Unprecedented Global Media Outpouring in Coverage of Pope John Paul II’s Passing
Record Media Outpouring: 12 Million Internet Citations and 100,000 Stories in Worldwide Media
Eclipses the South Asian Tsunami, the September 11 Terrorist Attacks, the Bush Re-election, and the Deaths of Ronald Reagan and Princess Diana
Danville, Calif. April 14, 2005. The Death of Pope John Paul II has unleashed an unprecedented global media outpouring that has transformed from a groundswell into a deluge. The Global Language Monitors daily Internet and media analysis now shows that in the major global print and electronic media and on the Internet, John Paul II’s death has surpassed the initial coverage of the South Asian Tsunami, the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks, the Bush re-election, and the Deaths of Ronald Reagan and Princess Diana, among other events that shook the world.
border=0> Since days since the Pontiffs death, there have been some 100,000 major news stories and more than 12 million Internet citations. In comparison, for the entire preceding year there were only 28,000 new stories and 1.5 million Internet citations about John Paul II.
The word historic is associated with the pontiff nearly 3,000,000 times, while conservative is associated some 1,750,000 times, and loved or beloved some 600,000 times since John Paul’s passing.
Within the first 72 hours of the Pontiff’s passing, there have been:
Almost 3 times as many news stories for John Paul as there were for the 9/11 Terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in 2001, though in the major global media the comparison was far closer. Some ten times more news stores than were published concerning the re-election of President Bush.
In addition, within the first 72 hours of the Pontiff’s passing, there have been:
More than five times as many stories as initially generated for the South Asia Tsunami on December 26-29th, 2004 (though the Tsunami swell grew unabated for some time, as the horrific scale of the tragedy became apparent).
According to Paul JJ Payack, President of The Global Language Monitor, “Other relevant comparisons might be the deaths of Ronald Reagan in 2004 and Princess Diana in 1997. These also, were populist-type phenomena with unprecedented outpourings of grief, though on a far more localized scale.
“Perhaps the root of this phenomenon lies in the fact that ordinary people came to be acquainted with this Pope unlike any other in memory. He was personable, globetrotting, at his best as a friendly parish priest, ‘writ large’. He was a truly global Pontiff, adept at using the traditional media (and the internet) to his advantage. Evidently, on his instructions, the media was even notified of his passing via text messages and e-mail.”
To arrive at these numbers, The Global Language Monitor utilizes its proprietary Predictive Quantities Indicator (PQI), which tracks specified words and phrases in the global print and electronic media and on the Internet. The words and phrases are tracked in relation to their frequency, contextual usage and appearance.
The Global Language Monitor analyzes and catalogues the latest trends in word usage and word choices, and their impact on the various aspects of culture. A worldwide assemblage of linguists, professional wordsmiths and bibliophiles, supports the GLM to help monitor the latest trends in the evolution (and demise) of language, word usage and word choices.
Danville, Calif. April 18, 2005. As the Papal Conclave convenes there are sometimes obscure words and phrases that will have tremendous global impact as the process unfolds. According to an analysis performed by The Global Language Monitor, these are some of the top words and phrases to look for:
1. Interregnum: The times when there is no sitting pontiff between the death of a pope and the election of his successor.
2. Conclave: Literally from the Latin for with a key meaning a secret room or closet. Hence, the secret assembly of the cardinals for the election of a new pope.
3. Pope: Whats a Pope? Literally, the Dad or the Holy Father, hence papa in the Romance Languages. Originally, pappas in Greek.
4. Pontiff: Pontifex maximus! Leader of the Holy See; the Office of the Papacy is known as the Pontificate. From the Latin from to make a bridge, whose meaning, though a bit obscure, meant to have control of one of the bridges considered sacred in Rome during pre-Christian days.
5. Sede vacante: The Pontificate is currently a vacant seat.
6. Cardinal: A Prince of the Church, originally subordinate to bishops, which is opposite the current custom. From the Latin for door hinge, as in a key element upon which something else depends.
7. College of Cardinals: The Sacred College, all the 117 Princes of the Church taken as a whole. The original Latin collegium refers to a guild, or a secret society.
8. Color of a Cardinals Vestments: Cardinal, of course, between scarlet and crimson.
9. Eminence: The proper manner to address a Cardinal: Eminentia or Eminentissimi (His Eminence).
10. Official Vatican Language: Latin.
11. The Official Lingua Franca: Italian with English quickly up-and-coming.
12. Languages of the Vatican Website: Italian, English, Spanish, German, and Portuguese
13. Popables: Those cardinals eligible to elect the new pope, who must be under 80 years of age. Although any Catholic male is eligible to be elected, these 117 are considered the only likely candidates (since the last time a non-cardinal assumed the papacy was some 400 years ago.
‘Global Study: Top 10 Most Confusing (yet widely used) High Tech Buzzwords for 2008
Cloud Computing, Green Washing and Buzzword Compliant
Austin Texas November 20, 2008 — In its third annual Internet and media analysis, The Global Language Monitor (www.LanguageMonitor.com) has found the most confusing yet frequently cited high tech buzzwords of 2008 to becloud computing, green washing,andbuzzword compliantfollowed byresonate, de-duping,andvirtualization. Rounding out the Top Ten wereWeb 2.0, versioning, word clouds,andpetaflop.The most confusing Acronym for 2008 was SaaS (software as a service).
Paul JJ Payack, president of the Global Language Monitor, said “The words we use in high technology continue to become even more obtuse even as they move out of the realm of jargon and into the language at large.”
The Most Confusing Yet Frequently Cited High Tech Words of 2008 with Commentary follow:
·Cloud Computing – Distributing or accessing programs and services across the Internet.(The Internet is represented as a cloud.)
·Green washing – Repositioning your product so that its shortfalls are now positioned as environmental benefits:Not enough power? Just re-position as energy-saving.
·Buzzword Compliant — Including the latest buzzwords in literature about a product or service in order to make it ‘resonate’ with the customer.
·Resonate – Not the tendency of a system to oscillate at maximum amplitude, but the ability to relate to (or resonate with) a customer’s desires.
·De-duping – shorthand for de-duplication, that is, removing redundant data from a system.
·Virtualization – Around since dinosaurs walked the planet (the late ‘70s) virtualization now applies to everything from infrastructures to I/O.
·Web 2.0 – Now there’s talk of Web 3.0, just when we were finally getting used to Web 2.0.
·Versioning – Creating new revisions (or versions) with fewer bugs and more features.
·Word Clouds – Graphic representations of the words used in a text, the more frequently used, the larger the representation.
·Petaflop –A thousand trillion (or quadrillion) floating point operations per secondOften mistaken as a comment on the environmental group.
The Most Confusing Yet Frequently Cited Acronym for 2008:SaaS — software-as-as-service to be differentiated, of course, from PaaS (platforms as a service) and IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-service).
Others words under consideration include the ever popular yet amorphous ‘solution’, 3G and SEO.
In 2007 IPOD, Flash, Cookie, Nano and Cookie lead the list with SOA as the most confusing acronym
In 2005, HTTP, VoIP, Megapixel, Plasma, & WORM were the leading buzzwords.
The analysis was completed using GLM’s Predictive Quantities Indicator (PQI), the proprietary algorithm that tracks words and phrases in the media and on the Internet.The words are tracked in relation to frequency, contextual usage and appearance in global media outlets.This analysis was performed earlier this month.
Top 10 Most Confusing (yet widely used) High Tech Buzzwords for 2007
iPod, Flash, Cookie, Nano and Kernel lead list; SOA most confusing acronym
San Diego, Calif. and Henderson, NV October 16, 2007. In a worldwide internet and media analysis, The Global Language Monitor has found the most confusing yet frequently cited high tech buzzwords in 2007 to be iPOD, Flash, Cookie, Nano and Kernel followed by Megahertz, Cell (cell as in cell phone), Plasma, De-duplication, and Blu-Ray.
The study was released earlier today, on the 13th anniversary of the ‘cookie,’ the invention that made the World Wide Web practical for widespread surfing, communication, and e-commerce.
Paul JJ Payack, President of the Global Language Monitor, said “Educational metrics such as the Flesch Test would place a typical paragraph using these words at the Third-grade reading-level. At the same time, most college graduates, even from the most prestigious engineering schools such as MIT, Stanford, and CalTech would be challenged to precisely define all ten. Once again, the High Tech industry has failed its basic language proficiency test.”
The analysis was completed using GLM’s Predictive Quantities Indicator (PQI), the proprietary algorithm that tracks words and phrases in the media and on the Internet. The words are tracked in relation to frequency, contextual usage and appearance in global media outlets. This analysis was performed in earlier this month.
The Most Confusing Yet Frequently Cited High Tech Words of 2007 with Commentary follow:
1. iPOD: We all know the brand, but what exactly is a ‘pod’? A gathering of marine mammals? The encasement for peas? The evacuation module from 2001: A Space Odyssey?
2. Flash: As in Flash Memory. Given it is easier to say than “ I brought the report on my EEPROM chip with a thin oxide layer separating a floating gate and control gate utilizing Fowler-Nordheim electron tunneling”.
3. Nano: Widely used to describe any small as in nanotechnology. Like the word ‘mini’ which originally referred to the red hues in Italian miniature paintings, the word nano- is ultimately derived from the ancient Greek word for dwarf.
4. Cookie: Without cookies with their ‘persistent state’ management mechanism the web as we know it, would cease to exist.
5. Kernel: The core layer of a computer operating system serving as a connection to the underlying hardware. Ultimately derives from the Old English cyrnel, for corn.
6. Megahertz MHz): Named after German physicist Heinrich Hertz, signifying a million cycles per second in computer processor (and not clock) speed. Next up: GigaHertz (GHz) and TeraHertz (THz), one billion and one trillion cycles.
7. Cell (as in Cell Phone): Operating on the principle of cells, where communicate through low-power transceiver to cellular ‘towers’ up to 6 miles away (which is why you can connect to ground stations from airplanes at 35,000 feet). The phone connects to the strongest signal which are then passed from tower to tower.
8. Plasma (as in Plasma Television): A top word in the last survey still confusing large-screen TV buyers.
9. De-duplication: One of the newer buzzwords meaning removing duplicated data from a storage device, as in ‘we’re in the process of de-duping the silo’. Ouch!
10. Blu-Ray (vs. HD DVD). New technology for high capacity DVDs reminiscent of the VHS/Beta wars of the 1980s.
Confusing Acronym: SOA (Service-oriented Architecture); IBM had to write a book to explain it!?
Other terms being tracked included terabyte, memory, core, and head crash.
Now you can watch Global Language Monitor on YouTube.
Global Study: Top 10 Most Confusing (yet widely used) High Tech Buzzwords:
HTTP, Megapixel, Plasma, WORM and Emoticon Among Leaders
Danville, Calif. March 24, 2005. In a worldwide internet and media analysis, The Global Language Monitor found the most confusing yet frequently cited high tech buzzwords to be HTTP, Voice Over IP (VoIP), and Megapixel. Closely following were Plasma, Robust, WORM and Emoticon. The study was released earlier today. “The high tech realm remains an incubator of great ideas and, at the same time, mass confusion. The industry, with rare exception, has never mastered the basics of translating new products and services into everyday language: It is obvious that the High Tech industry has failed in its basic language proficiency test.”
