need the blame assigned to BP; at the same time, Obama needs to be seen as in overall control of the disaster Worst environmental disaster ever – 42% see the current spill the worst environmental disaster ever. Federal Response — 57% see the Federal response using ‘poor’ or related keywords. Not a good month for the Feds; come to think of it, not a good year for the Feds. Katrina vs. Exxon Valdez – 61% make the comparison to the Exxon Valdez; about 39% compare the ongoing spill to the inundation of New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
Biblical Prophecies Abound Once More — About 61% of all references involve the Bible. (Even Ted Turner has a theory how the oil spill might be a warning from God.) These are markedly different in tone than those used with Katrina where the references focused on apocalyptic imagery, End-of-the-World scenarios and doom. The Obama Style of Leadership – This is a close one 52% see Obama as ‘hand’s on’ leadership, 48% see ‘hand’s off’. Again, this is either positive or negative depending on your political bias.
Ronald Reagan was seen as a ‘hand’s off’ president and that was considered good. Jimmy Carter was a ‘hand’s on’ type president and that was considered bad. “The development of the Gulf Oil Spill narrative is important to track since he who wins control of the narrative, controls the story in terms of political capital – for good or ill,” said Paul JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst of GLM. “With the mid-term elections just five months away, and the prospect of the Gulf Oil Spill continuing unabated for months, control of the narrative is more important than ever.” The rise of the narrative can render positions on the issues almost meaningless, since positions now matter less than how they fit into a particular narrative.
The NarrativeTracker is more effective in capturing the true opinion of the public because it tracks unfiltered keywords in Social Media and other sources, rather than how that opinion is interpreted by the news media or by pollsters. The term ‘narrative’ in this sense is now appearing thousands of times in the global media on the Internet and blogosphere as well as throughout the world of social media, meaning the main streams of public opinion running in the media that needs to be fed, encouraged, diverted or influenced by any means possible. GLM recently announced The Healthcare NarrativeTracker Index™ (NTI™), in partnership with OpenConnect Systems of Dallas. The Healthcare NTI is the first product specifically designed to use social media-based monitoring to better understand the issues driving healthcare reform, providing a real-time, accurate picture of what the public is saying about any topic related to healthcare, at any point in time. The NarrativeTracker is based on the GLM’s Predictive Quantities Indicator™ (PQI™).
The PQI tracks the frequency of words and phrases in global print and electronic media on the Internet, throughout the Blogosphere and other social media outlets as well as accessing proprietary databases. The PQI is a weighted index that factors in long-term trends, short-term changes, momentum, and velocity. About the Global Language Monitor Austin-Texas-based Global Language Monitor analyzes and catalogues the latest trends in word usage and word choices, and their impact on the various aspects of culture, with a particular emphasis upon Global English.
Current Number of Words in the English Language is 1,025,109.8. (January 1, 2014 estimate)
AUSTIN, Texas April 16, 2014 – Emoji, Futebol, and Ghost Plane lead the Top Trending Words and Phrases of 2014, according to the current word trends in global English being tracked by the Global Language Monitor. This is a preliminary to GLM’s twelfth annual Word of the Year rankings that will be released at year-end.
“Not only is the English language adding a new word every 98 minutes, but it is also expanding the basis of word creation. The alphabet, itself, is now expanding beyond letters to numbers + (emoticons) diacritical marks + emoji (picture words),” said Paul JJ Payack, chief word analyst, the Global Language Monitor.
The Top Trending Words of 2014 are listed below (Rank, Word, and Comment).
- Emoji — Smilies beware! The Emojis are now here. In 500 years people will look back on the creation of a new alphabet: Letters + numbers + (emoticons) diacritical marks + emoji (picture words).
- Futebol — Ready or not, the World Cup of Futebol, Futbol, Football, and Soccer is hurtling toward Brasil
- Climate Change — Two interesting points to add to the debate: 1) The Earth is now approaching the temps of the Medieval Warm Period circa 1100 c.e., and 2) 8,000 years ago oceans were some 100 meters lower than present level.
- Ghost Plane — Malaysian Flight 360, now has echoes of the 17th c. ‘ghost ship’, the ‘Flying Dutchman’.
- Inflation — OK, so the Universe expanded a gazillion times faster than the speed of light is now a fact. Way Cool.
- Denier — An ugly new addition to the trending words list as it has become an evermore present invective with sinister overtones (fully intended).
