“Enough grit and arrogance to drive you mad …”

By Barry Ronge, The Times (Jo-burg, ZA).  July 24, 2011 —

We probably have enough words in our dictionaries to say anything that is worth saying, but things change and new words are created and, occasionally, older words slip back into fashion.

“The Global Language Monitor”, run by Paul JJ Payack, tracks the rise and fall of trend-words and phrases. Most of these fade rapidly when the fad that created them loses it’s social currency.

Have you recently heard anyone talking about Generation X? Probably not, because that social group has morphed into the social network, where they can “google” things, find friends on Facebook or start “poking” people on the internet.

These buzz words define the mood and style of the time, just as fashion houses and leisure industries do. Buzz words such as “disco mania”, “big hair”, “glitzy” and “high rollers” defined the excessive 1980s, just as “dropping out” and “peaceniks” are nostalgic souvenirs of the hippies and their flower-power revolution.

Mr Payack’s researchers collect these words and it goes without saying that the movies feature prominently. When a great title or a line of dialogue finds a life of its own, it becomes a pop-culture icon for the era.

For example, it has been 40 years since Clint Eastwood said: “Make my day!” and 39 years since Marlon Brando said: “Make him an offer he can’t refuse” – but both phrases are still current.

Payack’s team also came up with the term “wardrobe malfunction” when Janet Jackson gained unexpected exposure at the 2004 Super Bowl. The phrase was revived when Lady Gaga flashed a nipple in Sydney, Australia. It’s amazing how her elaborate costume seemed to vanish when a little pink nipple popped out and made a far bigger statement than the dress itself.

Now Payack’s team reveal their “8th Annual Global Survey of HollyWords of 2010″, a list of the current words and phrases that resonated through the movie scene.

The most frequently-used “HollyWord” of last year is “grit”, obviously related to the success of the re-make of True Grit. The film picked up a raft of nominations but ended up with just one award. Nonetheless, Payack’s team found “grit” cropping up in many reviews and features.

Webster’s Dictionary defines “grit” as “pluck, courage, perseverance and an indomitable spirit”.

The words “grit” and “gritty” featured prominently in hundreds of reviews and interviews about True Grit, in which Jeff Bridges and Hailee Steinfeld displayed enormous toughness and tenacity. They brought “grit” back into currency.

“Grit” also migrated into reviews and discussions of The Fighter, a boxing drama based in a working-class area that was constantly described as “gritty”, as was James Franco’s harrowing mountaineering ordeal in 127 Hours. The Oscar-winner The King’s Speech looked beyond the pomp and circumstance and found remarkable “grit” in a king of England. Even Toy Story 3, a tale of abandoned toys trying to avoid being turned into garbage, were praised for their “grit”, courage and loyalty.   [Read More.]



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Do these 15 Wonderful Words Actually Have No English Equivalent?

San Francisco.  July 24, 2011  —  We first saw the story, 15 Wonderful Words With No English Equivalent, on the MentalFloss outlet (a genuinely interesting site for esoterica lovers), compiled by Bill DeMain.  His attribution states that “many of the words above can be found in BBC researcher Adam Jacot de Boinod’s book ‘The Meaning of Tingo and Other Extraordinary Words from Around the World.”

In the last few days we have tracked it thousands of times around the English speaking world, which now happens to encompass the globe. We are intrigued by the idea that there, indeed, might be no equivalent English words or phrases for these terms.

After all there are as of today, July 24th, 2011 the Global language Monitor calculates  that there are approximately 1,010,649.7 words in the English language.  (The language gains a new word every ninety-eight minutes, hence the, we admit, totally extraneous decimal point.)

So here’s the challenge to lovers of the language.  Do these 15 Wonderful Words Actually Have No English Equivalent?

Send us your suggestions to:  15WonderfulWords@LanguageMonitor.com, and we will publish what our readers come up with.

Here’s the list original story:

15 Wonderful Words With No English Equivalent

by Bill DeMain, July 22, 2011

The Global Language Monitor estimates that there are currently 1,009,753 words in the English language. Despite this large lexicon, many nuances of human experience still leave us tongue-tied. And that’s why sometimes it’s necessary to turn to other languages to find le mot juste. Here are fifteen foreign words with no direct English equivalent.

1. Zhaghzhagh (Persian)
The chattering of teeth from the cold or from rage.

2. Yuputka (Ulwa)
A word made for walking in the woods at night, it’s the phantom sensation of something crawling on your skin.

3. Slampadato (Italian)
Addicted to the infra-red glow of tanning salons? This word describes you.

4. Luftmensch (Yiddish)
There are several Yiddish words to describe social misfits. This one is for an impractical dreamer with no business sense. Literally, air person.

5. Iktsuarpok (Inuit)
You know that feeling of anticipation when you’re waiting for someone to show up at your house and you keep going outside to see if they’re there yet? This is the word for it.

6. Cotisuelto (Caribbean Spanish)
A word that would aptly describe the prevailing fashion trend among American men under 40, it means one who wears the shirt tail outside of his trousers.

