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Top News of Decade: Rise of China Surpasses Iraq War and 9/11

Austin, TX December 9, 2009 – In an exclusive analysis performed by the Global Language Monitor, the Rise of China has been determined to be the Top News Story of the Decade followed by the Iraq War, the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks, the War on Terror, and the Death of Michael Jackson. Completing the Top Ten were the Election of Obama to US presidency, the Global Recession of 2008/2009, Hurricane Katrina, the War in Afghanistan, and the onset of the Financial Tsunami/Economic Meltdown. Rounding out the list were the Beijing Olympics, the South Asian Tsunami, the War against the Taliban, the Death of Pope John Paul II, and Osama bin-Laden eludes capture.

Chinese pundits saw GLM’s analysis “was partly aimed at trumpeting the so-called China threat.  The list is the latest sign of the US media’s change from China bashing to China flattery.”  Read how the story unfolded below.

The Original story in Beijing’s People’s Daily

The criticism from China Daily, the official government paper:  The Rise of the Dragon

The follow-up report from Wall Street Journal’s Beijing bureau

The Financial Times’ take on the debate

Chinese Economic Review:  The Hard Bigotry of Too-high Expectations

People’s Daily:  Chinese Ambassador to the UK summarizes China’s position

The methodology: The analysis factored in the number of citations over the course of the decade on the Internet, the blogosphere, including social media, as well as the top 50,000 print and electronic media sites.

“The rise of China to new economic heights has changed – and continues to challenge – the current international order,” said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of the Global Language Monitor. “It is with little surprise that its ongoing transformation has topped all other news stories in a decade bespotted by war, economic catastrophe, and natural disasters.”

Read Ben MacIntyre it in the Sunday Times (London):  Words that define the Noughties

Rank/News Story/Comment

1. Rise of China – The biggest story of the decade, outdistancing the No. 2 Internet story by 400%.

2. Iraq War — The buildup, the invasion, the hunt for the WMDs, and the Surge were top in print and electronic media outlets.

3. 9/11 Terrorist Attacks – The 9/11 Terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, DC seemed to set the tone for the new decade.

4. War on Terror – President George W. Bush’s response to 9/11.

5. Death of Michael Jackson – A remarkably high ranking considering that MJ’s death occurred in the final year of the decade.

6. Election of Obama to US presidency – The rallying cries of ‘hope’ and ‘Yes, we can!’ resulting in the historic election of an African-American to the US presidency.

7. Global Recession of 2008/9 – The on-going world economic restructuring as opposed to the initial ‘economic meltdown’ or ‘financial tsunami’.

8. Hurricane Katrina — New Orleans was devastated when the levies collapsed; scenes of death and destruction shocked millions the world over.

9. War in Afghanistan – Now in its eighth year with an expansion into neighboring Pakistan.

10. Economic Meltdown/Financial Tsunami – The initial shock of witnessing some 25% of the world’s wealth melting away seemingly overnight.

11. Beijing Olympics – The formal launch of China onto the world stage.

12. South Asian Tsunami – The horror of 230,000 dead or missing, washed away in a matter of minutes was seared into the consciousness the global community.

13. War against the Taliban – Lands controlled by the Taliban served as a safe haven from which al Qaeda would launch its terrorist attacks.

14. Death of Pope John Paul II – The largest funeral in recent memory with some 2,000,000 pilgrims in attendance.

15. Osama bin-Laden eludes capture – Hesitation to attack Tora Bora in 2002 has led to the continuing manhunt.

This analysis was completed on December 1, 2009 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 Global Language Monitor has recently named the Top Words of the Decade. They were Global Warming, 9/11, Obama, Bailout, Evacuee, and Derivative; Google, Surge, Chinglish, and Tsunami followed. “Climate Change” was top phrase; “Heroes” was top name.

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.

States Ranked by Top Colleges

Read:  Harvard Brand Takes a Hit in Tough Economic Times

Listen to the article in English from China Daily

States are ranked by the number of the Top 225 Colleges and Universities that are located in each state.

When there is a tie, the ranks of the colleges are added together and the state with the lowest total number receives precedence, since that means their colleges were ranked higher in the various lists.

The Top Ten States, with the number of Top Colleges represented:

1.   New York (29)

2.   California (22)

3.  Pennsylvania (19)

4.  Massachusetts (19)

5.  Virginia (9)

6.  Texas (9)

7.  Ohio (8)

8.   Illinois (8)

10T.  Georgia (6)

10T.  Indiana (6)

Also noted are those schools that were Best of Class, whether first in the College or University list, or for one of the specialties called out.  Typically, these highly respected and venerable institutions, such as the Juilliard School or the Cooper Union, or even the US Military Acadamies are shunted into ‘other’ or ‘unranked’ categories.