- Mid-Term Elections — The Perpetual Campaign of the US rolls into 2014, a mere speedbump on the way to ’16.
- Crimea — Remember, Charge of the Light Brigade though highly celebrated, was an unmitigated disaster.
- Pontiff — Francis keeps upending convention and papal protocol.
- Conscious De-Coupling — Oh Gwyneth Paltrow, what hath thou wrought to the language?
- Quinquennium — Or lustrum (either way five-year periods) — preparing for decade-and-a-half terminology as 2015 looms.
- The Great War — The centennial of World War I begins four years of soulful commemorations — as the forces it unloosed ripple into (and most probably through) the 21st c.
- Blood Moon — Four total eclipses of the Moon in an 18-month span. Not yet referred to as the Lunar-aplyspe — but the year is young.
- V. V. Putin — Proving to no longer be a Pootie-Poot (etymology unknown), the nickname of George W. Bush bestowed on him.
- Chinese — All things Chinese are (still) on the rise Western Powers should be acclimated to this by now.
In November, 2013, Austin, Texas-based GLM announced that the Internet error code ’404′ was the Top Word of the Year of 2013.
The words are culled from throughout the English-speaking world, which now numbers more than 1.83 billion speakers (January 2013 estimate).GLM employs its NarrativeTracker technologies for global Internet and social media analysis. NarrativeTracker is based on global discourse, providing a real-time, accurate picture about any topic, at any point in time. NarrativeTracker analyzes the Internet, blogosphere, the top 300,000 print and electronic global media, as well as new social media sources as they emerge.
About the Global Language Monitor
Since 1970 a whole new vocabulary has entered the English Language.
New Words and New ‘Senses’ of Old Words
Austin, Texas, Earth Week, April 2014 — Climate Change has topped the Global Language Monitor’s Earth Day Words that Changed the World analysis. Climate Change outpaced Sustainable and Global Warming in the third annual analysis of Global English.
Since the first Earth Day was celebrated as an ‘environmental teach-in’ on April 22, 1970 a whole new vocabulary has entered the English Language. The Global Language Monitor has determined the top new words and new ‘senses’ of old words that have been engendered since that first Earth Day in 1970. The words are ranked by order of present-day usage in the English-speaking world. The study was updated the second week of April 2014.
“As the term ‘Climate Change’ suggests, the issues that the first Earth Day helped bring to the fore have had an evermore profound effect on global culture – and the English language,” said Paul JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst of GLM. “The issues these words represent are now viewed as essential to human progress, and even survival.
The words analyzed are but the most profound examples of a movement that has been gaining momentum at least since the 1960s.
GLM used their Narrative Tracker methodologies to determine and rank the Earth Day words. The criteria included determining which words have had an impact on the environmental movement and/or were influential in its growth.
The Top Words Engendered by Earth Day and the Environmental Movement since 1970 are listed below.
Rank/Word/Last Year’s Rank/Definition
1. Climate change (4) — Now used twice as much as the term ‘global warming’. Originally favored by those who think the warming of the planet is primarily dues to long-term atmospheric cycles.
2. Sustainable (3) — The ability to create self-replicating systems that can persist over time. Sustainable was GLM’s word of the year in 2006.Green (1) — Practices that are in harmony with the environment.
3. Global warming (11) — Favored by those who think the warming of the planet is primarily due to human influence. (Compare Climate Change, above).
4. Eco- (as a prefix) (5) — Shorthand for ‘ecological’; from the Greek ‘oikos’ for house (or table).
5. Vegan (9) — Those who abstain from eating animal or dairy products, often avoiding any products made from animals (such as leather or gelatin); coined in 1944 in the UK by Donald Watson.
6. Ecology (7) — the relations of beings to each other and their environment; from the Greek ‘oikos’ for house (or table).
7. Recycle (8) — The re-using of materials once viewed as waste.
8. Hybrid (car) (22) – Cars that use a mixture of technologies to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels.
9. Locavore (10) — Thinking globally while eating locally.
10. Emissions (6) — In this sense, gases and particles sent out into the atmosphere through industrial production, automobiles, etc.; from the Late Latin emittere, to send out of.
11. Xeriscape (14) — Literally ‘dry landscaping’; using natural elements in a desert landscape for yard enhancement. Begging the question: must every yard resemble an English Manor?
12. Natural (food) (21) – Food grown with without artificial ingredients (such as color) and produced in a manner similar to that used in a well-stocked home kitchen.
