Global Economic Restructuring


Name current crisis, ‘Global Economic Restructuring’

To more precisely describe current economic condition

To remove emotional freight from the debate

Austin, TX February 17, 2009 – Earlier this month we noted that words of despair and fear of the Global Economic Meltdown have been drowning out those of ‘Hope’ in the Global Media since Obama’s Election as President of the United States on November 4, 2008.The period of the analysis covered 90 days, ending February 3, 2009.

Since that time, the language describing the current financial situation from the administration, the congress and the pundits as reflected in the Global Media has become even more severe.Even a cursory review of the contemporary media bears this out.The favored descriptions include:

  • Catastrophe,
  • Depression, as in full-blown or impending
  • Disaster,
  • Collapse, asin Total
  • Meltdown,
  • Tsunami, as in Financial Tsunami,
  • Crisis,
  • Unprecedented, and
  • Panic, among others.

When describing the entire cycle — from years of deregulation to the housing bubble to the banking bailout and credit squeeze — the emerging consensus seems to be ‘financial meltdown’.Earlier, ‘financial tsunami,’ was favored by some because it aptly described the suddenness, the violence, and the unexpected nature of the potential ‘collapse’ of the global financial system.

However, thus far no description satisfies the two criteria that are called for here: 1) to adequately describe the enormity of the situation, and (2) to do so in an objective, non-emotional manner.

History, of course, will have the ultimate say in the matter.And History usually settles on the dispassionate.All the contemporary names for the conflict between the American North and the South in 1861-1865 yielded simply to the Civil War over time, Just as The Great War yielded to World War I, and subsequently, World War II.

GLM was founded, in part, to identify political buzzwords as ordinary words that become ‘loaded’ or fraught with emotional content far beyond the normal definition of the word.

In this case we also feel it incumbent to note that calling our current economic plight a Depression, certainly might be true – if after 12 years our unemployment rate hovers around 25%, some 10,000 banks have collapsed, and the Dow Jones suffers a 90% decline as was the case in the Great depression.

Also, there was a real question if Western Capitalism would survive at all.At that time Communism (and not garden-variety Socialism) and Fascism were considered to be in competition with free enterprise Capitalism, and the outcome was by no means settled.(Such was the nature of the ‘fear’ to which President Roosevelt referred.) This is certainly, not the case today, where the global consensus overwhelmingly favors free enterprise, in its various shapes and forms, to be the key to long-lasting global prosperity.

Therefore, GLM is suggesting that the current crisis be labeled, simply, the Global Economic Restructuring, thereby more precisely describing the current global economic condition and, at the same time, to removing some of the emotional freight from the debate.

– Paul JJ Payack, Editor

‘Despair’ & ‘fear’ drowning out ‘Hope’ in Global Media

Comparison of 90-days since election to 9/11 and Start of Iraq War

Austin, TX February 10, 2009 – The Global Language Monitor has found that words of despair and fear relating to the global economic meltdown are drowning out those of hope in the global media in the ninety days since the US presidential election on November 4, 2008.

With thousands of global headlines centering on the deteriorating global economy followed by news of the human toll of people driven to despair and committing acts of desperation, GLM undertook an analysis of the language used in the global print and electronic media since the US presidential election.GLM then compared their frequency of use to the ninety days following the 9/11 Terrorists attacks on New York and Washington in 2001 and the 90-day period following the outbreak of the Iraq War in 2003.The representative fear-related words chosen:Fear, Despair, Abandoned, Desperate/Desperation.

The analysis found that these words were used in the last ninety days with 18-23% more frequency since the historic Obama election than when compared to their use in the ninety days following the terrorist attacks of 9/11 of 2001 and 90-days following the beginning of the Iraq War in March 2003.The one exception was that of the word fear, itself, though its use in relation to the economic meltdown was still some 85% of its use in the case of 9/11 and the Iraq War.

“The results are striking, especially, in contrast to the immense outpouring of global goodwill in response to the inauguration of Barack Omama, since the survey included the ten days immediately following Obama’s swearing in,” ” said Paul JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst of the Global Language Monitor.

The specific breakdown of the keywords (and related variations) follows:

1.Abandoned — Abandoned appeared some 23% more frequently

2.Despair — Despair appeared some 18% more frequently

3.Desperation – Desperation appeared some 18% more frequently

4.Fear – Fear appeared some 85% of the frequency

 
Media and Analysts:  Call for Graphics

The US Presidential Election and the Financial Tsunami

Seemingly chaotic events reflect normalcy of new reality

A Historical Inflection Point

Austin, Texas, USA.October 13, 2008. The worldwide financial tsunami that has captured the attention of the worldwide media (as well as governments, corporations and ordinary citizens), has come to dominate one of the great quadrennial media events of the post-Modern era.No, we are not referring to the Olympics, most recently held in Beijing, or even football’s World Cup but, rather, the US Presidential elections.

The immediate effect of this unprecedented upheaval of global markets is the obfuscation of the clear lines of division offered by the opposing parties in the US Presidential Elections.

There is the sense that we are witnessing an unprecedented historical event; historical in the sense that we now appear to be standing astride (or atop) a cusp in history, a delta, a decision point, what is now called a point of inflection or inflection point.

