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Top Word of 2009: Twitter


Followed by Obama, H1N1, Stimulus, and Vampire

“King of Pop” is Top Phrase; “Obama” is top name

Austin, TX November 29, 2009 – The Global Language Monitor has announced that Twitter is the Top Word of 2009 in its annual global survey of the English language.  Twittered was followed by Obama, H1N1, Stimulus, and Vampire. The near-ubiquitous suffix, 2.0, was No. 6, with Deficit, Hadron the object of study of CERN’s new atom smasher, Healthcare, and Transparency rounded out the Top 10.

“In a year dominated by world-shaking political events, a pandemic, the after effects of a financial tsunami and the death of a revered pop icon, the word Twitter stands above all the other words.  Twitter represents a new form of social interaction, where all communication is reduced to 140 characters,” said Paul JJ Payack, President of The Global Language Monitor.  “Being limited to strict formats did wonders for the sonnet and haiku.  One wonders where this highly impractical word-limit will lead as the future unfolds.”

Read about it in the Guardian:  Twitter declared top word of 2009

WHY twitter is the most popular word of 2009 at the Huffington Post

CNET’s Don Reisinger on twitter

Mashable’s take: what else does social media have to conquer?

What it means that twitter is the 2009 Word of the Year (WeberShandwick)

The Poetry of Social Networks

The Top Words are culled from throughout the English-speaking world, which now numbers more than 1.58 billion speakers.

The Top Words of 2009

Rank/Word/Comments

1.         Twitter — The ability to encapsulate human thought in 140 characters

2.         Obama — The word stem transforms into scores of new words like ObamaCare

3.         H1N1 — The formal (and politically correct) name for Swine Flu

4.         Stimulus — The $800 billion aid package meant to help mend the US economy

5.         Vampire — Vampires are very much en vogue, now the symbol of unrequited love

6.         2.0 — The 2.0 suffix is attached to the next generation of everything

7.         Deficit — Lessons from history are dire warnings here

8.         Hadron — Ephemeral particles subject to collision in the Large Hadron Collider

9.         Healthcare — The direction of which is the subject of intense debate in the US

10.        Transparency — Elusive goal for which many 21st c. governments are striving

11.        Outrage — In response to large bonuses handed out to ‘bailed-out’ companies

12.        Bonus — The incentive pay packages that came to symbolize greed and excess

13.        Unemployed — And underemployed amount to close to 20% of US workforce

14.        Foreclosure — Forced eviction for not keeping up with the mortgage payments

15.        Cartel — In Mexico, at the center of the battle over drug trafficking

The Top Phrases of 2009

Rank/Phrase/Comments

1.         King of Pop –Elvis was ‘The King;’ MJ had to settle for ‘King of Pop’

2.         Obama-mania — One of the scores of words from the Obama-word stem

3.         Climate Change — Considered politically neutral compared to global warming

4.         Swine Flu — Popular name for the illness caused by the H1N1 virus

5.         Too Large to Fail — Institutions that are deemed necessary for financial stability

6.         Cloud Computing — Using the Internet for a variety of computer services

7.         Public Option — The ability to buy health insurance from a government entity

8.         Jai Ho! — A Hindi shout of joy or accomplishment

9.         Mayan Calendar — Consists of various ‘cycles,’ one of which ends on 12/21/2012

10.       God Particle — The hadron, believed to hold the secrets of the Big Bang

The Top Names of 2009

Rank/Name/Comments

1.         Barack Obama — It was Obama’s year, though MJ nearly eclipsed in the end

2.         Michael Jackson — Eclipses Obama on internet though lags in traditional media

3.         Mobama — Mrs. Obama, sometimes as a fashion Icon

4.         Large Hadron Collider — The Trillion dollar ‘aton smasher’ buried outside Geneva

5.         Neda Agha Sultan — Iranian woman killed in the post-election demonstrations

6.         Nancy Pelosi –The Democratic Speaker of the US House

7.         M.  Ahmadinejad — The president of Iran, once again

8.         Hamid Karzai — The winner of Afghanistan’s disputed election

9.         Rahm Emmanuel — Bringing ‘Chicago-style politics’ to the Administration

10.       Sonia Sotomayor — The first Hispanic woman on the US Supreme Court

The analysis was completed in late November 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. 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 of the Decade were Global Warming, 9/11, and Obama outdistance Bailout, Evacuee, and Derivative; Google, Surge, Chinglish, and Tsunami followed.  “Climate Change” was top phrase; “Heroes” was top name.

For Previous Words of the Year, go here.

Top Words of the Decade (2000-2009)

“Global Warming,” “9/11” and “Obama” are Top Words,

“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.

Read the the story in the London Telegraph

“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.

To see the Top Words of the individual years of the 21st century, go here.

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

Also worth noting:  ‘Embedded’ (2003) to embed reporters with US Troops

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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

11. Ponzi Scheme (2009) Madoff’s strategy reaped billions & heartache

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

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The Top Names of the Decade from 2000 – 2009

Name (Year) Comments

1. Heroes (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

Also worth noting:  ’Wikipedia’ (2006) The user-generated compendium of all knowledge

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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.

Top 225 US Colleges Ranked by MediaBuzz

November 2009 Report

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Michigan and MIT displace Harvard atop Media Buzz Ranking

—Harvard declines 20%; endowment troubles cited

—Public Ivies and Technology-focused institutions thrive

Wellesley tops Colorado and Williams among colleges

—First Women’s College atop Liberal Arts Rankings

—Liberal Arts colleges hold their own on Media Buzz

First Rankings to Include Online/For Profit, Business, Technology, Art, Design and Music Schools

States Ranked by Number of Top Colleges (you might be surprized!)