13. Renewable energy (2) — Energy derived from solar, wind, geothermal, biomass and similar ‘sustainable’ sources.
14. Organic food (18) — Food grown or produced without synthetic fertilizers, insecticides, hormones, irradiation and genetic modification.
15. Carbon footprint (19) — The total amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions generate by a human activity. Driving a late-model, fuel-efficient car emits about 6 pounds of CO2 every ten miles. Term first used in 1980. Alternative definition – Your life reduced to the a series of equations on energy (carbon) consumption.
16. Biodegradable (15) — Organic material that decays naturally in a relatively short time.
19. Post-consumer (waste) (20) — Material that can be used as a resource to build new products.
20. Emissions (6) — In this sense, gases and particles sent out into the atmosphere through industrial production, automobiles, etc.; from the Late Latin emittere, to send out of.
21. Greenwash (25) — Highlighting aspects of a product that may or appear to be favorable to the environment in order to re-shape its brand image.
22. Biomass (13) — Material derived from plants that can be used as a renewable energy source.
23. Biofuels (24) — Finally, we are reaching a break-even point with sugar based biofuels in Brazil.
24. Greenhouse Effect (23) — The heating of the Earth’s surface in a fashion similar to a greenhouse, with GHG acting as glass windows that trap heat. The result of the increased emission of CO2 and other GHGs.
25. Carbon trading (26) — Trading, in effect, the rights to pollute between different manufacturers in the global marketplace.
26. Free-range (27) — The animal has been raised with access to the outside; not the same as ‘free roaming’.
27. Save a Tree! (28) – One of the first rallying cries of the Environmental Movement. Unfortunately, replacing a renewable resource with one made of petroleum created ecological problems of its own.
For this analysis, the Global Language Monitor collected data from the Internet, blogosphere, the top 300,000 print and electronic media, as well as new social media as they emerge.
About Global Language Monitor
Austin, Texas-based Global Language Monitor analyzes and catalogues the latest trends in word usage and word choices, and their impact on the various aspects of culture, with a particular emphasis upon Global English. In 2003, GLM first coined the term ‘ephemeral data’ as an attribute of ever-expanding Big Data. GLM has launched a number of innovative products and services monitoring the Internet, the blogosphere, social media as well as the top print and electronic media sites.
For more information, call 1.512.815.8836, email info@LanguageMonitor.com, or visit www.LanguageMonitor.com.
Third Annual Ranking of Tournament Brand Equity
The BAI helps determine the value of an event
In Analysis ‘The Players’ Ranks higher than the PGA, Again
Tour Championship by Coca-Cola Registers Less than 1% of Internet MediaBuzz
Austin, Texas. the Masters Weekend, April 2014 — The Open Championship has widened it lead over the Masters as the Top Golf Major in the Global Language Monitor’s third annual ranking.
The analysis compared the strength of affiliation of each of the currently recognized events (The Masters, The US Open, The Open Championship or British Open and the PGA Championship) to the concept of ‘major championship’. GLM then added the Players Championship and the end-of-the-season Tour Championship for comparison with the four recognized events. The Players Championship has solidified its position as the ‘Stealth Major’ again placing third in the ranking, ahead of the PGA Championship. To judge the impact of the Tour Championship, GLM put it into the mix but later eliminated it for consideration after it did not meet the minimum criteria for inclusion.
When compared to the 2013 analysis, the Open Championship gained some 40 points, the Masters and US Open remained strong at last year’s levels , while both the Players and PGA Championships finished with lower BAI scores. In 2013 the PGA finished about ten points behind the Players, while in 2014 the PGA lagged behind by about twenty points as measured by the BAI.
The BAI is an important metric to advertisers and sponsors since it helps determine the value of an event.
“Since 1860 The Open is the championship against which all future Majors would be judged. Now over one hundred and fifty-years later, we see that it is strengthening both its reputation and significance,” said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of GLM. Furthermore, it actually moved forward to a commanding lead in the ranking of Golf’s Major Championship. In spite of its elite field and generous purse, the end-of-season Tour Championship did not meet the minimum criteria for inclusion.”
In the early to mid 20th century, the Majors were considered to be those tournaments won by Bobby Jones during his historic 1930 season: the US and British Amateurs, the Open Championship and the US Open. Later Jones’ own tournament, the Masters, gained in importance as did the Western Open (considered a Major by many for a number of decades) as the British PGA fell from favor. As recently as 1960 there was no official recognition of the Majors, as such.