Watching the nightly news and reading the traditional (for the last two centuries, that is) media, one has the distinct sense that what they perceive as unprecedented almost chaotic circumstances is actually that of the normalcy of the new reality, that of communications at the speed of light that the internet has foisted upon us.

We keep hearing about this most unusual of election cycles, but this is only true when looking through the prism (and historical construct) of the traditional news gathering operations. What is called the 24-hour News Cycle is actually just the tip of the Tsunami washing over the planet at a steady speed and ever-quicker pace.Indeed, the nature of the beast hasn’t change at all.It is our outdated techniques, that haven’t kept up with the new reality:News now emanates at the speed of thought, from tens of thousands or, even, millions of sources.

The nature of a Tsunami is little understood other than the tremendous damage it unleashes when it washes ashore.What we do know, however, is that a tsunami travels in exceedingly long waves (tens of kilometers in length) racing through the oceanic depths at hundreds of kilometers per hour.Only upon reaching the shore is its true destructive power unleashed for all to see (if they survive to witness it at all).

In the same manner, the traditional media become transfixed with the roiling surface seas but fail to acknowledge the more sustained and significant, movements occurring just beneath the surface.

The surface swirls about in fascinating eddies, but the true transformation is occurring as the nearly undetectable waves rush through the open sea only occasionally, though dramatically, making their way onto shore.

In the same manner, the traditional media focuses on the Twenty-four-hour News Cycle but seem to miss the strong and prevalent currents immediately beneath the surface.They vainly attempt to tie global, transformative, and unprecedented events to relatively parochial events and forces (the Reagan Years, the Clinton administration, Bush 41 and 43, the de-regulation initiatives of Alan Greenspan of ‘99) that are being all but over-shadowed (and –whelmed) by unyielding and all-but irresistible forces.

There is an almost palpable sense and correct sense that things are 1) changing forever, 2) out of our control (or even influence), and 3) will have a direct impact upon the planet for generations to follow.

What we can control, and make sense of, however, is a candidate’s wink, smirk or disdainful reference.We can emphatically pin down our opponents into convenient sound bites, hopefully contradicting earlier sound bites.Do you personally take responsibility for Climate Change?(Does the fact that New York City was beneath 5,000 feet of Ice a few dozen centuries ago influence your vote today? A yes or no will suffice!)Is your personal philosophy, whatever it might be, grounded in a belief system that I can systematically debunk and demean.(Yes or no.)Are you for or against atom smashers creating miniscule black holes that may or may not swallow up the Earth?(Answer yes and you are a barbarian; answer no and you have absolutely no respects of the future prospects of the human race.)Did you ever consider yourself a loser (at any point in your life)?Did you ever make the acquaintance of fellow losers?

Nevertheless, the US Presidential Election will proceed to its own conclusion on the first Tuesday of November in the year two thousand and eight.

For the preceding five years, The Global Language Monitor has attempted to clarify the course (and future course) of human events as documented in the English language.

The tools at our disposal have sometimes allowed us to peer into events and trends that become, otherwise, obscured, by the ‘noise’ of the Twenty-four Hour News Cycle.

Our goal was, and continues to be, to extricate (and explicate upon) the true currents underpinning the events we call news, and to better understand what they mean and how they are perceived with the new media reality in mind.

For example, back in the days preceding the 2004 Presidential election cycle, GLM discovered the fact that once ideas, words and phrases were launched into the vast, uncharted, oceanic Internet, they do not, indeed, die out after twenty-four hours but, rather, travel in deep, powerful currents and waves (not unlike those of a tsunami) that only grow stronger as they make their ways to distant shores.

In this new reality, tsunami-like ideas pass through vast seas of information of the Internet, nearly undetected and often unmeasured, until they crash upon our shorelines, where their full power (and possibly fury) is unleashed.

The fact that we only entertain them for 24 hours before they are dispatched into the archives of what is considered ‘past’ or ‘passed’ and readily discarded, is beyond the point.

We often hear that ‘we’ve never seen anything like this’ before.Of course not.Think back a few hundred years to other information revolutions, such as that introduced along with mechanical type.What do you think the fortunate few thought when they first laid their eyes upon the works of Aristotle, the Bible, or the Arabic translations of Euclid?No one had ever seen anything like that before!Indeed.

And astonishment will only become more so as the future unfolds.

– Paul JJ Payack, President & Chief Word Analyst, The Global Language Monitor

‘Despair’ & ‘fear’ drowning out ‘Hope’ in Global Media

Comparison of 90-days since election to 9/11 and Start of Iraq War

 

Austin, TX February 10, 2009 – The Global Language Monitor has found that words of despair and fear relating to the global economic meltdown are drowning out those of hope in the global media in the ninety days since the US presidential election on November 4, 2008. 

With thousands of global headlines centering on the deteriorating global economy followed by news of the human toll of people driven to despair and committing acts of desperation, GLM undertook an analysis of the language used in the global print and electronic media since the US presidential election.  GLM then compared their frequency of use to the ninety days following the 9/11 Terrorists attacks on New York and Washington in 2001 and the 90-day period following the outbreak of the Iraq War in 2003.  The representative fear-related words chosen:  Fear, Despair, Abandoned, Desperate/Desperation.