The Predictive Quantities Indicator (PQI) is a proprietary algorithm that trackswords and phrases in the media and on the Internet. The words are tracked in relation to frequency, contextual usage and appearance in global media outlets. This analysis was performed in early March of 2005.
The Most Confusing Yet Frequently Cited High Tech Words with Commentary follow:
1. HTTP HyperText Transfer Protocol is used for HTML (HyperText Markup Language) files. Not to be confused with text on too much Starbucks. More than 1 billion references to HTTP on the web alone.
2. Voice Over IP VoIP, (pronounced voip rhyming with Detroit). Voice over Internet Protocol. Simply put: web telephony.
3. Megapixel A really big pixel. No, one million pixels (thats a lotta pixels) OK, whats a pixel? Computer-ese for picture element.
4. Plasma As in Plasma TV. Are we talking Red Cross Drives here? Rather, a flat, lightweight surface covered with millions of tiny glass bubbles with a digitally controlled electric current flowing through it that causes the plasma inside the tiny bubbles to glow.
5. Robust No one quite knows what this means, but its good for your product to demonstrate robustness.
6. WORM A virus, right? No, a Write Once, Read Many file system used for optical disk technology.
7. Emoticon A smiley with an emotional component (from emotional icon). Now, whats a smiley?
8. Best of breed Not to be confused with the Westminster Dog Show. A personalized solution made of components from various manufacturers; a sort of high tech mix-and-match.
9. Viral marketing Marketing that Freezes your computer? Actually, a high tech marketing fad that theoretically results in a geometric progression of ones marketing message. Sometimes stealth. Always irritating.
10. Data migration Nothing to do with pre-historic mastodons or, even, global warming. Its where the data in your present software programs can move to newer (or older) versions of the programs or, better yet, into competitive solutions without causing much of a fuss. A highly unlikely result.
Other terms being tracked included client/server, solution, Paradigm, hypertext, backward compatible, best of breed, and the STUN protocol.
The Dustbin of History, or How the Infinity Symbol Came into Existence
By Paul JJ Payack
John Wallis (1616-1703) possessed no knowledge of the mathematical arts at the age of fifteen, yet he later went on to become the Savilian professor of Geometry at Oxford, the friend and teacher of Isaac Newton (he was the first to charge that Leibnitz had stolen his ideas for the calculus), and a charter member of the Royal Society. Yet his place in the history of mathematical thought is, perhaps not unjustly, obscure (and oftentimes, simply, ignored). A list of his major formulations would serve, merely, as an esoteric series of footnotes to the said compilation, which would interest, it should be stated, rather few.
For example, Wallis discovered that, in all such operations, it was mass times velocity (mv) that was conserved and not, as it was widely held, merely velocity (v). However, he fell short of unsecreting the laws of motion (which Newton would later publish). He also, at one time, theorized “that for the purposes of calculation, the earth and moon can be treated as a single body, concentrated at their center of gravity …” but stopped short far short of formulating the basis for the Laws of Universal Gravitation.
It can also be noted that Newton borrowed his system of fluxional notation (in which the fluent of was represented by , and the fluent by and so on) yet this, too, was swept into the dustbin of history when it was later replaced by that system developed by Leibnitz. His significant work still owed a heavy debt to the Greeks and the most notable of these was Arithmatica Infinitorum sive Nova Methodus Inquirendi in Curvilineorum Quadraturam aliague difficilora Matheseosos Problemata (1673), which is more often recalled for its title rather than for the fact that it introduced to mathematics the idea of ‘limit’.
It is often opined that a man might fulfill the secret purpose of his existence in the doing of a seemingly trivial deed such as a word said in passing or, perhaps, an action not acted upon (the significance of which, more often than not, is forever hidden from the doer). In the case of John Wallis it can be said that he, quite possibly, achieved his destiny with the few simple strokes of his quill with which he, in 1656, modified a Roman variation for 1000. This was to serve him simply as the notation for a very small quantity, but, in centuries to come, was to serve the world as the symbol (and signature) of INFINITY.
Why A Green Word was chosen as The Global Language Monitor Word of the Year – Google News Comment Dec 13, 2007
The Global Language Monitor began naming the Word of the Year early in this decade, arguably the first organization to do so through our predecessor site in 2000. Remember the word ‘Chad?’
Since then it has become an increasingly competitive enterprise, as Merriam-Webster, the New Oxford American Dictionary, Webster’s New World and others have begun the practice.
We, of course, are honored by the competition.
There are two distinctions with the Global Language Monitor’s approach:
1. The words are ranked by a proprietary algorithm, the Predictive Quantities Indicator(tm) or PQI, and not by opinion or majority vote of editors, readers, or the public.
2. The words are chosen from the entire English-speaking community, what we call Global English, that now has approximately 1.35 Billion speakers (up from 250 million in 1960.) The words on GLM’s 2007 list include those from China, India, and Singapore.
The theory behind the PQI was to eliminate any statistical or personal bias in the choice, So while we are tracking words such as w00t (and actually have a section on L33t-speak in an upcoming book), we found it just did not to have the numerical weight as the words that rose to the top of GLM’s 2007 list. (While intresting, w00t was surpassed by more than a 500:1 ratio.)
Hybrid was chosen as a non-biased, non-politicized, representation of all things green. You don’t need the PQI to tell you that words and phrases such as climate change, global warming, planetary peril, biodiesel, green in this context, and hybrid all come up tens of millions of times in a simple Google search. (The PQI tracks momentum, direction, year-over-year changes, as well as several other indicators, and produces a statistically normalized result.)
My personal preference for WOTY was the word surge (the Iraq War and political strategy), which actually led our analysis throughout the year until the hybrid-related words surged past surge in our final analysis.
Most Recognized Word on the Planet: OK or O.K. or Okay
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 campaign slogan (“Old Kinderhook is O.K.”) and 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 in 1840.)
Presaging O.K. Democratic Clubs, was the pronunciation of the phrase ‘oll korrect’ in a bit of humerous wordplay found in the Boston Post newspaper in 1839.
Didn’t you ever wonder why the word consists of two capital letters?
OK is now widely heard wherever one sets foot on the planet.
Alternative derivations, since disproven, suggested that OK was from the Greek phrase ola kala for ‘all well’ used in the shipping industry. Another, actually favored by president Woodrow Wilson, was that OK was derived from the Choctaw ‘okeh’.
However, what is sure is that the U.S. Presidential Election of 1840 secured its growing usage and subsequent global expansion during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
Another lesser known catalyst to the word’s present ubiquitous, is the the global dominance of the software of the Microsoft Corporation. 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.
Media Abounds With Apocalyptic-type References in Coverage of Katrina
Disaster, Biblical, Global Warming, Hiroshima Top List
‘Refugee’ vs. ‘Evacuee’
San Diego, Calif. September 7, 2005. MetaNewswire. In an exclusive analysis by The Global Language Monitor, the worldwide media was found to abound in Apocalyptic-type terminology in its coverage of the unfolding disaster of Hurricane Katrina in the American Gulf States. Using its proprietary PQI (Predictive Quantities Indicator) algorithm, GLM found the ominous references to include: Disaster, Biblical, Global Warming, Hiroshima/Nuclear bomb, Catastrophe, Holocaust, Apocalypse, and End-of-the-World.
“These alarmist references are coming across the spectrum of print and electronic media, and the internet,” said Paul JJ Payack, president of GLM. “The world appears stunned that the only remaining super power has apparently been humbled, on its own soil, by the forces of nature.”
The global media are mesmerized by the constant bombardment of television images of apparently rampaging, out-of-control elements, apparently in control of a good part of New Orleans, as well as the inability of the authorities to keep their own people fed, sheltered, evacuated, and, even, from dying on the street.
‘Refugee vs. ‘Evacuee’
GLM’s analysis found, for example, that the term for the displaced, refugees, that is usually associated with places like the Sudan and Afghanistan, appeared 5 times more frequently in the global media than the more neutral ‘evacuees,’ which was cited as racially motivated by some of the Black leadership. Accordingly, most of the major media outlets in the U.S. eliminated the usage of the word ‘refugees’ with a few exceptions, most notably, the New York Times.
The September 3 edition of The Times (London) has a story to illustrate the current state of affairs. The head: “Devastation that could send an area the size of England back to the Stone Age.”
The first 100 words sum up the pervasive mood found in the GLMs analysis of the Global Media.
“AMERICA comes to an end in Montgomery, Alabama.For the next 265 miles to the Gulf Coast, it has been replaced by a dangerous and paranoid post-apocalyptic landscape, short of all the things fuel, phones, water and electricity needed to keep the 21st century switched on. By the time you reach Waveland, Mississippi, the coastal town of 6,800 where corpses lie amid a scene of Biblical devastation, any semblance of modern society has gone. “
According to GLM’s analysis, the most frequently used terms associated with Hurricane Katrina in the global media with examples follow. The terms are listed in order of relative frequency.
Disaster — The most common, and perhaps neutral, description. Literally ‘against the stars’ in Latin. Example: ” Disaster bares divisions of race and class across the Gulf states”. Toronto Globe and Mail.
Biblical — Used as an adjective. Referring to the scenes of death, destruction and mayhem chronicled in the Bible. ” …a town of 6,800 where corpses lie amid a scene of Biblical devastation”. (The Times, London)
Global Warming — The idea that the hand of man was directly responsible for the catastrophe, as opposed to the more neutral climate change. “…German Environmental Minister Jrgen Trittin remains stolid in his assertion that Hurricane Katrina is linked to global warming and America’s refusal to reduce emissions.” (Der Spiegel)
Hiroshima/Nuclear Destruction — Fresh in the mind of the media, following the 60th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. “Struggling with what he calls Hurricane Katrina’s nuclear destruction, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour shows the emotional strain of leading a state through a disaster of biblical proportions”. (Associated Press).
Catastrophe — Sudden, often disastrous overturning, ruin, or undoing of a system. “In the Face of Catastrophe, Sites Offer Helping Hands”. (Washington Post)
Holocaust — Because of historical association, the word is seldom used to refer to death brought about by natural causes. ” December’s Asian catastrophe should have elevated “tsunami” practically to the level of “holocaust” in the world vocabulary, implying a loss of life beyond compare and as callous as this might make us seem, Katrina was many things, but “our tsunami” she wasn’t. (Henderson [NC] Dispatch)
Apocalypse — Referring to the prophetic visions of the imminent destruction of the world, as found in the Book of Revelations. ” Call it apocalyptic. Whatever you want to call it, take your pick. There were bodies floating past my front door. ” said Robert Lewis, who was rescued as floodwaters invaded his home. (Reuters)
End of the World — End-time scenarios which presage the Apocalypse. ” “This is like time has stopped Its like the end of the world.” (Columbus Dispatch)
Then there are those in the media linking Katrina with the direct intervention of the hand of an angry or vengeful God, though not necessarily aligned with Americas enemies. “The Terrorist Katrina is One of the Soldiers of Allah, But Not an Adherent of Al-Qaeda,” was written by a high-ranking Kuwaiti official, Muhammad Yousef Al-Mlaifi, director of the Kuwaiti Ministry of Endowment’s research center. It was published in Al-Siyassa. (Kuwait).