7. Pana Po’o (Hawaiian)
“Hmm, now where did I leave those keys?” he said, pana po’oing. It means to scratch your head in order to help you remember something you’ve forgotten.

8. Gumusservi (Turkish)
Meteorologists can be poets in Turkey with words like this at their disposal. It means moonlight shining on water.


9. Vybafnout (Czech)
A word tailor-made for annoying older brothers—it means to jump out and say boo.

10. Mencolek (Indonesian)
You know that old trick where you tap someone lightly on the opposite shoulder from behind to fool them? The Indonesians have a word for it.

11. Faamiti (Samoan)
To make a squeaking sound by sucking air past the lips in order to gain the attention of a dog or child.

12. Glas wen (Welsh)
A smile that is insincere or mocking. Literally, a blue smile.

13. Bakku-shan (Japanese)
The experience of seeing a woman who appears pretty from behind but not from the front.

14. Boketto (Japanese)
It’s nice to know that the Japanese think enough of the act of gazing vacantly into the distance without thinking to give it a name.

15. Kummerspeck (German)
Excess weight gained from emotional overeating. Literally, grief bacon.

Remember to send us your suggestions for English-language equivalents to:  15WonderfulWords@LanguageMonitor.com or info@LanguageMonitor.com.

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Number of Words in the English Language: 1,025,109.8

The number of words in the English language is: 1,025,109.8.   This is the estimate by the Global Language Monitor on January 1, 2014.

The English Language passed the Million Word threshold on June 10, 2009 at 10:22 a.m. (GMT).  The Millionth Word was the controversial ‘Web 2.0′. Currently there is a new word created every 98 minutes or about 14.7 words per day.

Google Validates GLM’s No. of Words in English Prediction

GLM/Google vs OED and Webster’s 3rd

Follow GLM on FacebookFollow GLM On Twitter

For more detail, go here.

Though GLM’s analysis was the subject of much controversy at the time, the recent Google/Harvard Study of the Current Number of Words in the English Language is 1,022,000.  The above graphic is from the AAAS /Science as reported on NPR.   At the time the  New York Times article on the historic threshold famously quoted several dissenting linguists as claiming  that “even Google could not come up with” such a methodology.  At that time, unbeknownst to them Google was doing precisely that.

The number of words in the English language according to GLM now stands at:  1,025,109.8.   The difference between the two analyses is .0121%, which is widely considered statistically insignificant.

Google’s number, which is based on the counting of  the words in the 15,000,000 English language books it has scanned into the ‘Google Corpus,’ mirrors GLM’s Analysis.  GLM’s number is based upon its algorithmic methodologies, explication of which is available from its site.



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Hubbub over ‘Haboob’ in Arizona?

Psst! So are Alcohol, Algebra, Chemistry, Guitars and Zeroes …


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Hundreds of Words of Arabic Origin are Considered Authentic English language words

San Francisco.  July 22, 2011.  Haboobs, those dust storms invading the Southwestern United States these days, might be called as American as Apple Pie — or at least as English as fish and chips. The word,  according to an analysis by the Global Language Monitor conducted earlier this week, is actually considered an English-language word, found in unabridged dictionaries, hundreds of thousands of times on the Internet, and hundreds of times in the print media and scholarly works as least as far back as the 19th century.

When Arizona-based weather forecasters used ‘haboob’ to describe the fierce wind- and dust-storms their were immediate calls to stop use of that term since it is of Arabic in origin, and might be insulting to American and NATO forces stationed in Arabic-speaking lands.

“If you find that the word ‘haboob’ is inappropriate because of its Arabic origin, then you better start thinking about:

alcohol,

algebra,

chemistry,

guitar,

zero,

and the hundreds of other words of Arabic origin that are members in excellent standing in contemporary English, said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of GLM.

“The English language has thousands upon thousands of words that it has ‘borrowed’  from hundreds of languages over its fourteen hundred year lifespan.  Unfortunately, once English ensnares one these ‘loan’ words, they seldom ever escape”.



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Fighting Words: ‘Reliable,’ ‘Talented’ And Other Americanisms

by BILL CHAPPELL

In this free-wheeling era, when the English language is often applied with little supervision, it’s common for purists to complain about the abuse of words.

For instance, I dislike it when things are indicated instead of said. And impact gets rough treatment, as it’s transmogrified into a Franken-adjective (impactful) and is too often made to serve as a substitute for affect — probably by people who are unsure whether to use that word or effect.

And there should be a petition to remove the word literally from use, for at least a lengthy rehabilitation and perhaps a permanent retirement.

But I was surprised to learn that in 19th-century Britain, readers viewed words like lengthy and reliable as signs of the coming apocalypse. It turns out that those words, along with talented andtremendous, were imports from America.

As Matthew Engel writes at the BBC, “The poet Coleridge denounced ‘talented’ as a barbarous word in 1832, though a few years later it was being used by William Gladstone. A letter-writer to the Times, in 1857, described ‘reliable’ as vile.” [Read More]

What Started the “Two Way” discussion (Below)

By Matthew Engel I have had a lengthy career in journalism. I hope that’s because editors have found me reliable. I have worked with many talented colleagues. Sometimes I get invited to parties and meet influential people. Overall, I’ve had a tremendous time.