The analysis found that these words were used in the last ninety days with 18-23% more frequency since the historic Obama election than when compared to their use in the ninety days following the terrorist attacks of 9/11 of 2001 and 90-days following the beginning of the Iraq War in March 2003.  The one exception was that of the word fear, itself, though its use in relation to the economic meltdown was still some 85% of its use in the case of 9/11 and the Iraq War.

“The results are striking, especially, in contrast to the immense outpouring of global goodwill in response to the inauguration of Barack Omama, since the survey included the ten days immediately following Obama’s swearing in,” ” said Paul JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst of the Global Language Monitor. 

 

The specific breakdown of the keywords (and related variations) follows:

 

1. Abandoned — Abandoned appeared some 23% more frequently

2. Despair — Despair appeared some 18% more frequently

3. Desperation – Desperation appeared some 18% more frequently

4. Fear – Fear appeared some 85% of the frequency

Media and Analysts:  Call for Graphics



Top FashionSpeak of Fall 2009/10 Season

Chiconomics, Michele Obama, Sheer, Metallics, and Gladiator

 

 

Top FashionSpeak of Upcoming Fall/Winter 2009/10 Season

 

Austin, TX February 5, 2009 – Chiconomics, Michele Obama, Sheer, Metallics, and Gladiator were named the Top Fashion Buzzwords of the of Upcoming Fall/Winter 2009/10 Season by the Global Language Monitor (www.LanguageMonitor.com).  New York Fashion Week begins February 12th.

The words were chosen from those gathered from the worldwide fashion media and nominated by key fashionistas. This exclusive ranking is based upon GLM’s Predictive Quantities Index, a proprietary algorithm that tracks words and phrases in print and electronic media, on the Internet and throughout the blogosphere. The words and phrases are tracked in relation to their frequency, contextual usage and appearance in global media outlets.

“The fashion world is affected by the global economic meltdown like everyone else this year and are reflected in this season’s buzzwords,” said Millie L. Payack, director and fashion correspondent of the Global Language Monitor.”  Another significant influence is that of Michele Obama as the first Lady of the United States, who already is subject of vast Internet and Blogosphere buzz.”  

The Top Fashion Buzzwords with commentary, follow: 

1.     Chiconomics – The drive to chicness remains strong though affected by economic crisis.

2.     Michele Obama – Michelle says ‘Yes, we can!’ to bringing back a sense of fashion to the White House; further popularizes the single-shoulder look.

3.     Sheer (not see-through, please!) – Though sheer is synonymous with see-through often to embarrassing results (See Renée Zellweger at the Golden Globes.)

4.     Metallics – Move over silver and gold this year it’s coppers and bronze as well as pewter tones.

5.     Gladiators – From chunky platforms to criss-crossed flats, one of the biggest shoe trends of the new century.

6.     Recessionista — Fashion designers, trend-setters and icons set out to weather the world economic crisis.

7.     Voluminous – As in volume-mungous.  Sometimes combined with the sheer look to dramatic results. 

8.     Ferosh – A combination of ‘fierce’ and ‘ferociousness’ popularized by Project Runway’s Christian Siriano.

9.     Shoe Boot – Or booties, favored by fashion-forward A-listers.

10.  Lemongrass – The color of Ms. Obama’s Inauguration gown (designed by Isabel Toledo).

11.  Draping or Grecian or goddess – The Greco-Roman goddess look continues its 2500-year comeback.

12.  Eco-Fashion – Couture with carbon-offsetting properties; the Green movement has not invaded haute couture – yet.

13.  On Trend – The ’oh so trendy’ way to say trendy.

14.  Ethnicware – Also known as Multicutural.

15.  Fast Fashion – The successor to High Street; the ability to produce low-cost knock-offs, includes such retailers as H&M and Target.

16.  Fruit Salad (or Macedonian) – Mixed prints are big and bold.

17.  Tie-dyed Silk – Black silk is everywhere even in tie-dyed creations.

18.  Muffin Top fashion – No worries on the runway but a muffin top is seen  when the belly spills over the waistband in exposed ‘midriff’ fashion.

19.  Palettes – Including Mimosa (yellow) and Blue Iris (purple).

20.  Tribe – Fashion tribes are still en vogue whether hipsters or EMOs.

Each July, the Global Language Monitor ranks the Top Fashion Cities of the Year ranked by Internet presence in a global survey.    Topping the list for 2008 were New York, Rome, Paris, Milan, London, Los Angeles, Sydney, Las Vegas, Berlin and Tokyo.  Madrid (No. 15), Stockholm (No. 20), Cape Town (No. 23) and New Delhi (No. 24) broke into the Top 25.  Notable movement included Sydney moving up five spots to No.7 and Dubai jumping up twelve spots to No.12. 



Trend: Disillusionment, Anger & Outrage on the Rise


Trend:  Disillusionment, Anger & Outrage

.

on the Rise Since Obama’s inauguration

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‘Deficit of Trust’ and ‘Numbing weight of our political process’ appear to be keepers

Obama State of the Union at 8th Grade Level; Deft use of Passive Constructions

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Austin, TX February 1, 2010.  According to an exclusive analysis by the Global Language Monitor, the disillusionment, anger, and outrage acknowledged by President Obama in his State of the Union address has been on the rise since Obama’s election in November 2008.