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Read:  Harvard Brand Takes a Hit in Tough Economic Times

Listen to:  the article in English from China Daily

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Austin, Texas November 9, 2009. In an exclusive TrendTopper MediaBuzz™ analysis of the nation’s colleges and universities, the Global Language Monitor has ranked the nation’s Top 200 colleges and universities according their appearance in the global print and electronic media, on the Internet throughout the blogosphere, and including social media such as Twitter. The GLM rankings were also the first to include specialty schools, such as Art, Business, Music and Engineering schools, as well as online universities.

Read the Reaction from MichiganHarvardYale and Wisconsin

In the University category, there appeared to be a ‘flight to quality’ with the consumer perception of quality being the price-sensitive ‘public ivies’ and technology-centered schools, epitomized by the University of Michigan moving up three places to the top spot. Harvard saw a decline in Media Buzz citations of some 20%, perhaps reflecting its endowment taking an $11 billion hit including some $1.8 billion from the general fund. Other major movers include MIT jumping from No. 16 to No. 2 affirmed the technology trend, North Carolina, another public ivy, moved into the Top Ten, with California—Berkeley moving from No.10 to No. 6.

In the College category, Wellesley overtook Colorado College, Williams and Amherst to claim the No. 1 position, a first for a women’s college. Pomona College, one of California’s Claremont Colleges re-emerged in the Top Ten, and Eugene Lang College of New School University debuted at a very strong No. 9. Overall the College Media Buzz was generally up in contrast to that of the private schools on the Universities list.

“This year we’ve witnessed the impact the Global Financial Restructuring has had upon the US higher education system. On the University level there has been a small but dramatic reordering of the hierarchy, which has remained virtually unshaken for many years,” said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst at GLM. “However, Liberal arts colleges, the public ivies, and engineering-focused schools appear to have held onto, or actually increased their ‘brand equity’.”

Click here for States Ranked by Number of Top Colleges

This List just might surprise you!

Since TrendTopper MediaBuzz ranks overall media awareness and strength of a school’s ‘brand’ or reputation, the Global Language Monitor included specialty schools, such as Art, Business, Design, Music and Engineering schools, as well as online universities. All these were included in the College category with the exception of the online university, which was assigned to the University category.

The Top Specialty schools listed in their categories as well as overall rank are listed below.

• The Top Business school was Babson College was the Top Business (67 overall, college).

• The Top Art and Design schools were Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) (27 overall, college), Pratt Institute (28 overall, college), and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (47 overall, college).

• The Top Engineering school was The Cooper Union (38 overall, college).

• The Top Music Schools were the Julliard School (50 overall, college), the New England Conservatory of Music (96 overall, college), and Berklee College (99 overall, college).

• The Top Online University was the University of Phoenix, USA (37 overall, university).

• The Top Christian was Wheaton College, IL (16 overall, college),

• The Top Military Academies were the United States Naval Academy (20 overall, college), the United States Military Academy (48 overall, college) and the United States Air Force Academy (61 overall, college).

For the complete list of the top Specialty schools, go here.

The Top Twenty-five Universities are listed here.

1 University of Michigan—Ann Arbor, MI
2 Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MA
3 Harvard University, MA
4 Columbia University, NY
5 University of Chicago, IL
6 University of California—Berkeley, CA
7 University of Wisconsin—Madison , WI
8 Stanford University, CA
9 University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill, NC
10 Cornell University, NY
11 Yale University, CT
12 Princeton University, NJ
13 University of Pennsylvania, PA
14 University of California—Los Angeles, CA
15 University of Washington, WA
16 University of Minnesota, MN
17 New York University, NY
18 University of California—San Diego, CA
19 Johns Hopkins University, MD
20 Ohio State University—Columbus, OH
21 University of Virginia, VA
22 U. of California, Davis, CA
23 Georgia Institute of Technology, GA
24 Duke University, NC
25 Boston University, MA

For the full list of Universities, go here.

The Top Twenty-five Colleges are listed here.

1 Wellesley College, MA
2 Williams College, MA
3 Colorado College, CO
4 Oberlin College, OH
5 Amherst College, MA
6 Pomona College, CA
7 Middlebury College, VT
8 Union College, NY
9 Eugene Lang College, NY
10 University of Richmond, VA
11 Vassar College, NY
12 Bowdoin College, ME
13 Bryn Mawr College, PA
14 Connecticut College, CT
15 Bucknell University, PA
16 Wheaton College IL
17 Hamilton College, NY
18 Barnard College, NY
19 Dickinson College, PA
20 United States Naval Academy, MD
21 Washington & Lee University, VA
22 Colgate University, NY
23 Carleton College, MN
24 Bates College, ME
25 Willamette University, OR

For the full list of Colleges, go here.

The Top 200 Colleges and Universities were also ranked by Media Momentum, defined as largest change in Media Buzz from the end of 2008, and the largest change in media citations in the previous 90 days. The analysis was completed on November 1, 2009

GLM used its proprietary Predictive Quantities Indicator (PQI) software for the TrendTopper MediaBuzz Analysis. GLM used the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s classifications as the basis to distinguish between Universities and Liberal Arts Colleges. The schools were ranked in late October, with the last day of 2008 as the base, with two interim snapshots in 2009.

The Global Language Monitor also provides the TrendTopper Reputation Management Service that helps institutions differentiate themselves among their competitors.  TTRMS does not influence the rankings in any way.  For more information, go to www.TrendTopper.com or call 925.367.7557.

The complete report is available for download.

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