Note: Hurricane Alpha has now been named marking the busiest Atlantic Hurricane season on record … therefore the tropical ‘events’ were named beta, then gamma, delta … and it seemed they would go on through the Greek Alphabet. Here’s the entire Greek Alphabet:
Katrina Disaster Buzzword Explainer
San Diego, Calif. September 2, 2005. MetaNewswire. The Global Language Monitorin response to worldwide demand, has created this Hurricane Disaster Buzzword Explainer to help readers understand the many buzzwords, acronyms, and odd turns of phrase that are being employed in relation to the Hurricane Katrina disaster in New Orleans as it unfolds.
GLM’s List is an ongoing compilation, updated daily; we welcome contributions from around the globe.
The current list with associated commentary follows:
Acadians — French-speaking people who were expelled from Nova Scotia exactly 250 years ago and settled in the bayou. Subject of the epic poem, Evangeline, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. See Cajun.
Army Corps of Engineers — The USACE is responsible for investigating, developing and maintaining the nation’s water and related environmental resources.
Astrodome — The first enclosed stadium in the US; refugees from the SuperDome will be transported 350 miles to the Astrodome.
Bayou — A slow moving stream or river that runs through the marshlands surrounding New Orleans; home of Cajun Culture.
Big Easy — The nickname for the city of New Orleans, from the laidback lifestyle one finds there.
Breach — Sudden overpowering of a levee, or a floodwall, that allows water to seep or rush in.
Cajun — Literally, Louisianan who descends from French-speaking Acadians, who in 1755 were expelled from Nova Scotia.
Category — The intensity of a hurricane using various measurements including velocity of sustained wind. Categoies range from 1 (weakest) to 5 (strongest). Katrina peaked at Category 5.
Climate Change — The warming of the Earths atmosphere due to natural cycles (politically sensitive; believed to be primarily outside the control of man.) See Global Warming.
Creole — Derives from the Latin creare, meaning “to create.” By the nineteenth century, black, white, and mixed-race Louisianans used the term to distinguish themselves from foreign-born and Anglo-American settlers.
Cyclone — A developing tropical storm, rotating counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere. Often confused with but NOT a tornado.
Eye — The center of the hurricane where the skies are clear and the wind is nearly calm.
FEMA — Federal Emergency Management Agency, branch of the US Homeland Security Department. FEMA coordinates the US Federal government’s response to national disasters.
Floating Casinos — Casinos located along the Mississippi coast bringing an annual average revenue of $2.7 billion a year to that state.
Flood Control — The building of levees, pumping stations, sea walls, etc. to keep a city safe from flooding.
Flood Stage — Flood stage is reached when the water in a stream or river over-tops the banks or levees along the banks.
Flood Wall — Narrow, steel and concrete barrier erected to keep the Mississippi River out of New Orleans.
French Quarter — The original living area of the city, now known for Jazz, Cajun cuisine, and Carnival. Located at the highest point of the city.
Global Warming — In theory, the warming of the Earths atmosphere caused primarily by human use of fossil fuels (Politically sensitive; believed to be primarily in the control of man.) See Climate Change.
Hurricane Names — Hurricanes have been named since 1953. Currently, the World Meteorological Organization maintains the alphabetically sorted list of alternating men’s and women’s names. The list was exclusively female until 1979. Names are recycled every 6 years. Influential hurricanes have their names retired.
Hurricane — A tropical cyclone with a sustained surface wind is 74 mph (118 kmh) or more. A hurricane is called a typhoon in the Pacific Ocean.
Hurricane Scale — See Categories.
Hurricane Season — The hurricane season in the Atlantic runs from June 1 to November 30; in the Eastern Pacific, the season begins on May 15 and ends on November 30.
Hurricane Watch/Warning — An official warning that a hurricane is expected to hit a specific area of the coast with 36 hours (watch) or within 24 hours (warning).
Isobar — Isobars around a cyclone are lines on a map that signify the same barometric pressure.
Katrina — The 11th tropical storm of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season.
Knot — Wind speed equal to 1.15 Miles Per Hour (MPH) or 1.9 Kilometers Per Hour (KM/HR).
Lake Pontchatrain — Actually, an arm of the sea that borders on New Orleans. Lake Pontchatrain is half the size of the state of Rhode Island.
Levee — Colossal earthen barriers erected to keep water out of the city. Once breeched, levees hinder relief efforts by holding the water inside the city. New Orleans has 350 miles of hurricane levees; they were built to withstand a fast-moving Category 3 storm. Katrina was a Category 4+ storm.
National Guard — Military units organized at the state level to protect the citizens of an individual state.
Norlins — Local pronunciation of the name of the city of New Orleans.
Public Health Emergency — Cholera and typhoid are among the concerns caused by contaminated water.
Pumping Stations — Massive, yet old and inefficient pump houses that would keep any seepage out of New Orleans.
Recovery — To recover the dead after search and rescue operations are complete.
Relief and Response Effort — To provide food, medical supplies and shelter to refuges of a disaster.
Sandbag — Three- to twenty-thousand pound burlap-type containers dropped from Chinook helicopters to plug breaches in levee.
Saffir-Simpson Scale — Used to give an estimate of potential damage and flooding along the coast. Wind speed is the determining factor in the scale. See Category.
Search and Rescue — To search for survivors.
Storm Surge — Sudden rising of the sea over its usual level, preceding the arrival of a hurricane. The Thirty-foot surge on the Mississippi coastline was the highest ever recorded for North America.
Superdome — Home to the New Orleans Saints football team, the Sugar Bowl and numerous professional football championships (Super Bowls).
Tropical Depression — An area of intense thunderstorms becomes organized into a cyclone. Maximun sustained winds reach 34 knots. There is at least one ‘closed’ isobar with a decrease in barometric pressure in the center of the storm.
Tropical Storm — Sustained winds increase to up to 64 knots and the storm begins to look like a hurricane.
Vertical Evac — Vertical evacuation, taking refuge in the topfloors of a high-rise building. In this case, this sort of evacuation often proved fatal.
The world wide web, which turned 15 this week, has given us a fantastic outpouring of new words
FIFTEEN YEARS after the birth of the world wide web, the lines of battle are clear. On one side the still young culture of the internet — anarchic, playful, joyfully (and sometimes wilfully) inaccurate, global and uncontrollable; on the other, a paper-based set of priorities — precise, polite, often national in perspective and increasingly paranoid. The latter seeks to manage, limit and define the culture; the former delights in its resistance to regulation.
The battle rages in the conflict between Wikipedia, the sprawling internet encyclopaedia, and the Encyclopaedia Britannica, the canon versus the loose cannon. This week it erupted in the nursery, when the child-rearing guru Gina Ford threw a tantrum and launched her bizarre attempt to shut down the Mumsnet website because some of the mums had been rude about her.
But in no area of the culture is the collision more intense than over the English language, for the web has changed English more radically than any invention since paper, and much faster. According to Paul Payack, who runs the Global Language Monitor, there are currently 988,974 words in the English language, with thousands more emerging every month. By his calculation, English will adopt its one millionth word in late November. To put that statistic another way, for every French word, there are now ten in English.
That claim has enraged traditional lexicographers. The 20-volume OED has 301,100 entries, and purists point out that Mr Payack has little in the way of method and few criteria to define what really constitutes a word. But that, of course, is the point.
He found the remaining 687,874 words by scouring the internet. Every digital English dictionary was combed, before adding in the emerging words, the hybrids, Chinglish (Chinese-English), the slang, the linguistic odds and sods, and even Hollywords, terms created by the film industry. If a word is used in English, it was acceptable.
The nearest rival to English in sheer fecundity is Chinese, and with 1.3 billion Chinese now being officially urged to learn English, the result is nomogamosis (It is on the list: “A state of marital harmony; a condition in which spouses are well matched.”) and many, many offspring, some of them rather sweet. Drinktea, for example, is a sign on a shop door meaning closed, but also derives from the Mandarin for resting.
The so-called tipping point may have come in the mid-1990s at the same time as the invention of the first effective web browser, for ever since the web has served as a seedbed for language, for the cross-fertilisation and rapid evolution of words.
So far from debasing the language, the rapid expansion of English on the web may be enriching the mother tongue. Like Latin, it has developed different forms that bear little relation to one another: a speaker of Hinglish (Hindi-English) would have little to say to a Chinglish speaker. But while the root of Latin took centuries to grow its linguistic branches, modern non-standard English is evolving at fabulous speed. The language of the internet itself, the cyberisms that were once the preserve of a few web boffins, has simultaneous expanded into a new argot of words and idioms: Ancient or Classic Geek has given way to Modern Geek.
The web has revived the possibilities of word-coinage in a way not seen since Shakespearean times, when the language was gradually assuming its modern structure but was not yet codified into dictionaries (the first comprehensive English dictionary appeared in 1730). Then, as now, the lack of control, and the rapid absorption of new terms and ideas through exploration, colonisation and science, enabled a great flowering of words. Of the 24,000 words used by Shakespeare, perhaps 1,700 were his own inventions: besmirch, anchovy, shudder, impede.
Thanks to the internet, we are witnessing the second great age of the neologism, a fantastic outpouring of words and phrases to describe new ideas or reshape old ideas in novel forms of language. Today, a word does not need the slow spread of verbal usage or literature to gain acceptance. If a word works, the internet can breathe instant life into it.
You do not have to be Shakespeare to forge words. George Bush is constantly evolving new words, but no one should misunderestimate the ability of lesser wordsmiths to do likewise. So many words that ought to exist inexplicably do not. There should be a term for that momentary flash of embarrassment when a cell phone rings and you wonder if it is yours; and for the vague disappointment you feel when you think you are about to sneeze, take a deep breath and then don’t. (National Public Radio in the US recently held a competition to name this proto-sneeze and came up with “sniff-hanger”.) Why is there a word for déjà vu, but nothing to describe the opposite experience, far more common, of knowing something perfectly well but being quite unable to remember it?
Last year this newspaper reported the existence, in the Bantu language Tshiluba, of the long-needed word ilunga, meaning “a person who is ready to forgive any abuse for the first time, to tolerate it a second time, but never a third time”. Subsequent investigations suggested that the word may not exist in Tshiluba, but it exists now in English, as thousands of entries on the web attest, and the language is better for it.
Rather than fight the word loans and word borrowings, the strange hybrids and new coinages, we should welcome them. New words expand our world. They can even change it. If ilunga is the thrice-repeated offence that cannot be forgiven, then its opposite is an Arabic word, taraadin, meaning “I win, you win”, the face-saving way to end an argument. As bombs fall on southern Lebanon and missiles on northern Israel, the world could profit from learning a new language, in which ilunga is solved by taraadin.