“Much has been written about what the President in his State of the Union message called the ‘numbing weight of our political process’ and the ‘deficit of trust’ it thus engenders,” said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst.  “The disillusionment, anger and outrage should not be a surprise, especially to students of political language, who have been analyzing what is being said in the political realm over the last 18 months.  (That this comes as a revelation to our political elites, however, should serve, once again, as a sobering lesson or, even, cautionary tale.)”

Though little noticed by the media, GLM found that in early February, just weeks after the Obama inauguration, the ‘words of despair and fear relating to the global economic meltdown were drowning out those of hope in the global media in the ninety days since the US presidential election on November 4, 2008’.

The representative fear-related words chosen:  Fear, Despair, Abandoned, Desperate and/or Desperation.  In its analysis of the global print and electronic media since the US presidential election, GLM found that those words were used with 18-23% more frequency than compared to their use in the ninety days following the terrorist attacks of 9/11 of 2001 and 90-days following the beginning of the Iraq War in March 2003.  (Even the word fear, itself, was at some 85% of the level it was used in the aftermath of both the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks and the onset of the Iraq War.)

In a separate but related study released in late March, Global Language Monitor found that the word ‘outrage’ had been used more in the global media that month than anytime this century, with the previous benchmark being the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  In particular, the word was used in association with the AIG bonuses, which had recently been distributed.

GLM examined the global print and electronic media for the seven days after the following events:  the 9/11 terrorist attacks in, the start of the Iraq War, and the week after the Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast.

The ranking of ‘outrage’ usage in the media:

1. AIG Bonuses, 2009

2. 9/11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001

3. Hurricane Katrina, 2005,

4. Iraq War, 2005

State of the Union Linguistic Analysis

In an evaluation of the State of the Union message, GLM found that the President used the passive voice to deflect responsibility (a time-honored SOTU tradition), and according to the White House transcript there was an overabundance of semi-colons (two dozen plus), some used correctly others in a baffling manner.  And then there was the grammatical lapse in disagreement in number:  “Each of these institutions are (sic) full of honorable men and women ….”    For the record, the President’s address came in at the 8.6 grade level, use of the passive was about 5%, the Grade Level was 8.6 (a bit higher than his Grant Park speech), and reading ease at 62 on a scale of 100 (not as easy to read as to hear).

For more details, send email to editor@globallanguagemonitor.com or call 1.925.367.7557.



Michael Jackson

Jackson Joins yet another Hall of Fame

Michael Jackson Now One of Top Stories of 21st Century

Mainstream Media Ranking No.9; For the Internet No. 2 (to Obama’s Election)

Austin, TX June 29, 2009 (MetaNewswire) – The death of Michael Jackson, the entertainment icon, is now one of the top stories of the 21st century, according to a analysis released by the Global Language Monitor (www.LanguageMonitor.com). In the 72 hours after his death, Jackson jumped to the No. 9 spot for the global print and electronic media. For Internet, blogs and social media, Jackson jumped to the No.2, only trailing the election of Barack Obama to the presidency of the United States. The results showed the growing disparity between the mainstream global media, and what is playing out for news on the Internet, and beyond.

The citations for Michael Jackson in the Mainstream Media numbered in the thousands; his citations on the Internet, and beyond numbered in the millions. The analysis tracked news stories within the first seventy-two hours after the event. The events include in descending order of Internet citations include:  The Obama election, the death of Michael Jackson, the Iraq War, the Beijing Olympics, the Financial Tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, the death of Pope John Paul II, the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks and the Asian Tsunami.

Citations for the election of Barack Obama are five times greater than that of No. 2, Michael Jackson. In turn, the death of Michael Jackson is cited more than double than those for the beginning of the Iraq War in 2003.

“The death of Michael Jackson has resulted in a global media event of the first order” said Paul JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst of GLM.  “The fact that he has broken into the top mediaof the 21st century is a testament to the global impact of the man and his music.”

Mainstream Global Media Internet, Blogs & Social Media
Rank Story Year Rank Story Year
1 Obama 2008 1 Obama 2008
2 Hurricane Katrina 2005 2 Michael Jackson 2009
3 Financial Tsunami 2008 3 Iraq War 2003
4 Iraq War 2003 4 Beijing Olympics 2008
5 9/11 Terrorist Attacks 2001 5 Financial Tsunami 2008
6 Beijing Olympics 2008 6 Hurricane Katrina 2005
7 Pope John Paul II 2005 7 Pope John Paul II 2005
8 S. Asian Tsunami 2005 8 9/11 Terrorist Attacks 2001
9 Michael Jackson 2009 9 S. Asian Tsunami 2005



‘Misunderestimate’ Tops List of All-Time Bushisms

‘Misunderestimate’ Tops List of All-Time Bushisms  

 

Compendium of Fifteen of the President’s ‘Greatest Hits’

 

Austin, TX January 7, 2009  – The Top All-Time Bushisms were released earlier today by the Global Language Monitor (www.LanguageMonitor.com). Topping the List were:

 

  • Misunderestimate,
  • Mission Accomplished,
  • Brownie, you’ve done a heck of a job!
  • I’m the decider, and
  • I use the Google.