To see the complete list of Colleges and Universities as ranked by state, see the TrendTopper Top 225 Colleges and Universities guide.

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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.

The 73-page report includes details on:


Click to buy and download the complete 73-page report

Top Politically Incorrect Words of 2009

Swine Flu, Flush Toilet, Green Revolution, Minority, and Saint named top politically (in)Correct  words and phrases of 2009

The Sixth Annual Global Survey

Austin, Texas October 2, 2009 – Swine Flu, Flush Toilet, Green Revolution, Minority, and Saint have been named the top politically (in)Correct  words and phrases of the past year according to The Global Language Monitor in its sixth annual survey of the English Language. Rounding out the top ten were the term Politically Correct, Oriental, Founding Fathers, Black Sheep, and Senior Citizen.

“Once again, we are seeing that the attempt to remove all bias from language is itself creating biases of their own,” said Paul JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst of The Global Language Monitor. “At this point it is becoming increasingly difficult to engage in any form of public dialogue without offending someone’s sensitivities, whether right, left or center.” .

The Top Politically Correct Words and Phrases for 2009 include:

1. Swine Flu – Though hundreds of millions know of the current pandemic as Swine Flu, various governments and agencies for political motives ranging from protecting pork producers to religious sensitivity have chosen to address the virus by its formal name, influenza A(H1N1).

2. Flush Toilet – Flush toilets, toilet paper and toilet use in general are now coming under the watchful eyes of the green movement.

3. Green Revolution – In the 1960s the scientific consensus was the world was on the brink of a ‘Malthusian’ collapse. The Green Revolution changed all that, but now there are those who believe that the world has paid a “stiff price in environmental degradation”.

4. Minority – Talking about minorities is considered insensitive to minorities since this can make them feel, well, like minorities.

5. Saint – In addition to the word ‘saint,’ Oxford University Press has removed words such as ‘bishop,’ ‘chapel,’ and ‘Pentecost’ from the Junior Dictionary.

6. Politically Correct – The term politically correct has, itself, is now politically correct, Be careful how you use it.

7. Oriental – In the US considered offensive to Asians because the term is based on the geographic relationship of Asia from a Western perspective. In Europe (and in most Asian nations), however, Oriental is acceptable.

8. Founding Fathers – Though all the Signers of the American Declaration of Independence were men, this is considered sexists in some quarters. Founders, please.

9. Black Sheep – Though originally referring to the rare birth of a lamb with black fur, now considered ethnically insensitive; the same is true for Black Day, Conversely, terms like White Collar and Whiter than White all can be used to encourage a hierarchical value of skin tone.

10. Senior Citizen – In the name of ‘inclusiveness,’ the UK’s Loughborough University’s suggests replacing senior citizen with ‘older person’.

The Top Politically Incorrect Terms and Phrases for previous years include:

  • 2008: “He Can’t Win” – Hillary Clinton’s coded reference to Barack Obama’s ethnic background as an insurmountable impediment to him winning the US Presidency
  • 2007: Nappy-headed Ho — Radio personality Don Imus’ reference to the women on the Rutgers University championship basketball team.
  • 2006: Global Warming Denier – Scientists not denying climate change, but the role of humans in the millennia-old process.
  • 2005: Misguided Criminals – A BBC commentator attempts to strip away all emotion from the word ‘terrorist’ by using ‘neutral’ descriptions for those who carried out the 7/7 tube bombings.
  • 2004: Master/Slave computer jargon – LA County re-labels computer documentation to remove this alleged slur that has been used for decades describing computer hierarchies.

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.

ObamaVision Top Television Word of 2009

The Death of Michael Jackson, the emergence of Susan Boyle and the rise of Hulu.com follow.

The Sixth Annual Analysis by the Global Language Monitor

Austin, Texas, USA. September 24, 2009. The Global Language Monitor today announced that ObamaVision topped the global Financial Meltdown as the most profound influences on the English Language from Television in 2009. These were followed by the death of Michael Jackson, the emergence of Susan Boyle and the rise of Hulu.com. Rounding out the Top Ten were Vampires, Dar Dour, the Wizards of Waverly Place, the phrase, ‘And that’s the way it is,’ and Jiggle. This was the Sixth Annual Analysis by the Global Language Monitor.