Spread the word: English is unstoppable
By NEIL REYNOLDS, The Globe and Mail
OTTAWA — California-based linguist Paul Payack expects the English language to gain its one-millionth word this autumn. The language has come a long way indeed, as the English would say, in 400 years. In 1582, the English grammarian Richard Mulcaster could say that the language was “of small reach, stretching no further than this island of ours, nay not there over all.” In 1582, though, William Shakespeare married Ann Hathaway — and the language itself has since flourished as magnificently as the playwright himself. More than one billion people now speak it. Another billion people are learning it. Not bad, indeed.
The British Council, an independent charitable organization, says the English language now has special status of one kind or another in 75 countries. That one-third of the world’s books are published in English. That two-thirds of all scientists read English. That three-quarters of the world’s mail is written in English. That four-fifths of all electronic communications are in English. That people who spend time in Britain simply to learn English spend $2-billion a year doing it.
Language is a fascinating thing, the most complex of human achievements, spontaneously evolved, one unique word or expression at a time, without government control — for that matter, without government interest (aside from official language status). It is true that more than 40 countries have established academic police forces to protect their languages. But these are, for the most part, reactionary institutions that seek to reverse the past rather than invent the future. Cardinal Richelieu was the first of the language cops, founding the illustrious L’Académie française in 1634 with a mandate “to give rules to our language, and to render it pure and elegant.” Time travel would have been a simpler assignment. Once the great language of diplomacy, the French language has been going through rough times. Indeed, France deemed it necessary a few years ago to amend its constitution, specifying French as the official language of the republic. By its nature, language is decentralized, independent and anarchic. Only in exceptional circumstances, is it pure and elegant. It is almost always out of control.
In the 18th century, the English language almost became the American language, escaping by the very skin of its teeth — itself one of those inspired English-only phrases devised by the translators of the King James version of the Bible. (In contrast, the Douay Bible expresses Job’s lament for his wasted body with the literal assertion that “nothing but lips are left about my teeth.”) In the century between the Revolutionary and Civil wars, American references to “the American language” abounded. In 1780, American envoy John Adams could write from France to lobby Congress for an American language academy, directed by learned Americans and empowered to “correct and improve” the young country’s rude misuse of the language. “English is destined to be more generally the language of the world,” he wrote, “than Latin in a previous age and French in the present age.”
North America gave English room to roam. In Mr. Mulcaster’s 1582, English was spoken by perhaps four million people. In Mr. Adams’s 1780, by perhaps 12 million. In Noah Webster’s 1828, on publication of The American Dictionary of the English Language, by perhaps 50 million. A century later, in H.L. Mencken’s rambunctious 1920s, on his publication of The American Language, by perhaps 200 million. With two billion now speaking it or learning to speak it, we can credibly imagine a genuine global language.
Some linguists say that three or four dominant “language brands” will emerge — Chinese and Spanish are most frequently suggested as rival global languages. (In any case, Canada will be competitive. Of the 100 languages used in Canada, Chinese is already No. 3, spoken by one million people.) Language has always been closely connected to patriotism, and almost always to a particular country. The English have always regarded “the American language” as essentially barbaric. Inevitably, in the 19th century, Americans came to regard their distinctive English as a unique language. In 1838, Indiana instructed its state university “to instruct the youth of the Commonwealth in the American language.” In 1854, secretary of state William Marcy ordered U.S. diplomatic missions to use only “the American language.”
Fifteen years ago, Robert MacNeil, the Canadian who for many years co-anchored The MacNeil/Lehrer Report on PBS, wrote his evocative memoir Wordstruck as a love story with the English language. In the end, looking retrospectively from his mother’s home in Halifax to the Atlantic, he says simply: “This is where I was first struck by words. This is where they made me more than a Canadian, an Englishman, or an American; or Scottish, or Irish, or German — all things my forebears were. This is where I became what [dissident Russian poet] Joseph Brodsky calls ‘a citizen of the great English language.’ ” It is this sense of the language that most fully expresses its dynamic.
English is to language as capitalism is to economics. It is the language of laissez-faire, of enterprise — and, beyond all argument, of hope.
Beijing tops ObamaSpeak as the Top Teleword of the Year followed by ‘facts are stubborn things’, ‘it is what it is,’ and Phelpsian.
The Global Language Monitor’s Fifth Annual Analysis
Austin, Texas, USA.September 24, 2008. The Global Language Monitor (
www.LanguageMonitor.com) today announced the top words impacting Global English for the recently ended 2008 television season. The Top Teleword was Beijing as in Beijing Olympics, an appropriate honor for the most watched television program of all time followed by ObamaSpeak, John Adams’ phrase ‘facts are stubborn things’, the ubiquitous‘it is what it is,’ and Phelpsian.Rounding out the Top Ten were Third Screen, Vincible, Lip Synching, Lipstick (as ‘in on a pig’), and IPTV.
“As always, words stemming from Television’s three screens, impacted Global English in interesting, innovative, and always fascinating ways,” said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of GLM. “This year, two events dominated television, the Beijing Olympics and the US Presidential Elections”
The Top Telewords of the 2008 season with commentary follow:
1.Beijing: The Beijing Olympics were the most-watched television show of all time with some 4.7 billion global viewers.
2.ObamaSpeak:Words coined to describe the Obama Barack phenomenon, including obamamentum, obamabot, obamacize, obamarama, and obamaNation.
3.“It is, what it is”:Everywhere on the tube this year from “The Wire” to the Roger Clemons Steroid in Baseball Congressional hearings.
4.“Facts are stubborn things”: John Adams’ quaint turn of phrase for ‘it is what it is’.The John Adams biopic won the most Emmys ever for a single program.
5.Phelpsian:New word coined to describe the Phelpsian Pheat of winning eight golds in a single Olympics.
6.Third Screen:Watching Television on your TV (first screen), your computer (second screen), and now your mobile device, the third screen.
7.Vincible:The invincible New England Patriots prove vincible after all, with a shocking upset by the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII.
8.Lip Synching:The fate of Lin Miaoke, the little girl who didn’t sing the song the whole world sings in the Olympics opening ceremony.
9.Lipstick:On a pig or otherwise, a media sensation this year for a supposed characterization of Republican VP aspirant Sarah Pallin.
10.IPTV:Internet protocol-based television, the wave of the future.
The Top Telewords of previous years were:
2007:“Surge” from the Iraq War political and military strategy, “That’s Hot®” Paris Hilton’s popular expression that is now a registered trademark, and “D’oh!” from The Simpsons and The Simpsons Movie.
2006:‘Truthiness’ and ‘Wikiality’ from the Colbert Show followed by ‘Katrina’, ‘Katie,’ and ‘Dr. McDreamy’.
2005:‘Refugee’ from the coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, followed by ‘Desperation’ from Desperate Housewives and ‘Camp Cupcake’ from the on-going Martha Stewart follies.
2004:“You’re Fired!” edged “Mess O’ Potamia” followed by “Girlie Men,” “God,” and “Wardrobe Malfunction”.
Top Television Buzzwords of 2007
“Surge,” “That’s Hot” “D’oh!” & “Blackout”
Top Television Buzzwords Impacting English Language
In ’06, ‘Truthiness’ and ‘Wikiality’ were named Top Television Buzzwords followed by ‘Katrina’, ‘Katie,’ and ‘Dr. McDreamy’
San Diego. September 16, 2007. The Global Language Monitor (www.LanguageMonitor.com) named “Surge” from the Iraq War political and military strategy, “That’s Hot®” Paris Hilton’s popular expression that is now a registered trademark, “D’oh!” from The Simpsons and The Simpsons Movie, and “Blackout” from the Sopranos series finale as the top television buzzwords impacting Global English for the 2007 Season. Closely following are “YaTTA!” from Heroes and “McEmmys” from Grey’s Anatomy. Rounding out the Top Ten are “I like to have the answers before I ask the questions” from The Closer, “No miniskirts after 35!” from What Not to Wear, “Scranton” from The Office, “Oy vey!” from Criminal Minds, and “Peek, Copy and Save” from Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?
“This year’s annual list capture’s the spirit of the times, for better or for worse. Themes, stars and shows may change at an every quickening pace, but this only reflects the world in which we live, more than we’d ever like to admit”, said Paul JJ Payack, president and Chief Word Analyst of the Global Language Monitor. Payack also mentioned that the word surge is a very strong contender for overall Word of the Year to be announced by the Global Language Monitor in December.
The Television Buzzwords are nominated by GLM’s Language Police, volunteer language observers scattered the world over. The words are then run through the Predictive Quantities Indicator (PQI}, the proprietary algorithm that analyzes the global print and electronic media, the Internet, and blogosphere and then ranks the words according to year-over-year change, acceleration and directional momentum.
The Top TeleWORDS are released in conjunction with 59th Primetime Emmy Awards, broadcast on the Fox Television Network on Sunday, September 16, from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.
Top TellyWORDS for Impact Upon the English Language in 2007 with commentary follows.
1. Surge (Iraq War) – A military and political strategy, on the lips of every politician.
2. “That’s Hot®!” (Paris Hilton) – Hilton owns the trademark to the phrase “That’s hot,” which was registered on Feb. 13th. What’s next? Britney trademarking ‘public breakdown’.
3. D’oh (The Simpsons) – As in dough, as the Simpsons’ leap to the silver screen grosses $485 million and counting.
4. Blackout (The Sopranos) – The series-ending episode redefined the word ‘cliffhanger’ since there was no ‘hanging’ about the cliff in any way, shape or form, rather a sharp plunge into the abyss.
5. YaTTA! (Heroes) – YaTTA! narrowly beats out “WTF, is going to happen now?”
6. he McEmmys (Grey’s Anatomy Actors and Alumni) – Grey’s Anatomy cast and alumni (AKA McDreamy & Crew) have a host of prime-time nominations
7. “ I like to have the answers before I ask questions.” (The Closer) – Kyra Sedgwick’s trademark ‘sassiness’ on display.
8. “No miniskirts after 35.” (What Not to Wear) – … nor white shoes after Labor Day. Stacy London and Clinton Kelly dissect fashion victims (and what led them to their present dire circumstance).
9. Scranton, or is it Wilkes-Barre? (The Office) – The extended mockumentary located in this gritty Northeast Pennsylvania city.
10. Oy Vey! Criminal Minds – Mandy Patinkin deserts the set, yet again.
Bonus Words: Peek, Copy and Save (Are you smarter than a Fifth Grader?) – Solid advice for anyone, in most circumstances, especially after 5th grade.
Top Words for 2006, 2005 and 2004
In 2006, ‘Truthiness’ and ‘Wikiality’ were named Top Television Buzzwords followed by ‘Katrina’, ‘Katie,’ and ‘Dr. McDreamy’.
In 2005, ‘Refugee’ from the on-going coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina topped ‘Desperation’ from Desperate Housewives and ‘Camp Cupcake’ from the on-going Martha Stewart follies.
In 2004, “You’re Fired!” edged “Mess O’ Potamia” followed by “Girlie Men,” “God,” and “Wardrobe Malfunction”.