 

 “The era of Bushisms is now coming to an end, and word watchers worldwide will have a hard time substituting Barack Obama’s precise intonations and eloquence for W’s unique linguistic constructions,” said Paul JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst of the Global Language Monitor.  “The biggest linguistic faux pas of the Obama era thus far involves the use of the reflexive pronoun myself.  This is a refreshing shift from the Bush years.”

The rankings were nominated by language observers the world over and then ranked with the help of the Global Language Monitor’s PQI (Predictive-quantities Indicator).  The PQI is a proprietary algorithm that tracks words and phrases in the print and electronic media, on the Internet and throughout the blogosphere.

The Top All-time Bushisms with commentary, follow.

 

1.     Misunderestimate. Stated in the immediate aftermath of the disputed 2000 election:  One of the first and perhaps most iconic Bushisms (Nov. 6, 2000).

2.     Mission Accomplished:  Never actually stated by the President but nevertheless the banner behind him was all that was needed to cement this phrase into the public imagination (May 1, 2003).

3.     “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job.” said to soon-to-be-discharged FEMA director Michael Brown. Stated in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina; it came to symbolize the entire debacle (Sept. 2, 2005).

4.     “I’m the decider” came to symbolize the ‘imperial’ aspects of the Bush presidency.  Said in response to his decision to keep Don Rumsfeld on as the Secretary of Defense (April 18, 2006).   

5.     “I use The Google” said in reference to the popular search engine (October 24, 2006).

6.     Iraq Shoe Throwing Incident.  In Iraq, throwing a shoe is a symbol of immense disrespect.  Some have suggested this to be the visual equivalent of a spoken Bushism — Inappropriate, surprising, embarrassing yet compelling to repeat (December 14, 2008).

7.     “I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully” came to symbolize the President’s environmental policy (Sept. 29, 2000).

8.     “You work three jobs? … Uniquely American, isn’t it? I mean, that is fantastic that you’re doing that.” Critics used this to symbolize Bush’s detachment to the plight of the working class, said to a divorced mother of three in Omaha, Nebraska (Feb. 4, 2005)

9.     “Rarely is the questioned asked: Is our children learning?” was uttered before the first primaries back in 2000 (Jan. 11, 2000).

10.  “Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we” was cited by his critics as revealing his true thoughts (Aug. 5, 2004)

11.   It was not always certain that the U.S. and America would have a close relationship.”  The President was speaking of the Anglo-American relationship (June 29, 2006).

12.  “See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda.” Explaining his Communications strategy (May 24, 2005).

13.  “I think I may need a bathroom break. Is this possible?” scribbled on a note to Secretary of State Condi Rice during a UN Security Council meeting in 2005.

14.  “When the final history is written on Iraq, it will look just like a comma” (September 24, 2006).

15.  “Stay the course” was stated on numerous occasions during the course of the Iraq War.  Bush’s change of course with the Surge, actually made a dramatic difference in the conflict..

Other Presidents of the United States created their own words, some of which have entered the standard English vocabulary.  These include:

 

  • ADMINISTRATION (George Washington)
  • BELITTLE (Thomas Jefferson)   
  • BULLY PULPIT (Theodore Roosevelt)
  • CAUCUS (John Adams)                                      
  • COUNTERVAILING (Thomas Jefferson)
  • HOSPITALIZATION (Warren G. Harding)
  • MUCKRAKER (Theodore Roosevelt)
  • NORMALCY (Woodrow Wilson)
  • O.K. (Martin Van Buren)                            
  • SANCTION (Thomas Jefferson)                 

 

 

About The Global Language Monitor

Austin-Texas-based Global Language Monitor analyzes and catalogues the latest trends in word usage and word choices, and their impact on the various aspects of culture, with a particular emphasis upon Global English.  For more information, call 1.925.367.7557, email info@GlobalLanguageMonitor.com, or visit www.LanguageMonitor.com.




 

Bushisms


 

 

‘Misunderestimate’ Tops List of All-Time Bushisms  

Compendium of Fifteen of the President’s ‘Greatest Hits’

 

Austin, TX January 9, 2009  – The Top All-Time Bushisms were released earlier today by the Global Language Monitor (www.LanguageMonitor.com). Topping the List were:

  • Misunderestimate,
  • Mission Accomplished,
  • Brownie, you’ve done a heck of a job!
  • I’m the decider, and
  • I use the Google.

 

 “The era of Bushisms is now coming to an end, and word watchers worldwide will have a hard time substituting Barack Obama’s precise intonations and eloquence for W’s unique linguistic constructions,” said Paul JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst of the Global Language Monitor.  “The biggest linguistic faux pas of the Obama era thus far involves the use of the reflexive pronoun myself.  This is a refreshing shift from the Bush years.”

The rankings were nominated by language observers the world over and then ranked with the help of the Global Language Monitor’s PQI (Predictive-quantities Indicator).  The PQI is a proprietary algorithm that tracks words and phrases in the print and electronic media, on the Internet and throughout the blogosphere.

The Top All-time Bushisms with commentary, follow.

 

1.     Misunderestimate. Stated in the immediate aftermath of the disputed 2000 election:  One of the first and perhaps most iconic Bushisms (Nov. 6, 2000).