“The three screens in the post-Modern home became even more apparent during this television season, with viewers moving seamlessly among their flat screen TV, their laptop, and their 3G phone,” said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of GLM. “This year was dominated by the advent of ObamaVision, to the newest reality show: the Global Financial Meltdown. And then Michael Jackson’s death commandeers the worldwide airways for weeks on end.”

The Top Telewords of the 2009 season with commentary follow:

  1. ObamaVision — From the primaries to the election to the Inauguration to the middle school classroom: all Obama, all the time, everywhere.
  2. Financial Meltdown – The most authentic of all reality shows. National economies on the brink! The Bailout! The Bonuses! What surprises can we expect from Season II?
  3. Michael Jackson – The biggest TV funeral in history. What’s the King of Pop’s next act?
  4. Susan Boyle – Britain’s surprise spinster singing sensation demonstrated the power of the ‘third screen’.
  5. Hulu.com – For the first time, GLM is recognizing a website (the much hailed second screen) for broadcasting made-for-television shows over the internet.
  6. Vampires – All over the tube: ever chaste (with human girls); ever so exotic and popular.
  7. Dar Dour — The Iraqi TV show that spoofs the futility (and humor) found in the pitfalls (and pratfalls) in the attempt to lead an ordinary life.
  8. Wizards (from the Wizards of Waverly Place) – Wizards that need a bit of science to maintain their powers.
  9. “And that’s the way it is” – Walter Cronkite’s shadow over television news spans the decades.
  10. Jiggle – Before HBO, ABC introduced ‘jiggle’ with Farah Fawcett as one of the main contributors to the concept.

The Top Telewords of previous years were:

2008: Beijing (from the Olympics), ObamaSpeak, followed by ‘facts are stubborn things’, ‘it is what it is,’ and Phelpsian.

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”.

Textbook Obama

Political Buzzwords Track Trajectory of Obama Presidency

Bailout, Climate Change, Birther, Healthcare Reform & Liberal at top

Obamamania and Politics of Change tumble as does Bush (as a Bogeyman)

Austin, Texas September 11, 2009 (Updated) – ‘Bailout’, ‘Climate Change’, ‘Birther’, ‘Health Care Reform’ and ‘Liberal’ were named the top political buzzwords since the Obama Inaugural. Rounding out the top ten were ‘recession’ (up some 1000% when linked to Obama), ‘Sarah Palin,’ the phrase ‘change you can believe in’ (down some 600% since the Inauguration), ‘AIG bonuses,’ and ‘Sotomayor,’ the new Supreme Court justice.  Perhaps, even more striking is the manner in which signature buzzwords such as ‘Politics of change’ (No. 37) and ’Obamanania’ (No. 38) have tumbled.  Another finding:  the tactic of painting ‘Bush’ (No. 23) and, even, Cheney (No.28) as bogeymen is rapidly losing it effectiveness.

For the study, GLM used it 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 and social media as well as accessing proprietary databases. The PQI is a weighted Index, factoring in: long-term trends, short-term changes, momentum, and velocity. The final list contains 40 words and phrases (see below).

“The top political buzzwords used since the Obama Inaugural show the sharp trajectory of his presidency,’ said Paul JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst of The Global Language Monitor. “Our analysis differs from polls in that it is not what people say they think about various topics, but rather is a measurement of what words are actually being used and in which context.”

The Top Political Buzzwords since the Inaugural listes with rank and commentary follow.

Top Political Buzzwords September 1, 2009 Comment

Rank
1. Wall Street Bailout: Still resonates at very high score, no shrinkage
2. Climate Change Remains:  One of the Top 3 — for several years3. Birther: Whatever it means, the issue looms large