‘Truthiness’ and ‘Wikiality’ named Top Television Buzzwords of 2006 Followed by ‘Katrina’, ‘Katie,’ and ‘Dr. McDreamy’
The Annual Survey by the Global Language Monitor
Released in Conjunction With the Prime Time Emmy Awards
San Diego, Calif. August 27, 2006. ‘Truthiness’ from the multi-Emmy nominated ‘Colbert Report’ was named the Top TeleWORD of the year in The Global Language Monitor’s (HTTP://www.LanguageMonitor.com) annual survey of words from television that profoundly influenced the English Language. In an unprecedented move, ‘Wikiality,’ also from the Colbert Report was named No. 2. Closely following were ‘Katrina’ referring to the on-going stories about the hurricane’s devestating destruction, ‘Katie’ in regard to Katie Couric’s move into the top seat at CBS News, and ‘Dr. McDreamy’ from the break-out drama, ‘Grey’s Anatomy’.
Rounding out the Top Ten were ‘Bush’s War,’ heard often on the News, ‘Man of the Hours,’ citing ’24′s’ Keifer Sutherland, ‘Tourette’s,’ from ‘I have Tourette’s but Tourette’s doesn’t have me,’ ‘Dysfunctional’ from ‘The Office,’ and ‘Falling Starr,’ referring to the ‘View’s’ embattled Starr Jones.
This year’s Bonus Phrase is ‘You’re going to Hollywood!’ from Simon Cowell’s wunderkind ‘American Idol’.
“Television, once again, has helped to define our culture and its impact upon spoken English is profound,“ said Paul JJ Payack, President of the Global Language Monitor. “Some of these buzzwords will quickly pass, while others will be embedded in the language for years to come.” “Though ‘truthiness’ in some form has existed in the language for centuries, it could not have been revived in more relevant times than the early 21st century; while ‘wikiality’ can be observed even today, where Pluto has been voted out of the Solar System by a convention of Astronomers,” Payack concluded.
The San Diego-based media metrics and analysis company, The 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.
The Top TeleWORDS are released in conjunction with the 58th Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony, to be broadcast from Los Angeles on Sunday, August 28th, at 8:00 pm Eastern on the NBC Television Network.
The Top TeleWORDS for the 2005 – 2006 Television season with commentary, follow:
1. Truthiness — (Colbert Report) Truth unemcumbered by the facts.
2. Wikiality — (Colbert Report) Reality as determined by majority vote. See Pluto, the former planet. First time ever with two words from the same show.
3. Katrina — (The News) First hit of the 2005-’06 season; unfortunately a direct hit on New Orleans.
4. Katie — (CBS Evening News) Did we ever refer to Walter Crondkite as Wally or Dan Rather as Dannie? Will Katie help us redefine the term, gravitas?
5. Dr. McDreamy — (Grey’s Anatomy) Patrick Dempsey follows in a long line of television ‘dream-boat’ physicians dating back to ‘Dr. Kildare’.
6. Bush’s War — (Heard often on the News) Echoing the label bestowed upon Mr. Lincoln (Mr. Lincoln’s War) two centuries past. After his assassination and the end of what we now know as the Civil War, Lincoln rose steadily in stature.
7. Man of the hours — (24) Keifer Sutherland finally gets the nod.
8. Tourette’s — (I have Tourette’s but Tourette’s doesn’t have me) Replaces Tony Sholub’s OCD as the lesser known disease going mainstream this season.
9. Dysfunctional — (The Office) The office as family, dysfunctional family that is.
10. Falling Starr — (The View) Starr Jones that is, in her battle with BaBa Walters.
Bonus Phrase: ‘You’re going to Hollywood!’ — (American Idol) Simon Cowell’s wunderkind might actually win an Emmy this time around.
Last year: ‘Refugee’ from the on-going coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina topped ‘Desperation’ from Desperate Housewives and ‘Camp Cupcake’ from the on-going Martha Stewart follies.
The previous year “You’re Fired!” edged “Mess O’ Potamia” followed by “Girlie Men,” “God,” and “Wardrobe Malfunction”.
About the Global Language Monitor
San Diego, California-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. A worldwide assemblage of language professionals, teachers, wordsmiths and bibliophiles, supports the GLM to help monitor the latest trends in the evolution (and demise) of language, word usage and word choices. For more information, call 1.925.367.7557, send email to info@LanguageMonitor.com, or visit www.LanguageMonitor.com.
‘Refugee’ Tops ‘Desperation’ and ‘Camp Cupcake’ as Top Television Buzzword of the 2005
Year of Desperate Images Reflecting Harshness of Real Life Dominate TeleWORDS List
San Diego, California. October 13, 2005. ‘Refugee’ from the on-going coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina tops ‘Desperation’ from Desperate Housewives and ‘Camp Cupcake’ from the on-going Martha Stewart follies as the Top Television Buzzword (TeleWORD) for the 2004-05 season, according to the Global Language Monitor, the media tracking and analysis company. Close behind were ‘Reality TV’ from The Real World, etc., and ‘Curmudgeon’ from House. Rounding out the Top Ten were “Its what we do” from Stargate SG-1, ‘Flip Flop’ from the 2004 U.S. Presidential Elections, ‘Backstory’ from Lost, ‘Tsunami’ from the South Asian earthquake, and ‘mobisodes’ or one minute episodes for mobile devices.
Words no longer Hip include Youre fired from The Apprentice and Mess O Potamia from The Daily Show. Words With Legs include “Yadda, yadda, yadda! from Seinfeld.
“This years list was dominated by reality far outstripping reality programming bringing a world of woes into the global living room,” said Paul JJ Payack, president of The Global Language Monitor. “While desperation from Desperate Housewives began the television year in good fun, as the season progressed the world witnessed an on-going war, a tsunami, the death of a beloved Pope, and finally unanswered death and despair on the American Gulf Coast. Finally, the meaning of the word refugee has actually been altered by real-world horrors witnessed by hundreds of millions on live TV.”
The TeleWORDS List reflects those words and phrases that came to prominence during the 2004-05 television season or have had the greatest influence on the English Language. Words are nominated by a global panel of language experts and then analyzed by GLMs proprietary algorithm, the Predictive Quantities Indicator (PQI).
The Television Buzzword List (TeleWORDS) for the 2004-05 Season is released in conjunction with the 57th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, to be televised live on CBS on Sunday, September 18th from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. The complete list, with commentary, follows.
The Top TeleWORDS of the 2004-05 Television Season
TeleWORDS / Show / Comment
Show: Ongoing coverage of the aftermath of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina.
Comment: For millions, the word has now taken on a racial undertone and was subsequently replaced by evacuee and others.
Runners-up: Evacuee, displaced persons, Katrinees?
Show: Desperate Housewives/The Tsunami/Hurricane Katrina
Comment: Desperate Housewives began the television year in good fun, but as the year progressed the world witnessed an on-going war, a tsunami, the death of a beloved Pope, and finally unanswered death and despair on the American Gulf Coast.
3. Camp Cupcake
Show: The On-going Martha Stewart follies
Comment: The minimum security WV facility where Martha did her time.
Runner -Up: Ankle Bracelet
4. Reality TV
Show: The Real World, The Bachelor, Survivor Classic, The Simple Life, etc.
Comment: Real-world reality bested the manufactured kind by a long shot this television season.
Comment: Acerbic, caustic, antisocial, & mean-spirited; those are socially redeeming qualities of this brilliant physician.
6. “Its what we do.”
Show: Stargate SG-1
Comment: Stargate becomes the longest running Sci-Fi Series in the history of the medium.
7. Flip Flop
Show: The 2004 U.S. Presidential Elections
Comment: Formerly referred to gymnastic routines, pancakes, and dolphin acts; now transcends politics moving into pop culture.
Comment: Lost takes the story behind the story concept to the next level.
Show: The News
Comment: Before “The Tsunami” took a quarter of a million South Asian lives, most of the viewing audience had only a vague acquaintance with the word.
10. Mobisodes (Not another season of the Sopranos, but one-minute TV episodes designed specifically for mobile media.)
Show: Every ‘hip’ show worldwide.
Comment: Coming soon to a cell phone near you.
Words No Longer Hip
Word: “Youre Fired”
Show: The Apprentice
Comment: Top of last years TeleWORDS List, plunges in a precipitous decline.
Word: “Mess O Potamia”
Show: The Daily Show
Comment: Jon Stewart’s quip cuts a bit too close to reality these days.
Words With Legs
Words: “Yadda, yadda, yadda!”
Comment: During the summer, its repeats were besting Prime Time Network Comedies.
Largest Global Phenomenon of a Single Word:
Comment: American Idol writ large. Now more than two dozen Idol-type shows from South Africa to India.
Top Word From Down Under: Free to Air TV
Comment: For the first time, 2005 saw the cable industrys share of the TV market in the US, exceed that of Network Television.
Top TV Name in China: Mickey Mouse
Comment: Opening of the new Hong Kong Theme Park during Golden Week impacts the airwaves.
Coolest ‘unCool’ Series: New Zealands Fair Go
Comment: The show defends consumers against injustice, even battling (and winning) for a one-cent discrepancy
“You’re Fired!” Edges “Mess O’ Potamia” Atop Television Buzzwords (TeleWords) List for 2003-’04
Followed Closely “Girlie Men,” “God,” and “Wardrobe Malfunction”
Danville, California (September 16, 2004) “You’re Fired!”, Donald Trump’s trademark catchphrase from The Apprentice reality show tops the Television Buzzword List (TeleWords) for 2003-’04 Season according to the Global Language Monito ).
Close behind were “Mess O Potamia” from The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, “Girlie Men,” from Californias Gov. Schwarzenegger, “God,” from Joan of Arcadia and Angels in America, and “Wardrobe Malfunction,” from the recent Miss Universe Pageant as well as Super Bowl XXXVIII.
Rounding out the Top Ten were: “Infectious disease,” from the ever-expanding C.S.I franchise, “OCD” for Tony Shaloub’s trademark Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder from Monk, “The O.C.” as a geographic entity from The O.C., Extreme Makeover” from any of the reality-based show genre, and “Grim Reaper” from Dead Like Me.
Words No Longer Hip include “fahgeddaboutit” from The Sopranos, “Voted off the island”, from the Survivor series, and ” so ” as an intensive, as in ” so yesterday!” or “so not fair!” from Friends.
“Television has always had a disproportionate impact on culture, reverberating far beyond the confines of the studio world. This is true even in a year marked by extraordinary events,” said Paul JJ Payack, president of The Global Language Monitor. “Weve chosen the words and phrases most likely to have a lasting impact on popular culture; Youre Fired! is but one example that we hear repeated endlessly in the media and on the internet, while “Mess O Potamia” more closely reflected world events.”
Television Buzzword List (TeleWords) for 2003-’04 Season is released in conjunction with the 56th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards televised by the ABC Television Network on Sunday, September 19th from the Los Angeles Shrine Auditorium.
The complete list, with commentary, is shown below.