2.     Mission Accomplished:  Never actually stated by the President but nevertheless the banner behind him was all that was needed to cement this phrase into the public imagination (May 1, 2003).

3.     “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job.” said to soon-to-be-discharged FEMA director Michael Brown. Stated in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina; it came to symbolize the entire debacle (Sept. 2, 2005).

4.     “I’m the decider” came to symbolize the ‘imperial’ aspects of the Bush presidency.  Said in response to his decision to keep Don Rumsfeld on as the Secretary of Defense (April 18, 2006).   

5.     “I use The Google” said in reference to the popular search engine (October 24, 2006).

6.     Iraq Shoe Throwing Incident.  In Iraq, throwing a shoe is a symbol of immense disrespect.  Some have suggested this to be the visual equivalent of a spoken Bushism — Inappropriate, surprising, embarrassing yet compelling to repeat (December 14, 2008).

7.     “I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully” came to symbolize the President’s environmental policy (Sept. 29, 2000).

8.     “You work three jobs? … Uniquely American, isn’t it? I mean, that is fantastic that you’re doing that.” Critics used this to symbolize Bush’s detachment to the plight of the working class, said to a divorced mother of three in Omaha, Nebraska (Feb. 4, 2005)

9.     “Rarely is the questioned asked: Is our children learning?” was uttered before the first primaries back in 2000 (Jan. 11, 2000).

10.  “Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we” was cited by his critics as revealing his true thoughts (Aug. 5, 2004)

11.   It was not always certain that the U.S. and America would have a close relationship.”  The President was speaking of the Anglo-American relationship (June 29, 2006).

12.  “See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda.” Explaining his Communications strategy (May 24, 2005).

13.  “I think I may need a bathroom break. Is this possible?” scribbled on a note to Secretary of State Condi Rice during a UN Security Council meeting in 2005.

14.  “When the final history is written on Iraq, it will look just like a comma” (September 24, 2006).

15.  “Stay the course” was stated on numerous occasions during the course of the Iraq War.  Bush’s change of course with the Surge, actually made a dramatic difference in the conflict..

Others under consideration:  Stratergy and “Make the Pie Higher”.

Other Presidents of the United States created their own words, some of which have entered the standard English vocabulary.  These include:

  • ADMINISTRATION (George Washington)
  • BELITTLE (Thomas Jefferson)   
  • BULLY PULPIT (Theodore Roosevelt)
  • CAUCUS (John Adams)                                      
  • COUNTERVAILING (Thomas Jefferson)
  • HOSPITALIZATION (Warren G. Harding)
  • MUCKRAKER (Theodore Roosevelt)
  • NORMALCY (Woodrow Wilson)
  • O.K. (Martin Van Buren)                            
  • SANCTION (Thomas Jefferson)                 

 

 

About The Global Language Monitor

Austin-Texas-based Global Language Monitor analyzes and catalogues the latest trends in word usage and word choices, and their impact on the various aspects of culture, with a particular emphasis upon Global English.  For more information, call 1.925.367.7557, email info@GlobalLanguageMonitor.com, or visit www.LanguageMonitor.com.

Top Bushisms of 2006:

‘I’m the decider’ and ‘I use The Google’ Top Annual List

Flashback: ‘Brownie, you’re Doing a Heck of a Job’ Was Tops for ’05

San Diego, California (January 22, 2007) The Top Bushisms for 2006 were released earlier today by the Global Language Monitor. Topping the ’06 List were “I’m the decider“ referring to his rejection of the request from seven former generals for Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to step down and “I use The Google,” in reference to the popular search engine. The rankings were nominated by language observers the world over and then ranked with the help of the Global Language Monitor’s PQI (Predictive-quantities Indicator).

“With fewer that twenty-four months remaining in the Bush presidency, word watchers worldwide are in a mad scramble to find a substitute for the near weekly faux pas presented by the president,” said Paul JJ Payack, President of the Global Language Monitor.

The PQI is a proprietary algorithm that tracks words and phrases in the print and electronic media, on the Internet and throughout the blogosphere. The words and phrases are tracked in relation to their frequency, contextual usage and appearance in global media outlets.

The Top Bushisms of 2006 with Commentary Follow.

1. “I’m the Decider.” “I’m the decider, and I decide what is best. And what’s best is for Don Rumsfeld to remain as the secretary of defense.” Some six months later, Rumsfeld was cited as one of the major reasons for the “thumpin’” (Bush’s word) the Republicans received in the Mid-term elections. April 18th.

2. “I use The Google,” in reference to the popular search engine. October 24th. Interview with Maria Bartiromo of CNBC.

3. “It was not always certain that the U.S. and America would have a close relationship.” June 29th.

4. “I’ve got an ek-a-lec-tic reading list.” August 29th Interview with Brian Williams.

5. “The only way we can win is to leave before the job is done.” November 24th (Greely, Colorado)

6. “Stay the course.” On numerous occasions.

7. “When the final history is written on Iraq, it will look just like a comma.” September 24th. Interview with Wolf Blitzer of CNN.