4. Health Care Reform:  Health Care Reform comes in at a strong No. 4

5. Liberal:  This is not always a positive statement
6. Recession (linked to Obama):  Obama’s link to recession up 1000% since inauguration
7. Sarah Palin:  Fierce opposition to her, apparently adds to her allure
8. Change you can believe in:  Down almost 60% from January peak
9. AIG (Post-bailout Bonuses):  Bonuses after the Bailout still loom large in public mind
10. Sotomayor:  Wise Latina gets more news than Iraq War
11. Iraq War:  Fading from the public mind as Afghanistan advances
12. Socialism (linked with Obama):  Painting Obama as a Socialist apparently working
13. Outrage (Linked with Obama & AIG:  Outrage at AIG now linked to Obama administration
14. Public Option in HealthCare:  Public Option still center of debate
15. Stimulus Package:  Stimulus package still object of controversy
16. MObama (the Fashion Icon):  Michelle Obama image as global fashion icon rising rapidly
17. Beer Summit with Gates & Cambridge Police: Beer Summit resonates with all things ‘racial’
18. Middle-class taxes:  Concern is up about 170% since Inaugural
19. Current crisis as Depression:  Citations down some 50% since January
20. Transparency:  Idea of Transparency shrinking from view (down 30%)
21. Obama as a compromiser:  Continues to gain traction
22. Rush Limbaugh:  Rush bests the former president by only 5%
23. George Bush:  Warning to Dems:  Bush as Bogey man fading from view
24. Single Payer:  Healthcare solution view as government intervention; Up over 800% since Obama took office
25. Death Panel:  Up some 1500%, ranking only slightly ahead of Al Qaeda
26. Al qaeda:  Still lurking in the public mind
27. Town Hall Meetings:  Not to be easily dismissed
28. Dick Cheney:  Former No. 2,  now No. 28
29. Shovel Ready:  Where are all the ‘shovel-ready’ jobs?
30. Global Financial Restructuring:  This may take years to run its course
31. Iran election:  On the periphery of American consciousness
32. Wise Latina:  Short-term news bite, no lasting value
33. Financial meltdown:  Down 85% since January as he the new reality sets in
34. Worst Recession:  Not depression, but something different than a recession
35. Afghanistan:  Troop build-up mostly a Beltway discussion
36. Wee weeing:  According to Obama, Washington in late summer
37. Politics of change:  Biz as usual sends this plummeting 60% from Inaugural
38. Obamamania:  Yesterday’s news; down over 80% from Inaugural
39. Politics of fear:  Within 1/2 of 1% of Obamamania
40. Nuclear Iran   Drifting in and out of public consciousness

What’s the advantage of the PQI over the Polls?

The PQI is, perhaps, the ultimate ‘It is what it is’ measurement of consumer (and in this case Political) sentiment.

The PQI simply measures the occurrence of certain words or phrases in the print and electronic media (traditional or otherwise), on the Internet, and across the Blogosphere and social media, as well as accessing proprietary databases. It is by its very nature non-biased. When we take a statistical snapshot for the PQI there is no adjustment for ‘underrepresented’ groups, there are no assumptions about probability of turnout, the proportions of newly registered voters, traditional models, or expanded modularities. Rather, we take our measurements, check for the rate of positive or negative change in the appearance of a searched word or phrase (what we call velocity and momentum) and publish our results.

Milan Upends New York as Top Fashion Capital

Paris, Rome, London follow.

Hong Kong and Sao Paulo break into the Top 10

Barcelona and Miami surge. Mumbai outdistances Delhi.

Austin, Texas. July 20, 2009.   Milan has upended New York after a five year reign as the Top Fashion Capital in the Global Language Monitor’s annual global survey. Topping the list for 2009 were Milan, New York, Paris, Rome and London follow. Other top movers included Hong Kong and Sao Paulo, who broke into the Top 10, while Barcelona and Miami surged. In the ever-tightening battle for the Subcontinent Mumbai outdistanced Delhi, while Sydney further outdistanced Melbourne.

Read:  Milan Strides Past New York as World’s Fashion Capital (Reuters)

“The global economic restructuring has affected the fashion industry just as it has touched everything else,” said Millie L. Payack, director and fashion correspondent for the Global Language Monitor. “The catwalks were still crowded though with the lights dimmer, the hype a bit more restrained, and ‘recessionistas,’ of course, thriving”.

2009 Fashion Capital Media Research #NYFashion

View more documents from Taly Weiss.

Though Milan dethroning New York, the Big Five (Milan, New York, Paris, Rome, and London) continued their domination of global fashion.

The world ‘rag’ business is estimated to be over three trillion USD. Regional rankings are provided below.

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 Top Thirty Fashion Capitals, change from 2008 ranking, and commentary follow.