The Top TeleWords of the 2003-04 Television Season
TeleWords / Show / Comment
1. You’re Fired!
Show: The Apprentice
Comment: Donald Trump’s signature phrase
2. Mess O’ Potamia
Show: The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
Comment: More 18-49s get their news from Daily Show than mainstream media
3. Girlie Men
Show: Gov. Schwarzenegger of California
Comment: Transcends politics moving into pop culture
Show: Joan of Arcadia and Angels in America
Comment: Supreme Being made quite a comeback on the small screen
5. Wardrobe Malfunction
Show: Miss Universe Pageant; Super Bowl XXXVIII
Comment: Recent Miss Universe incident reinforces the phrase
6. Infectious Disease
Show: CSI Franchise
Comment: Evidently nothing can contain the CSI franchise
Comment: Tony Shaloub’s trademark Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
8. The O.C. as a geographic entity
Show: The O.C.
Comment: TV literally is a ‘geography of the mind’
9. Extreme Makeover
Show: From any of the reality-show genre
Comment: Both ‘extreme’ and ‘makeover,’ in any combination
10. Grim Reaper
Show: Dead Like Me
Comment: Hasn’t made such an impact in popular culture since Ingmar Bergman’s “Seventh Seal”
Words No Longer Hip
Show: The Sopranos
Comment: Forget about Fahgeddaboutit!
Word: Voted Off the Island
Show: Survivor Series
Comment: Voted off the TeleWord List
Word: ” so” as an intensive
Comment: As in “…so yesterday” or “…so not fair”
“Climate Change” is top phrase; “Heroes” is top name
Austin, TX November 19, 2009 – The Global Language Monitor has announced the Top Words of the Decade, as part of its annual global survey of the English language. The Top Words were ‘Global Warming’, 9/11, and Obama followed by Bailout, Evacuee, and Derivative; Google, Surge, Chinglish, and Tsunami followed. “Climate Change” was the top phrase, while “Heroes” was the top name; bin-Laden was No. 2.
“Looking at the first decade of the 21st century in words is a sober, even somber, event.” said Paul JJ Payack, President of The Global Language Monitor. “For a decade that began with such joy and hope, the words chosen depict a far more complicated and in many ways, tragic time. Nevertheless, signs of hope and renewal can be found in the overall lists.”
The words are culled from throughout the English-speaking world, which now numbers more than 1.58 billion speakers. Since GLM’s survey encompassed the years 2000 – 2009, the expanded lists included 25 Top Words, and 20 Top Phrases and 20 Top Names.
Each List contains the word, phrase or name in numerical order and the year when the word, phrase or name came to prominence. For example, the word ‘quagmire’ is hundreds of years old but it came into renewed prominence in 2004, about a year after the beginning of the Iraq War.
The Top Words of the Decade from 2000 – 2009
Word (Year) Comments
1. Global Warming (2000) Rated highly from Day One of the decade
2. 9/11 (2001) Another inauspicious start to the decade
3. Obama- (2008 )The US President’s name as a ‘root’ word or ‘word stem’
4. Bailout (2008) The Bank Bailout was but Act One of the crisis
5. Evacuee/refugee (2005) After Katrina, refugees became evacuees
6. Derivative (2007) Financial instrument or analytical tool that engendered the Meltdown
7. Google (2007) Founders misspelled actual word ‘googol’
8. Surge (2007) The strategy that effectively ended the Iraq War
9. Chinglish (2005) The Chinese-English Hybrid language growing larger as Chinese influence expands
10. Tsunami (2004) Southeast Asian Tsunami took 250,000 lives
11. H1N1 (2009) More commonly known as Swine Flu
12. Subprime ( 2007) Subprime mortgages were another bubble to burst
13. dot.com (2000) The Dot.com bubble engendered no lifelines, no bailouts
14. Y2K ( 2000) The Year 2000: all computers would turn to pumpkins at the strike of midnight
15. Misunderestimate (2002) One of the first and most enduring of Bushisms
16. Chad ( 2000) Those Florida voter punch card fragments that the presidency would turn aupon
17. Twitter (2008 ) A quarter of a billion references on Google
18. WMD (2002) Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction
19. Blog (2003) First called ‘web logs’ which contracted into blogs
20. Texting (2004) Sending 140 character text messages over cell phones
21. Slumdog (2008) Child inhabitants of Mumba’s slums
22. Sustainable (2006) The key to ‘Green’ living where natural resources are never depleted
23. Brokeback (2004) New term for ‘gay’ from he Hollywood film ‘Brokeback Mountain’
24. Quagmire (2004) Would Iraq War end up like Vietnam, another ‘quagmire’?
25. Truthiness (2006) Steven Colbert’s addition to the language appears to be a keeper
The Top Phrases of the Decade from 2000 – 2009
Word (Year) Comments
1. Climate Change (2000) Green words in every form dominant the decade
2. Financial Tsunami (2008) One quarter of the world’s wealth vanishes seemingly overnight
3. Ground Zero (2001) Site of 9/11terrorist attack in New York City
4. War on Terror (2001) Bush administration’s response to 9/11
5. Weapons of Mass Destruction (2003) Bush’s WMDs never found in Iraq or the Syrian desert
6. Swine Flu (2008) H1N1, please, so as not to offend the pork industry or religious sensitivities!
7. “Let’s Roll!” (2001) Todd Beamer’s last words before Flight 93 crashed into the PA countryside
8. Red State/Blue State (2004) Republican or Democratic control of states
9. Carbon footprint (2007) How much CO² does an activity produce?
10. Shock-and-awe (2003) Initial strategy of Iraq War
12. Category Four (2005) Force of Hurricane Katrina hitting New Orleans’ seawalls and levies
13. King of Pop (2000) Elvis was the King, MJ the King (of Pop)
14. “Stay the Course” (2004) Dubya’s off-stated guidance for Iraq War
15. “Yes, we can!” (2008) Obama’s winning campaign slogan
16. “Jai Ho!” (2008) Shout of joy from ‘Slumdog Millionaire’
17. “Out of the Mainstream” (2003) Complaint about any opposition’s political platform
18. Cloud computing (2007) Using the Internet as a large computational device
19. Threat Fatigue (2004) One too many terrorist threat alerts
20. Same-sex marriage (2003) Marriage of gay couples
The Top Names of the Decade from 2000 – 2009
Name (Year) Comment
1. Hereos (2001) Emergency responders who rushed into the Towers
2. bin Laden (2001) His Capture still top of mind for US Military
3. Ground Zero (2001) NY Times still will not capitalize the site as a formal name
4. Dubya (2000) George W. Bush, US President No. 43
5. The Clintons (Hillary & Bill) (2000) Looming on political landscape, though not as large
6. John Paul II (2000) Largest funeral in TV history attested to power
7. Obama (2008) Making an impact as the decade ends
8. Taliban (2000) Still the source of Afghan insurgency
9. Katrina (2004) Hurricane whose destruction of New Orleans is seared into minds around globe
10. Tiger Woods (2000) Top golfer earned about $1 Billion this decade
11. iPhone (2007) First product on this list
12. Paul Hewson (Bono) (2000) U2 Front man, NY Times Columnist, catalyst for African relief
13. Michael Jackson (2000) The King of Pop
14. Al Gore (2000) Nobel Prize winner, US Vice President, Climate Change purveyor
15. Saddham Hussein (2000) Iraqi dictator captured while hiding in a ‘spider hole’
16. Enron (2001) Seems like another era since this giant fell
17. Bollywood (2000) Mumbai’s answer to Hollywood
18. Facebook (2007) Another ubiquitous software product
19. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (2005) Iranian president since 2005
20. Vladimir Putin (2000) Russian leader since 2000
The analysis was completed on November 16th using GLM’s Predictive Quantities Indicator (PQI), the proprietary algorithm that tracks words and phrases in the media and on the Internet, now including blogs and social media (such as Twitter). The words are tracked in relation to frequency, contextual usage and appearance in global media outlets, factoring in long-term trends, short-term changes, momentum and velocity.
“Obama-” as a Top Word of 2008
Austin, TX December 5 2008 – In an election cycle known for its many twists and turns, another unexpected result pops up in calculating the Top Words of 2008. According to the analysis performed by the Global Language Monitor’s (www.Languagemonitor.com), the word ‘change’ was the Top Word of 2008, followed by ‘bailout’ and ‘Obamamania’.
“However, it is interesting to note,” said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of GLM, “that if you included ‘obama-’ as a root word or word stem, Obama- in its many forms (ObamaMania, Obamamentum, Obmanomics, Obamacize, Obamanation, and even O-phoria and Obamalot as a stand-in for JFK’s Camelot, etc.), would have overtaken both change, and bailout for the top spot.
In a year of footnotes, GLM felt it important to add this interesting linguistic twist to the historical record.”
Obama’s oft cited refrain, “Yes, we can!” was ranked third as Phrase of the Year, following “financial tsunami” and “global warming.”
Barack Obama was ranked the Top Name of the Year, followed by George W. Bush and Michael Phelps, the Olympic 8-time gold medal winner.
Change beats Bailout and Obamamaniaas top word of 2008
Financial Tsunamiis Top Phrase,BarackObamais Top NameAustin, TX December 1, 2008 – Change is the Top Word, Financial Tsunami is Top Phrase, and Barack Obama is Top Name atop the Global Language Monitor’s (www.Languagemonitor.com) annual global survey of the English language.The estimated number of words in the English language stands at 998,751, just 1,249 from the million-word mark.“Global English has been driven by three notable events during the course of 2008: The US Presidential Election, the Financial Tsunami, and the Beijing Olympics.” said Paul JJ Payack, President of The Global Language Monitor. For 2008 our words were culled from throughout the English-speaking world which now numbers some 1.58 billion speakers and includes such diverse cultures as India, China, Philippines, and the EuroZone.The analysis was completed using GLM’s Predictive Quantities Indicator (PQI), the proprietary algorithm that tracks words and phrases in the media and on the Internet. The words are tracked in relation to frequency, contextual usage and appearance in global media outlets, factoring in long-term trends, short-term changes, momentum and velocity.The top words for 2007 were all ‘green’ oriented: Hybrid was the Top Word, the Top Phrase was Climate Change, and the Top Name was Al Gore.(who won the Nobel Prize) for his efforts on Global Warming through ‘An Inconvenient Truth’. In an odd twist of history, Gore also won an academy award for the film.The Top Word for 2006 were ’sustainable,’ the Top Phrase was ‘Stay the Course’ (President Bush repeatedly describing his Iraq Strategy), and the Top Name was Dafur.
The Top Ten Words of 2008
Change – The top political buzzword of the 2008 US Presidential campaign.
Bailout – Would have been higher but was not in the media until Mid-September.
Obamamania – Describing the worldwide reaction to Barack Obama’s campaign and subsequent victory in the US presidential race.
Greenwashing – Repositioning a product to stress its Earth-friendly attributes.
Surge – Military and political strategy often cited as reducing violence in Iraq.
Derivative – Exotic financial instruments used to cleverly package junk-grade debt.
Subprime – Mortgages that were packaged as derivatives.
Foreclosure – The end-result of the sub-prime mess.
Phelpsian: New word coined to describe the Phelpsian Pheat of winning eight gold medals at the Beijing Olympics.