8. “The Congress was right to renew the Terrorist Act.” In reference to the Patriot Act. September 7th. (Washington, DC)

9. “I want to be a war president; no president wants to be a war president.” October 26th. (Des Moines)

10. “The fiscal year that ended on February the 30th.” The government fiscal year ends on September 30th; there actually was a February 30 (and 29th) before the Emperors Julius Caesar and Augustus Caesar added the days to their namesake months: July and August. October 11th (Washington, DC)

The Top Bushisms of 2005 Topping the ’05 List were: “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job.” said to since-disgraced FEMA director Michael Brown; “In my line of work you’ve got … to kind of catapult the propaganda” explaining his Communications strategy; and “I think I may need a bathroom break. Is this possible?” scribbled on a note to Secretary of State Condi Rice during a UN Security Council meeting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As War Evolves so Does Language

By Andrew Ratner, The Baltimore Sun

‘Mission accomplished’ has now become synonymous with miscalculations

Baltimore, May, 2006 — When Synthia Laura Molina tried to drum up clients for her health-management consulting firm, the reaction often was not what she anticipated. Did you consider changing the name of your business, customers would ask. Eventually, Molina and her associates felt they had no choice but to do so. Its former name: Mission Accomplished.

“When you told people the name, their initial reaction was ‘Oh, really.’ It was clear that the company name had been eroded, the company brand had been eroded,” said Molina, whose venture is known now as Central IQ. “My sense was it was so damaged, it may take a generation to lose that association.”Maybe a political group would want to buy it?,” she wondered. “Mission accomplished,” a military phrase, long ago became part of common jargon to describe a job well done. But the term took a turn for the worse after May 1, 2003.That was the day President Bush declared an end to major fighting in Iraq. He did so in front of a red, white and blue banner that proclaimed “Mission Accomplished” on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln off the Southern California coast.The power and authority of the phrase, at least in civilian usage, has since toppled like a dictator’s statue in Baghdad.

On a long list of unintended consequences and significant costs of the Iraq war, the erosion of “mission accomplished” from a widely used term of affirmation to one of miscalculation isn’t terribly significant. But it illustrates that vocabulary is shifting and organic and that overly declarative statements are probably best avoided, especially by presidents. “Rhetoric invites you to be assertive, and sometimes it’s our undoing,” said Martin Medhurst, a communications professor at Baylor University who previously directed the study of presidential rhetoric at the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University. “It’s like Nixon’s proclamation, ‘I’m not a crook,’ ultimately becomes the tagline for being a crook.” The term “mission accomplished” evolved in military use during World War II, usually in the context of a successful flight operation such as a strafing run or photo reconnaissance – technically a “mission,” according to A. Marjorie Taylor’s The Language of World War II in 1944. Eventually, its use became so common – and benign – it could be found on everything from plumbing tips to recipes. But during the past three years, the term has all but vanished from non-political use, particularly in the U.S. media. A search of the electronic library LexisNexis showed that the phrase is now mostly confined to references on sports pages and occasionally in news stories unrelated to war and politics in publications outside the United States. “The top references are jokes, blogs and insults. Ninety percent are negative or humorous,” said Paul Payack, who runs the Global Language Monitor in San Diego. “It’s a tagline that evokes not a smart thing to do, stepping into a trap, exactly what not to do at an apparent moment of triumph. Like ‘wardrobe malfunction,’ it just has become part of the public consciousness.”

Payack analyzes changes in the use of the words and phrases on the Internet – often, he said, for corporate clients and investors looking to track trends in the marketplace. With the use of algorithms, he has concluded, among other things, that the English language had 988,968 words as of last week and that “OK” is the most frequently spoken word on Earth.

But for all the unusual stuff that he comes across, he said he marveled at what has happened to “mission accomplished” in three years of its ricocheting around cyberspace. In 2003, the year the Iraq war began, the term “mission accomplished” appeared 375,000 times on the Internet. In 2004, it appeared 500,000 times. By 2005, it was more than 1 million. Are missions being accomplished twice as fast as before? Hardly. Payack said the phrase has assumed a new life in political reporting and elsewhere as shorthand for “grabbing defeat from the jaws of victory.” A humor blog last fall read, “Bush declares ‘mission accomplished’ in New Orleans.” The “mission accomplished” event has contributed to the president’s plunge in popularity. In 2003, Bush’s name was linked to the phrase on the Internet 30,000 times, Payack said. That rose to 50,000 in 2004, 75,000 in 2005 and 60,000 times in the first three months alone of 2006. The president’s father, George H.W. Bush, was himself ridiculed after overplaying his hand as president with “Read my lips: No new taxes,” but that was before the rise of the commercial Internet, which sustains and amplifies the missteps, said Nancy Snow, a communications professor at California State University, Fullerton. “‘Mission accomplished’ is so uniquely American, the sense of being overconfident,” Snow said. “I can see why they took advantage of that day, but as I watched that play out, I just had a sinking feeling.” Among the most frequent variations of “mission accomplished” that turned up in an electronic library search were words spoken in 2003 by then-White House press secretary Ari Fleischer shortly before the president’s declaration: • “I’m not going to be able to shed any more light on when the president will say the mission is accomplished.” – April 13, 2003. • “At the appropriate time, when the president is ready, the president will have more thoughts to share with the nation about the mission, what was accomplished in the mission.” – April 27, 2003. Fleischer, who left the White House job in July 2003 and now runs his own corporate communications consulting firm in Westchester County, N.Y., said in a telephone interview that Bush’s use of the phrase that spring was unavoidable after the statue of Saddam Hussein was pulled down by Iraqis and U.S. Marines in central Baghdad’s Firdos Square. “Between April 6th, when the statue fell, and May 1, I was pummeled with questions by reporters, including ‘Is he trying to stretch this out for political reasons?’” Fleischer said. “One hour after the statue came down, the press was asking, ‘Why hasn’t Bush declared the war over yet?’” Fleischer, who was with the president on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln, maintained that the sign was hung by someone on the ship, not by the White House. The Navy disputed that it had posted the banner in various press accounts. Bush also never actually said the words “mission accomplished” May 1 on the aircraft carrier. He actually said the opposite. “Our mission continues,” he told the crew. “Al-Qaida is wounded, not destroyed.” Afterwards, however, the president could hardly have said, “Read my lips: I didn’t say ‘mission accomplished.’” The stagecraft of the event – including the president’s arrival in a green flight jumpsuit in the co-pilot’s seat of a Navy S-3B Viking as it made a dramatic “tailhook” landing – was purposeful, audacious and meant to send the message that the “Mission Accomplished” sign succinctly conveyed. Too succinctly, it turned out, for both the president and the status of the phrase itself. “On May 1, 2003, it was a powerful and accurate metaphor that played to the president’s benefit, and as events grew worse, it was a powerful metaphor that played to the detriment of the president,” Fleischer said. “In retrospect, the sign was too declarative, while the president’s words were accurately subtle. It all got undone because of all the post-war problems we’ve had.” andrew.ratner@baltsun.com Copyright © 2006, The Baltimore Sun