1. Milano (+3) – Not only overtakes New York but also Rome and Paris.

2. New York (-1) – Knocked out of Top Spot by Milano after a five-year run.

3. Paris (0) – No 1. in our hearts but No. 3 in the media.

4. Rome (-2) — The Eternal City still reigns strong.

5. London (0) – London remains the laggard of the Fashion Elite.

6. Los Angeles (0) – Holding its own at No. 6.

7. Hong Kong (+4) – Leaps over Sydney and Tokyo to seize the lead in Asia/Pacific.

8. Sao Paulo (+25) – A remarkable rise, now dominating the Latin-American scene.

9. Sydney (-2) – Solidly in the Top 10 while Melbourne sinks.

10. Las Vegas (-2) – Intense media spotlight ensures a top ranking.

11. Dubai (+1) – An unlimited budget continually exceeded.

12. Tokyo (-2) – Loses a bit of luster as it slips out of the Top 10.

13. Miami (+13) – Driven by its dominance in swimwear.

14. Barcelona (+11) – Takes the Iberian spotlight.

15. Shanghai (-2) — Now third in the China/Japan rivalry.

16. Mumbai (+6) – In neck-and-neck race for primacy on the Subcontinent.

17. New Delhi (+7) – Both Delhi and Mumbai break into Top 20.

18. Rio de Janeiro (+12) – Comes on strong but Sao Paulo is stronger.

19. Berlin (-10) – Hurt by weak showing in the ‘haute’ category.

20. Singapore (-6) – Fashion infrastructure strong, but hurt by the economy.

21. Madrid (-6) – Barcelona takes the Iberian crown.

22. Moscow (-6) – Remains strong as it drops out of the Top 20.

23. Santiago (-6) – Now third behind Sao Paulo and Rio in Latin America.

24. Buenos Aires (-4) – Strong in new interpretations of classic fashion.

25. Melbourne (-7) — Slips out of Top 20 as Sydney strives ahead.

26. Stockholm (-7) – Tops in Scandinavia with Copenhagen No. 2.

27. Bangkok (+7) – Breaks into the top tier of Asian Fashion.

28. Krakow (-1) – Hold an increasingly intriguing niche in Middle Europe.

29. Prague (-1) – Strengthening its position as a fashion capitol.

30. Mexico City (Not Listed) – First time on the list.

Others in the ranking in order: Dallas, Toronto, Montreal, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Frankfurt

Johannesburg, Cape Town, Atlanta

Regional Rankings:

Asia and Oceania: Hong Kong, Sydney, Tokyo, Shanghai, Singapore, Melbourne, Bangkok

Europe: Milano, Paris, Rome, London, Barcelona, Berlin, Madrid, Stockholm, (Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Frankfurt)

India: Mumbai, New Delhi

Latin America: Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago, Buenos Aries, Mexico City

Middle and Eastern Europe: Moscow, Krakow, Prague

Middle East and Africa: Dubai, (Johannesburg, Cape Town)

North America: New York, LA, Las Vegas, Miami, (Dallas, Toronto, Montreal, Atlanta)

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Other Headlines

Is Merriam-Webster its own worst frenemy?

60% of new words in 2009 Collegiate were born before today’s college students

‘New’ words average age — 29 years

Austin, TX July 16, 2009, (MetaNewswire) – Is Merriam-Webster its own worst frenemy? The answer to that question can perhaps be answered by the upcoming release of its Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition with the addition of almost 100 new words and word meanings (or senses).  The average of these “new words” is twenty-nine years, according to Merriam-Webster’s itself.  [Read more.]


Analysis: Seismic Shift to Internet in the Reporting

.of News as Evidenced by Death of Michael Jackson

The Death of Michael Jackson has become a case study in the growing disparity between the mainstream global media and their newer Internet incarnations,” said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of the Global Language Monitor.

The world has, indeed, witnessed a seismic shift in the reporting, analysis, and selection of news as evidenced by the recent death of Michael Jackson. In this regard, it appears as if the people have ‘voted with their clicks’ that the Internet is now an equal (if not senior) partner to the global print and electronic media.

London Telegraph:  Michael Jackson’s Death Second Biggest Story of Century

The cyber-reporting of recent events in Iran only underscores this new (and growing) phenomenon.”

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Analysis:  Michael Jackson funeral tops those of Pope John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, Princess Diana and Mother Teresa

.

Measured Global Print and Electronic Media from Day of Death to Day after Funeral

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Austin, TX July 9, 2009– In an exclusive analysis performed by the Global Language Monitor, the death of Michael Jackson, the entertainment icon, has been found to be the Top Funeral in the Global Print and Electronic Media over the last dozen years . Jackson moved ahead of Pope John Paul II, whose funeral in 2005 previously set the standard.