Chinglish – The often amusing Chinese/English language hybrid that Beijing tried to stamp out before the Olympics began.
The Top Ten Phrases of 2008
Financial Tsunami – Worldwide financial meltdown ultimately stemming from derivatives used to package subprime mortgages.
Global Warming – The No. 2 buzzword of the US Presidential Campaign.
Yes We Can — Yes, indeed, he could and he did.
Lame Duck – What happens when you wait 2 ½ months from election to inauguration.
Working Class Whites– Apparently, working Class Whites is used as a code word for whites who are working class.
“It is, what it is” – On everyone’s lips this year meaning ‘unfortunately, those are the facts’.
Lip Synching: The fate of Lin Miaoke, the little girl who didn’t sing the song the whole world sings in the Olympics opening ceremony.
Price of oil – Oil was supposed to topping out about now at $200/barrel.
Super Tuesday – When the race for the Democratic nomination was supposed to be decided.
Suddenness Happens – Top Chinglish Phrase from the Beijing Olympics.
The Top Ten Names of 2008
Barack Obama–. President-elect of the United States.
George W. Bush– Lame Duck, No. 43, The Decider.
Michael Phelps — The top name of the top televison spectacle of all time (the Beijing Olympics)
Hilary Clinton – She said ‘he can’t win;’ now she is his Secretary of State.
Vladimir Putin– The supreme leader of Russia, whatever his title.
Bono — U2’s front man also known for his efforts to raise awareness about AIDS in African, Third World debt and Unfair Trade practices.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad– Iran now claims 5,000 nuclear centrifuges.
Sarah Palin – Governor of Alaskaand vice presidential nominee of the Republican party.
John McCain– Soon to be the answer to a trivia question: Mondale, Dole, Dukakis ….
Beyonce – The R&B singer AKA as Sasha Fierce.
The Top Celeb Couple: Sarkozy and Carla Bruni – Big hit for his policies and her former supermodel status (replacing David Beckham and Posh Spice).
Top Words and Phrases of 2007
‘Hybrid’ bests ‘Surge’ as Top Word ‘Climate Change’ is Top Phrase‘Al Gore’ is Top NameTop Smiley is ?-) for ‘pirate’ San Diego, CA and Henderson, NV (December 13, 2007) ‘Hybrid’ is Top Word, ‘Climate Change’ is Top Phrase, and ‘Gore’ is Top Name atop the Global Language Monitor’s annual global survey of the English language. The Top Smiley is ?-) for ‘’pirate’. The most understood word on the planet is the word OK. And the estimated number of words in the English language is 995,115, just 4,884 from the million-word mark. The analysis was completed using GLM’s Predictive Quantities Indicator (PQI), the proprietary algorithm that tracks words and phrases in the media and on the Internet. The words are tracked in relation to frequency, contextual usage and appearance in global media outlets, factoring in long-term trends, short-term changes, momentum and velocity. GLM’s global network of language observers have nominated English-language words throughout the year from the world over. “The idea of planetary peril and impending climatic doom resonated throughout our linguistic analysis, with the various words and phrases garnering hundreds of millions of citations; in the end this narrowly outdistanced the word ‘surge’ that also had a disproportionate impact upon 2007′s linguistic landscape.” said Paul JJ Payack, President of The Global Language Monitor. For 2007 these words were culled from throughout the English-speaking world which now numbers some 1.35 billion speakers and and now includes such diverse cultures as China, the Philippines, and India. The Top Ten Words of 2007 1. Hybrid – Actually Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV). Chosen to represent all things green from biodiesel to wearing clothes made of soy, to global warming to living with a zero-carbon footprint. (From the Latin hybrida, a variation of ibrida for “mongrel,” specifically “offspring of a sow and a wild boar,”) 2. Surge – The controversial political and military strategy of winning the war in Iraq 3. Bubble – As in housing bubble, bursting. Also, Credit crunch. 4. Smirting – The new-found art of flirting while being banished outside a building for smoking. 5. Pb – The symbol lead, Atomic No. 82. The culprit in innumerable toy recalls this year. 6. Ideating – Latest in a long line of verbalisms: the descendent of concepting and efforting. 7. Omega-3 (Greek letter omega-3) — Also written as Omega 3; the healthy fatty acid. 8. Cleavage – As in ‘woman of cleavage,’ a touchy campaign subject. 9. Amigoization — Increasing Hispanic influence in California, the Southwest and into the Heartland. 10. Bluetooth – A technology to connect electronic devices by radio waves. The Top Smiley or Emoticon: ?-) The smiley for ‘pirate’, thanks to the Pirates of the Caribbean. The Top HollyWORD gone global: Brokeback — GLM’s top HollyWORD of 2006 now recognized by Chinese Ministry of Educations as new word for ‘gay,’ with ideograms for ‘broke’ and ‘back’. The Top Ten Phrases for 2007 1. Climate change – The warming of the Earth’s atmosphere due to natural cycles (politically sensitive; believed to be primarily outside the control of man) 2. ‘Ho-Ho-Ho’ – Santa’s trademark phrase. In Australia officials are suggesting ‘Ha-Ha-Ha’ because the former may scandalize the children. 3. All-time low – The phrase apparently grafted next to the president’s name in the media. 4. Theory of Everything – Garrett Lisi’s especially simple theory of the Universe that unites all forces and gravity in one elegant structure. 5. Planetary Peril – Al Gore’s trademark phrase to describe the Earth’s current condition. 6. Wristband Wagon – Wearing your heart on your … wrist. Pink against breast cancer, red against third-world poverty, ‘camouflage’ (or yellow as in yellow ribbon) to support the troops, 7. No Noising – Chinese/English hybrid (Chinglish) for ‘quiet please!’ 8. Fade to black – From the Soprano’s series finale to the Hollywood writers’ strike 9. Fossil Fuels – The enemy of the Greens: Coal, Oil, and Natural Gas (anything hydrocarbon-based). 10. Fashion tribe: Persons who follow a particular fashion with a tribe-like mindset: Examples include EMO, Hip-hop or Goth. The Top Ten Names for 2007 1. Al Gore – Conveniently, doesn’t need the presidency to top the list. 2. The Decider — George W. Bush, still president after all these years. 3. Bono – U2’s front man out in front on Third World debt relief. 4. Obama & Hillary — Barack’s name now qualifies as a buzzword; quite unusual, though Hil comes close. 5. Hugo Chavez – The Gadfly of Latin America 6. Vladimir Putin — The supreme leader (President, Prime Minister, whatever) of the Russian Federation. 7. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — Iranian President suggests moving Israel to Europe. 8. Pope Benedict XVI — continues to engage Muslim leadership in thoughtful discussions. 9. David Beckham and Posh Spice – Yet another ‘new’ type of Hollywood power couple. 10. Fidel Castro – The head one of the few remaining Communist states lives yet another year. The Most Understood Word on the Planet: O.K. Popularized by US President (1837 -1841) Martin Van Buren’s nickname, Old Kinderhook, from his birthplace in New York State. His re-election slogan was ‘Martin Van Buren is O.K’. The Number of Words in the English Language: 995,116 Estimated as of Monday, December 10, 2007 11:16 am Pacific
The Top Words of 2006
‘Sustainable’ is Top Word
‘Stay the Course’ is Top Catchphrase
‘Darfur’ is Top Name, and
‘Yoof Speak’ is Top Youth Speak
San Diego, California (January 1, 2007) ‘Sustainable’ is Top Word, ‘Stay the Course’ is Top Catchphrase, ‘Darfur’ is the Top Name, and ‘Yoof Speak’ is Top Youth Speak atop the Global Laanguage Monitor’s Annual List . ‘Sustainable,’ ‘Stay the Course,’ and ‘Darfur’ were chosen as the Top Word, Phrase, and Name of the year by the Global Language Monitor (www.LanguageMonitor.com) in its annual global survey. “In 2006 the English Language grew ever more global with some 1,300,000,000 speakers using it as their first, second, business, or technical tongue. Additionally, for the first time, we’ve included emoticons and SMS (or text messages) in our lists which signify yet another fascinating trend in the rise of Global English,” said Paul JJ Payack, President of The Global Language Monitor. The 2006 lists include words from culled from around the English-speaking world including India, Singapore, China, Australia, and the US and UK.” GLM’s staff and a global network of voluntary language observers, have nominated English-language words from the world over. The Top Ten Words of 2006 with commentary follow. 1. Sustainable – Originally a ‘green’ term has moved into the mainstream meaning ‘self-generating’ as in ‘wind power is a sustainable power supply’. Can apply to populations, marriages, agriculture, economies, and the like. The opposite of ‘disposable’. 2. Infonaut – Those who blithely travel along the ‘infobahn’. 3. Hiki Komori – One million young Japanese men who avoid intense societal pressures by withdrawing into their own rooms (and worlds) rarely venturing outside. 4. Planemo — Planets that didn’t make the cut in 2006 as sustainable planets. Pluto was demoted to a planemo. 5. Netroots — The activists who have transformed the practice of fundraising and getting out the vote – through cyberspace. 6. Londonistan – Nickname for London as its Asian population swells. 7. Brokeback (Mountain)– A cultural phenomenon (Brokeback, Brokedown, etc.) with almost a million references to Brokeback jokes alone on Google. 8. Ethanol – Proxy for all things ‘green’ and energy independence. 9. Corruption – As in ‘Culture of’; analysis of mid-term elections suggests this was the key for the turnover of the House. 10. Chinese (adj.) – All things Chinese currently in ascendance. The Top Words for 2005 were: 1. Refugee — Though the word was considered politically incorrect in the US, ‘refugees’ were often considered the lucky ones in streaming away from a series of global catastrophes unmatched in recent memory. 2. Tsunami — From the Japanese tsu nami for ‘harbor wave’, few recognized the word before disaster struck on Christmas Day, 2004, but the word subsequently flooded with unprecedented (and sustained) media coverage. 3. Poppa/Papa/Pope — (Italian, Portuguese, English, many others). The death of beloved Pope John Paul II kept the words on the lips of the faithful around the world. The Top Catchphrases for 2006 with commentary follow. 1. Stay the Course – Declared inoperative as the situation in Iraq slides into the abyss. 2. If I Did it – GLM traced nearly 10,000 news stories about O.J.’s new book within 36 hours of its announcement. The book was almost immediately withdrawn by its publisher. 3. # – ) The ‘emoticon’ way of saying ‘wasted’. 4. Airline Pulp – The Chinglish (Chinese/English Hybrid) way of describing food served aboard an airliner. We think this one is a keeper. 5. Serial Texter – Though rarely used by adults, texting has become one of the predominant methods of communication among the world’s youth, with many texting hundreds of messages a day. You can even subscribe to serialized SMS (short message service) ‘novels’. 6. Global Warming – Eliminate the political controversy and the fact remains that 10,000 years ago New York City was under 5,000 feet of ice. 7. Keeping Parents Clueless – Or KPC: The ‘instant message’ way of telling friends that while parents might be reading over their shoulders, they are nevertheless being kept uniformed. 8. Brokeback Mountain – This movie title became the center of hundreds of late night jokes. Even Dick Chaney was featured on the cover art of the New Yorker with a Brokeback theme. 