GLM ranks Golf’s Major Championships by Internet Media Buzz. For this analysis, GLM employed its proprietary Brand Affiliation Index. The BAI computes and details the relative brand equity of people, products or events based on the analysis of global discourse, providing a real-time, accurate assessment at any point in time. To do so, GLM analyzes the billions of pages on the Internet, millions of blogs, the top 300,000 global print and electronic media, as well as new social media sources, as they emerge.
A commentary on Tiger Woods (and Mickey Mantle) by Paul JJ Payack, the Global Language Monitor, Austin, Texas
For some time now I have been pondering the apparent decline of Tiger Woods.
Over his long career he’s been cut and measured against those of Jack, Arnie, and Sam (sometimes Phil) and, now, Rory, Bubba, and the other Young Guns.
But the comparison to which I keep coming back never played out on the links, or Amen Corner, or even on the hallowed grounds of St. Andrews or Pebble Beach, but on the barren ball fields of Commerce, Oklahoma and later on a particularly verdant patch of grass off the Major Deegan Expressway in the Bronx. Of course I am not writing of one of Tiger’s fellow golfers at all, but rather of The Mick, one Mickey Charles Mantle, of New York Yankees fame.
Both Tiger and Mickey achieved greatness at an early age, to herald the beginnings of long, illustrious careers — and both were destined for that type of glory, perhaps, never (or at least seldom seen) before. Both had peak performances a dozen or so years into their career, then they both continued showing flashes of brilliance, amidst the strongest of suspicions that their careers had peaked in their 32nd years. If their past were prologues — then their prologues had, indeed, passed.
I watched Mickey stumbling through those last painful years, tuning to the game every 20 minutes or so, to catch him lumbering from the batter’s box toward the plate, hoping against hope that he’d collect those few hits that would preserve a career .300 batting average, the last mark of greatness he had left to achieve.
Even then, I had done the math. If only he could finish this last season with eight more hits than his then-current pace he’d achieve his final, career capping goal, then vanishing before his eyes (and mine).
In that context, I have been watching, studying Tiger, since what might now be considered his consummate effort, playing virtually if not literally on one leg, gutting out one last brilliant effort high above the surf at Torrey Pines.
This is not to say that Tiger will never pass Jack in his long-sought goal, the grail of capturing his Nineteenth Major. But the story, like that of The Mick, has taken on many of the trappings of a neo-Greek tragedy.
He, like Mickey, heroes from afar, reach for (and attain) heroic status, they each evince their individual brands of hubris, exhibit an achilles heel (or two), engage in mortal combat with a cast of rivals nearly god-like heroes themselves.
For The Mick there was no Deus ex-Machina to intervene in the final act; for Tiger, the Chorus has yet to sing.
Most Recognized Word on the Planet: OK or O.K. or Okay
March 23, 2014. This week is the 175th anniversary of one of the great moments in the English Language: the old Boston Post newspaper printing the phrase ‘oll korrect’, in a bit of humorous wordplay back in 1839.
Earlier this afternoon, we performed a simple Google search for the word; the search returned some 1,200,000,000 references to OK. Not bad for a word no one is quite sure how to spell.
OK is now widely heard wherever one sets foot on the planet.
U.S. President Martin Van Buren (A.D. 1837–1841) was born in Old Kinderhook, New York. His nickname, Old Kinderhook, was incorporated into his re-election campaign slogan in 1840 (“Old Kinderhook is O.K.”). O.K. Democratic Clubs sprung up around the young nation. Van Buren was a founding member of the Democratic Party. (He was overwhelmingly defeated by the Whigs in his re-election attempt.)
Alternative derivations, since disproven, suggested that OK was from the Greek phrase ola kala for ‘all is well’ used in the shipping industry. Another, actually favored by president Woodrow Wilson, was that OK was derived from the Native American language of the Choctaw ‘okeh’.
However, what is well-documented is that the U.S. Presidential Election of 1840 catalyzed OK’s already growing usage and subsequent global expansion during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. After World War II, US hegemony cemented its global propagation.
As English became the world’s first, true global language with some 1.83 billion speakers, dominance of the software of the Microsoft Corporation further embedded it everyday use on the Internet. Some 80% of its computer programs that are ‘localized’ into native languages use the English word OK to assert completion or assent.
For good measure, the successful completion of a server response on the World Wide Web (of which there are billions every second) is defined as OK.
Now with the proliferation of social media, the word itself has further evolved with its shortening to the single letter, k.