The results follow:

  1. Michael Jackson, June 25 – July 8, 2009
  2. Pope John Paul II, April 2 – April 9, 2005
  3. Ronald Reagan, June 5 – June 10, 2004
  4. Mother Teresa, September 5 – September 14, 1997
  5. Princess Diana, August 31 – September 7, 1997

The death, aftermath, and funeral of Michael Jackson had some 18% more stories in the global print and electronic media than that of Pope John Paul II in 2005. The analysis covered the Top 5,000 print and electronic media sites, but excluded blogs and social media since they did not have a significant presence throughout the entire period of measurement.

“The death of Michael Jackson, and the media frenzy surrounding of its aftermath and his funeral, has moved Michael Jackson to the forefront of coverage of similar prominent deaths over the last dozen years,” said Paul JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst of GLM.  Other prominent passings include those of Pope John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, Princess Diana and Mother Teresa. “The strength (and depth) of the global media coverage only adds to his already significant legacy and shows no sign of abetting.”

When measured in terms total web presence, Jackson outdistances Ronald Reagan, at No. 2, by more a factor of 10.

The results follow:

  1. Michael Jackson, died in 2009
  2. Ronald Reagan, died in 2004
  3. Pope John Paul II, died in 2005
  4. Princess Diana, died in 1997
  5. Mother Teresa, died in 1997

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Jackson Joins yet another Hall of Fame

Michael Jackson Death No. 2 Internet Story of 21st Century

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

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 media events of the 21st century is a testament to the global impact of the man and his music.”