9. Come and Get it Fast – McDonald’s created this Chinese phrase as a ready translation of ‘fast food’. 10. “You’re going to Hollywood!” – After five years, this phrase from American Idol, is more popular than ever. The Top Catchphrases for 2005 were: 1. Out of the Mainstream — Used to describe the ideology of any political opponent. 2. Bird Flu/Avian Flu — the H5N1 strain of Flu that resembles that of the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic where 60 million died. 3. Politically Correct — The Political Correctness Movement arose as a Global Phenomenon in 2005. The Top Ten Names for 2006 with commentary follow. 1. Darfur – First time a country or region heads the list. 2. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – Unfettered President of Iran. 3. Bono – Quintessential rock star, front man for the band U2, turned humanitarian. 4. George Bush – Received an old fashioned ‘whuppin’ in the mid-Term elections; still attempting to turn the tide in his last 24 months in office. 5. Kofi Annan – Departing head of the UN, both revered and reviled. 6. Joseph Ratzinger – Pope Benedict XVI turned Muslim heads by quoting a Renaissance scholar with a less than favorable opinion of Islam. 7. Brangelina – Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie as a new type of Hollywood power couple. 8. Saddam Hussein – Hanging marks the end of one of the most brutal dictatorships in recent memory. 9. Fidel Castro – Still lives on as the head of one of the few remaining Communist states, some fifty years after the Cuban Revolution. 10. Hugo Chávez – Expressed less than favorable opinion of President Bush at the UN. The Top Names for 2005 were: 1. (Acts of) God: The world watches helplessly as a superpower is humbled as one of its great cities (New Orleans) is laid asunder (Hurricane Katrina). 2. Tsunami snuffs out nearly 300,000 lives, and an earthquake takes another 200,000 (Kashmir). A Higher Power, indeed. 3. Katrina: Greek (katharos) for ‘pure’. Before the hurricane, the name was most famously borne by two saints, Empress Catherine the Great of Russia, and three of Henry VIII’s wives. The Top Ten Global YouthSpeak Words for 2006 with commentary follow. 1. Yoof Speak – Pan-Asian term for YouthSpeak. 2. Ballin’ – Doing well; fine; as in he’s really ballin’ now. 3. Stick Ice – Chinese YouthSpeak for ‘popsicle’ or ice cream cone. 4. ii – Siigniifiies the text messaging style of doubliing the letter ii wherever iit iis found. (Very gee or preppy). 5. Ya-ya papaya – Snooty person (Singlish from Singapore). 6. 1 – From the U2 song One Love. Sign-off to Instant Messages. 7. =^..^= The emoticon representing a kitty. 8. Get up One’s Nose – Irritates, as in ‘He gets up my nose!’ (UK). 9. LMAO – Texting abbreviation for Laughed My Ass Off. 10. Yobbo – An unrefined or loutish youth (Aussie/UK). The Top Global YouthSpeak Words for 2005 were: 1. Crunk — A Southern variation of hip hop music; also meaning fun or amped. 2. Mang — Variation of man, as in “S’up, mang?” 3. A’ight — All Right, “That girl is nice, she’s a’ight”. The Most Frequently Spoken Word on the Planet: O.K. Popularized by US President (1837 -1841) Martin Van Buren’s nickname, Old Kinderhook from his birthplace in New York State. His re-election slogan was ‘Martin Van Buren is O.K’. Didn’t you ever wonder why a simple word can be spelled in capital letters followed by periods? Though the undoubtedly word appeared in earlier variations, this is the event that solidified its position in the language. The Number of Words in the English Language: 991,833 Estimate Wednesday, December 30, 2006 10:34 PM Pacific. Total Number of English Speakers: 1,300,000,000
Top Word Lists of 2005
San Diego, California (December 16, 2005. Refugee, Outside the Mainstream, and (Acts of) God were selected as leading the Top Word, Phrase and Name Lists of 2005, released earlier today by the Global Language Monitor in its annual worldwide survey. The Global Language Monitor (GLM) publishes Year 2005 lists regarding: The Top Words, Top Phrases, Top Names, Global Youth Speak, as well as the Top Word Spoken on the Planet.
The Top Words as Viewed from China “2005 was the year we saw a convergence of a number sometimescontradictory language trends: the major global media became more pervasive yet actually less persuasive; the language spoken by the youth of the world is converging at an ever-increasing rate; and the Political Correctness movement become a truly global phenomenon,” said Paul JJ Payack, President of The Global Language Monitor (GLM). The year has been a vibrant one for language, rife with examples that have been nominated by the GLM’s Language Police, volunteer language observers from the world over. The Top Ten Words of 2005: 1. Refugee: Though the word was considered politically incorrect in the US, ‘refugees’ were often considered the lucky ones in streaming away from a series of global catastrophes unmatched in recent memory. 2. Tsunami: From the Japanese tsu nami for ‘harbor wave’, few recognized the word before disaster struck on Christmas Day, 2004, but the word subsequently flooded with unprecedented (and sustained) media coverage. 3. Poppa/Papa/Pope: (Italian, Portuguese, English, many others). The death of beloved Pope John Paul II kept the words on the lips of the faithful around the world. 4. Chinglish: The new second language of China from the Chinglish formation: CHINese + EngLISH. 5. H5N1: A looming global pandemic that could dwarf the Bubonic Plague of the Middle Ages (and AIDS) boggles the comtemporary imagination. 6. Recaille: A quick trip around the Romance languages (French jargon, scum; Spanish, rabble or swine; Italian, worthless dregs) illustrates the full freight of the word used to describe youthful French rioters of North African and Muslim descent. 7. Katrina: Name will become synonymous with natural forces responsible for the total and utter descruction of a city. 8. Wiki: Internet buzzword (from the Hawai’ian wiki wiki for ‘quick, quick’) that describes collaboration software where anyone can contribute to the on-going effort. 9. SMS: Short Message Service. The world’s youth sent over a trillion text messages in 2005. Currently being texted are full-length novels, news, private messages and everything in between. 10. Insurgent: Politically neutral term used to describe enemy combatants. Last year the Top Words words were incivility, Red States/Blue States, and Blogosphere. The Top Ten Phrases of 2005: 1. Out of the Mainstream: Used to describe the ideology of any political opponent. 2. Bird Flu/Avian Flu: the H5N1 strain of Flu that resembles that of the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic where 60 million died. 3. Politically Correct: Emerges as a worldwide phenomenon. 4. North/South Divide: In the US it might be Red States and Blue States but globally the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ are divided by a geographical if not psychological boundary. 5. Purple Finger/Thumb: The badge of honor worn by Iraqi voters proving that they voted in their ground-breaking elections. 6. Climate Change: (Or Global Warming.) No matter what your political persuasion, the fact remains that New York City was under 5,000 feet of ice some 20,000 years ago. 7. String Theory: The idea that the universe is actually constructed of 11-dimensional, pulsating planes of existence. 8. The Golden Quatrilateral: India’s new superhighway system that links the key cities of the Subcontinent. 9. Jumping the Couch: Apparently losing complete emotional control; made popular by the escapades of Tom Cruise on the Oprah television show. 10. Deferred Success: The idea introduced in the UK that there is no such thing as failure, only deferred success. Last year the Top Phrases were Red States/Blue States, Moral Values, and Two Americas. The Top Ten Names of 2005: 1. (Acts of) God: The world watches helplessly as a superpower is humbled as one of its great cities (New Orleans) is laid asunder (Hurricane Katrina). 2. Tsunami snuffs out nearly 300,000 lives, and an earthquake takes another 200,000 (Kashmir). A Higher Power, indeed. 3. Katrina: Greek (katharos) for ‘pure’. Before the hurricane, the name was most famously borne by two saints, Empress Catherine the Great of Russia, and three of Henry VIII’s wives. 4. John Paul II: The death of beloved Pope John Paul II kept his name on the lips of the faithful around the world. 5. Wen Jiabao: Premier of the People’s Republic of China since March 2003; leading perhaps the largest economic transformation in history. 6. Saddham Hussein: Should re-read Karl Marx — the first time is history, the second but farce. 7. Dubya: Every more ‘weeble-like’: Dubya wobbles but he won’t fall down. 8. Oprah: Now a global phenomenon with an ever-expanding media (and charitable) empire. 9. Shakira: The Columbian songstress is captivating ever wider circles. 10. John Roberts: New Chief Justice of the American Supreme Court. Bonus: Mahmud Ahmadi-nejad: President of Iran since August 2005; he has recently suggest that the Jewish Homeland be moved to Europe (or Alaska). Last year the Top Names were Dubya Rove (W. and Karl Rove), Mel (Gibson) (Michael) Moore, and Saddam Hussein. Top Global Musical Terms: 1. Reggaeton (pronounced Reggae-TONE): Part Latin, part hip hop, with liberal helpings of Dancehall and Caribbean music thrown in for good measure. Several Reggaeton radio staples this year made their way into the public consciousness. 2. Baile (pronounced Bye-Lay) Funk: Brazilian dance music that has gained popularity worldwide, championed by such trend-setters as Norman Cook in the UK, and Philadelphia DJ Diplo. 3. Podcast: New broadcast medium; think of it as Tivo for your radio. Even your nighbor is podcasting. 4: Rootkit: Thanks to an overzealous copy-protection scheme, thousands of music fans who tried to encode Sony artists’ music onto their computer unwittingly installing a malicious piece of code that exposed their computers to attack. After intense media scrutiny and public outcry, Sony recalled the CD’s from shelves and offered free downloads of the affected albums. 5. Live 8: Millions of people tuned in to the sequel to Sir Bob Geldoff’s1985 Live Aid benefit, this time to raise awareness of poverty and Third World debt and to pressure countries in the G8 to do something about it. The Top Ten Global YouthSpeak Words: 1. Crunk: A Southern variation of hip hop music; also meaning fun or amped. 2. Mang: Variation of man, as in “S’up, mang?” 3. A’ight: All Right, “That girl is nice, she’s a’ight” 4. Mad: A lot; “She has mad money” 5. Props: Cheers, as in “He gets mad props!” 6. Bizznizzle: This term for” business” is part of the Snoop Dogg/Sean John-inspired lexicon, as in “None of your bizznizzle!’ 7. Fully: In Australia an intensive, as in ‘fully sick’. 8. Fundoo: In India, Hindi for cool 9. Brill! From the UK, the shortened form of brilliant! 10. “s’up”: Another in an apparently endless number of Whazzup? permutations. Southern California YouthSpeak Bonus: Morphing any single syllable word into 3, 4 or even 5 syllables. Last year the Top YouthSpeak terms were: Word, Peace (or Peace out), and Proper. The Most Recognized Word on the Planet: O.K. (Popularized by US President (1837 -1841) Martin Van Buren’s nickname, Old Kinderhook from his birthplace in New York State. His re-election slogan was ‘Martin Van Buren is O.K’. Didn’t you ever wonder why a simple word can be spelled in capital letters followed by periods? Though the undoubtedly word appeared earlier, this is the event that solidified its position in the language.)