Top Bushisms for 2005


“Heckova job, Brownie”

San Diego,California (December 30, 2005) The Top Bushisms for 2005 were released earlier today by the Global Language Monitor. The rankings were based on the Global Language Monitor’s PQ (Predictive-quantities) Index. Topping the ’05 List were “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job.” said to since-disgraced FEMA director Michael Brown; “In my line of work you’ve got … to kind of catapult the propaganda” explaining his Communications strategy; and “I think I may need a bathroom break. Is this possible?” scribbled on a note to Secretary of State Condi Rice during a UN Security Council meeting. “The Global Media are continually fascinated by the Bushisms phenomenon,” said Paul JJ Payack, President of the Global Language Monitor. “In fact, President George W. Bush has provided the literary- and linguistic-minded a plethora of interesting turns of phrase over the last five years. Of course, his supporters use his frank, shoot from the hip manner of speaking as proof of Bush as a decisive man of action. This contrasts sharply, so they believe, with the precisely turned phrases of the loyal opposition that might be pleasing to the ear but lead to little or no action, compromise on the world stage or, even, worse.” The PQ (Predictive-quantities) Index is a proprietary algorithm that tracks words and phrases in the print and electronic media, on the Internet and throughout the blogosphere. The words and phrases are tracked in relation to their frequency, contextual usage and appearance in global media outlets. The Top Bushisms for 2005 follow: 1. “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job.” To FEMA director Michael Brown, who resigned 10 days later amid criticism over his handling of the Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts. Mobile, Alabama, Sept 2, 2005 2. “See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda.” Explaining his Communications strategy. Greece, N.Y., May 24, 2005 3. “I think I may need a bathroom break. Is this possible?” A note to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during a U.N. Security Council meeting. September 14, 2005 4. “This notion that the United States is getting ready to attack Iran is simply ridiculous. And having said that, all options are on the table.” Brussels, Belgium, Feb. 22, 2005 5. “In terms of timetables, as quickly as possible – whatever that means.” On his timeframe for Social Security Legislation. Washington D.C., March 16, 2005 Bonus: “Those who enter the country illegally violate the law.” On Illegal Immigrants or Undocumented Workers Tucson, Ariz., Nov. 28, 2005

A Note on Bushisms

Other presidents have shared the same perception of linguistic ineptitude, including Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, and Harry S. Truman. Though Jackson was considered the ultimate back-county rube, he oversaw the fall of the aristocracy and the rise of the common man; Lincoln, thought to be a Bible-spouting baboon, is now considered one of the greatest leaders the world has ever produced; and Truman, the uneducated haberdasher, laid the basic political foundation of the Post-Modern world, which is only now yielding to, well, the post Post-Modern world (whatever that may be). This is not to say that linguistic ineptness invariably leads to greatness. History shows us that we’ve had our fill of verbally challenged chief executives who were also severely overtaxed by the burdens of office and have now fallen most ungraciously into the various dustbins of failed expectations. And then there was Warren G. Harding. He is said to have scandalously coined the term ‘hospitalization’ in the 1920s. A quick Google search shows that the word now appears on the web more than 8 million times. Well done, Warren! Not a bad legacy for a third-rate president. Like the ‘Yogi-isms’ of Baseball Hall of Famer Lawrence P. “Yogi” Berra, some of Bush’s most famous Bushisms can be found in literature many years before he supposedly coined them. ‘Resignate’ dates to the 18th century, and ‘Grecian’ as a reference to things Greek was the preferred way to describe those inhabiting the Greek Isles from the 18th century onward. Even ‘Misunderestimate’ can be found in 1960′s literature.



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