State

Rank

National Rank BOC Category University or College
No. 1 NEW YORK (29)
1 Columbia University 4 University
2 Union College 8 College
3 Eugene Lang College 9 BOC Top Debut College
4 Cornell University 10 University
5 Vassar College 11 College
6 New York University 17 University
6 Hamilton College 17 College
8 Barnard College 18 College
9 Colgate University 22 College
10 Pratt Institute 28 College
11 Copper Union 38 BOC Engineering College
12 SUNY Stony Brook 40 University
13 Syracuse University 47 University
14 Juilliard School 50 BOC Top Music College
15 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 52 University
16 Skidmore College 57 College
17 University of Rochester 63 University
18 Fordham University 75 University
18 St. Lawrence University 75 University
20 SUNY Buffalo 78 University
21 CUNY Queens College 96 University
21 Hobart and William Smith College 96 College
23 Rochester Institute of Technology 100 University
24 CUNY Brooklyn College 101 University
25 SUNY Purchase 102 University
26 Yeshiva University 105 University
27 SUNY Binghamton 109 University
28 SUNY Albany 110 University
29 CUNY Baruch College 113 University
30 CUNY City College 123 University
No. 2 CALIFORNIA (22)
1 University of California - Berkeley 6 University
1 Pomona College 6 College
3 Stanford University 8 University
4 University of California - Los Angeles 14 University
5 University of California - San Diego 18 University
6 University of California - Davis 22 University
7 University of California - Santa Barbara 28 University
8 University of California - Irvine 31 University
9 Mills College 37 College
10 University of Southern California 38 University
11 California Institute of Technology 43 University
12 Occidental College 45 College
13 Claremont McKenna College 66 College
14 Harvey Mudd College 80 College
15 Santa Clara University 88 University
16 Loyola Marymount 90 University
17 Pitzer College 92 College
18 Scripps College 93 College
19 University of San Diego 94 University
20 University of Redlands 107 University
21 Pepperdine University 108 University
22 Cal Poly San Luis Obispo 122 University
No. 3 PENNSYLVANIA (19)
1T Bryn Mawr College 13 College
1T University of Pennsylvania 13 University
3 Bucknell University 15 College
4 Dickinson College 19 College
5 Lafayette College 26 College
6 Gettysburg College 31 College
7 Swarthmore College 32 College
8 Haverford College 34 College
9 Pennsylvania State University 34 University
10 University of Pittsburgh 39 University
11 Carnegie Mellon University 58 University
12 Franklin and Marshall College 62 College
13 Lehigh University 77 University
14 Muhlenberg College 77 College
15 Moravian College 86 College
16 Ursinus College 92 College
17 Villanova University 98 University
18 Washington and Jefferson College 100 College
19 Drexel University 106 University
No. 4 MASSACHUSETTS (19)
1 Wellesley College 1 BOC Liberal Arts College
2T Massachusetts Institute of Technology 2 University
2T Williams College 2 College
4 Harvard University 3 University
5 Amherst College 5 College
6 Boston University 25 University
7 Boston College 30 University
8 Mount Holyoke College 33 College
9 Smith College 55 College
10 Tufts University 65 University
11 Babson College 67 BOC Business College
12 College of Holy Cross 74 College
13 Brandeis University 86 University
14 Stonehill College 87 College
15 Northeastern University 91 University
16 New England Conservatory of Music 96 College
17 Berklee College of Music 99 College
18 Wheaton College 100 College
19 Worcester Polytechnic Institute 117 University
No. 5 VIRGINIA (9)
1 University of Richmond 10 College
2 University of Virginia 21 University
3 Washington and Lee University 21 College
4 University of Mary Washington 30 College
5 Virginia Military Institute 40 College
6 Virginia Tech 79 University
7 College of William and Mary 93 University
8 Sweet Briar 97 College
9 James Madison 191 University
No. 6 TEXAS (9)
1 University of Texas - Austin 26 University
2 Texas A&M University 50 University
3 Austin College 65 College
4 Trinity University 70 College
5 Rice University 71 University
6 Baylor University 76 University
7 Southwestern University 76 College
8 Southern Methodist University 80 University
9 Texas Christian University 105 University
No. 7 OHIO (8)
1 Oberlin College 4 College
2 Ohio State University - Columbus 20 University
3 Kenyon College 29 College
4 Denison University 44 College
5 Case Western Reserve 56 University
6 College of Wooster 58 College
7 Berea College 63 College
8 Miami University 82 University
No. 8 ILLINOIS (8)
1 University of Chicago 5 University
2 Wheaton College 16 BOC Top Christian College
3 University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign 29 University
4 Northwestern University 33 University
5 School of the Art Institute of Chicago 47 College
6 Illinois Wesleyan University 79 College
7 Lake Forest College 83 College
8 Bradley University 121 University
No. 9 NORTH CAROLINA (6)
1 University of North Carolina - ChHill 9 University
2 Duke University 24 University
3 Davidson College 41 College
4 Elon University 69 College
5 Wake Forest University 84 University
6 North Carolina State University 89 University
No. 10 GEORGIA (6)
1 Georgia Institute of Technology 23 University
2 University of Georgia 32 University
3 Spelman College 49 College
4 Emory University 51 University
5 Morehouse College 89 College
6 Agnes Scott College 90 College
No. 11 INDIANA (6)
1 Purdue University 36 University
2 University of Indiana - Bloomington 41 University
3 DePauw University 52 College
4 University of Notre Dame 55 University
5 Wabash College 72 College
6 Butler University 118 University
No. 12 CONNECTICUT (5)
1 Yale 11 University
2 Connecticut College 14 College
3 University of Connecticut 49 University
4 Trinity College 53 College
5 Wesleyan University 56 College
No. 13 MINNESOTA (5)
1 University of Minnesota 16 University
2 Carleton College 23 College
3 Macalester College 51 College
4 St. Olaf College 71 College
5 Gustavus Adolphus College 82 College
No. 14 NEW JERSEY (5)
1 Princeton 12 University
2 Rutgers University 35 University
3 New Jersey Institute of Technology 83 University
4 College of New Jersey 97 College
5 Stevens Institute of Technology 108 University
No. 15 MARYLAND (4)
1 Johns Hopkins University 19 University
2 United States Naval Academy 20 BOC Service Academy BOC
3 St. John’s University 42 College
4 Goucher College 88 College
No. 16 IOWA (4)
1 University of Iowa 42 University
2 Grinnell College 60 College
3 Coe College 78 College
4 Iowa State University 92 University
No. 17 SOUTH CAROLINA (4)
1 The Citadel 54 College
2 Furman University 54 College
3 Clemson University 68 University
4 Wofford College 85 College
No. 18 MAINE (3)
1 Bowdoin College 12 College
2 Bates College 24 College
3 Colby College 39 College
No. 19 WASHINGTON, DC (3)
1 Georgetown 45 University
2 George Washington University 48 University
3 America University 66 University
4 Trinity College nr College
No. 20 COLORADO (3)
1 Colorado College 3 College
2 University of Colorado 57 University
3 United States Air Force Academy 61 College
No. 21 WISCONSIN (3)
1 University of Wisconsin - Madison 7 University
3 Beloit College 36 College
2 Marquette University 87 University
No. 22 MICHIGAN (3)
1 University of Michigan — Ann Arbor 1 BOC Top University University
2 Kalamazoo College 64 College
3 Michigan State University 67 University
No. 23 RHODE ISLAND (3)
1 Rhode Island School of Design 27 BOC Design College
2 Brown University 45 University
3 Providence College 95 University
No. 24 OREGON (3)
1 Willamette University 25 College
2 Reed College 46 College
3 Lewis and Clark College 100 College
No. 25 FLORIDA (3)
1 University of Florida 27 University
2 University of Miami 62 University
3 Florida State University 92 University
4 New College of Florida nr College
No. 26 WASHINGTON (3)
1 University of Washington 15 University
2 Whitman College 59 College
3 Gonzaga University 119 University
No. 27 ALABAMA (2)
1 Auburn University 70 University
2 Birmingham Southern 84 College
No. 28 OKLAHOMA (2)
1 University of Oklahoma 82 University
2 University of Tulsa 116 University
No. 29 TENNESSEE (2)
1 Vanderbilt University 53 University
2 Sewanee - University of the South 68 College
No. 30 LOUISIANA (2)
1 Tulane University 72 University
2 Xavier University 124 University
No. 31 ARIZONA (2)
1 University of Phoenix 37 BOC Top Internet University
2 University of Arizona 59 University
No. 32 MISSOURI (2)
1 Washington University in St. Louis 46 University
2 University of Missouri - Columbia 85 University
No. 33 VERMONT (1)
Middlebury College 7 College
No. 34 NEW MEXICO (1)
St John’s University 42 College
No. 35 NEW HAMPSHIRE (1)
Dartmouth 61 University
No. 36 NEBRASKA (1)
University of Nebraska - Lincoln 60 University
No. 37 UTAH (1)
Brigham Young University 69 University
No. 38 DELAWARE (1)
University of Delaware 73 University
No. 39 KENTUCKY (1)
Centre College 73 College
No. 40 KANSAS (1)
University of Kansas 74 University
No. 41 ARKANSAS (1)
Hendrix College 94 College
No. 42 MISSISSIPPI (1)
Millsaps College 95 College
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