Lengthy. Reliable. Talented. Influential. Tremendous.

All of these words we use without a second thought were never part of the English language until the establishment of the United States.

The Americans imported English wholesale, forged it to meet their own needs, then exported their own words back across the Atlantic to be incorporated in the way we speak over here. Those seemingly innocuous words caused fury at the time.

The poet Coleridge denounced “talented” as a barbarous word in 1832, though a few years later it was being used by William Gladstone. A letter-writer to the Times, in 1857, described “reliable” as vile.

[Read More on the BBC]



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Wednesday’s Words …



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Top HollyWORDS: Grit tops Arrogance, Abdicate, Stammer, and Madness

As Summer Blockbuster Season Peaks, a Look Back at the Top Hollywords from 2010

 

8th Annual Global Survey by the Global Language Monitor

Austin, Texas.   July 12, 2011.   As summer blockbuster season peaks, a look back at the top words from the movies that influenced the English language from 2010.

For the first time a single word representative of a number of the year’s blockbusters, Grit, tops the list of Hollywords  as named by the Global Language Monitor.   Grit topped arrogance, abdicate, stammer, and madness.  Dream-stealers, nerds, Borogoves, shard, and 3-D rounded out the top ten.

“For the first time a single word was representative of a number of the year’s Oscar winning films,” said Paul JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst for the Global Language Monitor, “According to Webster’s the term, grit, has the following senses that applied to these films:  firmness, pluck, gritty (as in soot-covered), stubborn, indomitable spirit, courageous, and brave perseverance.”

The Top Hollywords of the 2010 season with the largest impact on the English language with commentary follow.

1.       The word grit has been defined in a number of ways by Webster that reflects many of the virtues of this year’s nominees.

  • Grit is, of course, from the title of Best Picture nominee True Grit, as exemplified by the character’s played by Jeff Bridges (firmness) and Hailee Steinfeld (pluck).
  • The action of The Fighter took place against the backdrop of one of the nation’s fabled gritty cities:  Lowell, Massachusetts into which Mark Wahlberg, Melissa Leo and Christian Bale expertly blended.
  • 127 Hours portrayed the stubborn courage of a man driven to desperate acts to ensure his survival.
  • The accidental and courageous king and his indomitable tutor as portrayed by Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush in The King’s Speech.
  • Woody’s brave perseverance to keep his fellow toys together in Toy Story 3.

2.  Arrogance – Deftly depicted in both The Social Network and Inside Job.

3.  Abdicate – Another generation learns of cowardice in high places, again; this time it’s found in the British Royal Family as depicted in The King’s Speech.

4.  Stammer and/or Stutter  –  If you paid close attention you might actually notice the difference between a stammer and a stutter in Colin Firth’s dialogue.

5.  Madness – We are told there is no such thing as ‘madness’ in the 21st century, but whatever we may call it, in the Black Swan Natalie Portman’s creates a dramatic portrait of the descent into it.

6.  Dream-Stealers – (and dream shapers and sowers).  Evidently, new career options for the 21st century endless-recession economy introduced to us by Leonardo DiCaprio and his film Inception.  The timid need not apply.

7.  Nerd – Once more, we are fascinated by the rise of the nerd in The Social Network … though most nerds never overcome their nerdness, and only the most  rare of exceptions is able to cash in on it.

8.  Borogoves — Alice in Wonderland sheds a bit of light on the ‘borogoves’.   As you know, they were all ‘mimsy’ in Charles Lutwidge Dodgson’s nonsense poem, Jabberwocky.


9.  Shard – Though widely confused with the word ‘shred’ as in a ‘shred of truth’, Harry Potter  finds  a mirror shard, in which he catches a glimpse of  a blue eye and keeps it for later use.  From Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1.

10.  3D CGI – (Three-dimensional, Computer-generated imagery) Five of the top ten grossing films of 2010 were CGI-based 3D, accumulating some $1.3B domestically:          Toy Story 3, Despicable Me, Shrek Forever After, How to Train Your Dragon, and Tangled. Whether this is a transformative trend or a passing fad has yet to be determined.

The Global Language Monitor uses a proprietary algorithm, the Predictive Quantities Indicator (PQI) to track the frequency of words and phrases in the global print and electronic media, on the Internet, throughout the Blogosphere, as well as accessing proprietary databases.  The PQI is a weighted Index, factoring in:  long-term trends, short-term changes, momentum, and velocity.

Previous Top HollyWord Winners include:

2009       ‘Pandora’ from Avatar

2008       ‘Jai Ho!’ Literally ‘Let there be Victory’ in Hindi from Slumdog Millionaire

2007     “Call it, Friendo,” from No Country for Old Men

2006       ‘High Five!!! Its sexy time!’ from Borat!

2005     ‘Brokeback’ from Brokeback Mountain

2004     “Pinot” from Sideways

2003       ‘Wardrobe malfunction’ from Super Bowl XXXVIII



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