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shakespeare-seriously-noob.jpg

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Linguists Fret as the World Celebrates Global English

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There are 10,000 other stories hailing the arrival of the 1,000,000th word from Abu Dhabi, and Tehran, to Beijing, to Sydney, to Chicago and Sri Lanka.

‘Millionth English word’ declared

A US web monitoring firm has declared the millionth English word to be Web 2.0, a term for the latest generation of web products and services.

Matt Frei reports on English’s unique linguistic evolution and then spoke to Global Language Monitor’s Paul Payack who helped find this millionth English word.

SEE ALSO


The Million Word March in Smithsonian Magazine

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THE WORLD IN WORDS:  Top Words of 2008

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The WordMan’s Guide to Global English!


For Complete Coverage of the Million Word March Click Here.

TrendTopper MediaBuzz

Top 225 Colleges and Universities Fall 2009 Report

The 70+ Page Report Includes:

  • 125 Top Universities
  • 100 Top Colleges
  • Change in the rankings over time
  • The PQI Index number for each school to better understand relative rankings
  • Ranking by Momentum (Yearly and 90-day snapshots)
  • Rankings by State
  • and more.

The Report Provides Rankings, Momentum, and Direction for each school

A Short History of Chess: The Tangles of Time

Chess yields us, when we need them most, companions in our loneliness.”

 — —Mu’ Tazz

By Paul JJ Payack

As masterful a player as Emmanuel Lasker regarded chess as neither an art nor a science but rather a war in which the pieces served as troops and the players the generals. This stemmed from the notion that chess was invented as a war game and so, that is the manner in which it should executed. Undoubtedly reality is reflected in the idea that chess originated either as an aid or substitute for warfare.

Lasker maintained that to understand its creation all that is needed is an understanding of the method of classical warfare. Lasker explained that opposing armies would take their positions in nearly straight lines separated by a nearly level plain. The generals, in order to make their plans comprehensible to their commanders, would sketch the original position and later movements of their pawns and men. Lasker was fond of using the Battle of Cannae, 216 BC, as an illustration. At Cannae, the Carthaginians under the command of Hannibal defeated a Roman force nearly twice their number with superior strategy.

Lasker thought that it was entirely possible that Hannibal not only drew lines and placed stones on a board to explain his stratagems, but did so on what would one day be called a chequer-board. This was given the now familiar shape of a square divided into sixty-four smaller squares, colored black and white alternately. Though Lasker’s contention that chess was invented as a game of war is undoubtedly true, he seems to have postdated its conception by some eight centuries and misplaced it by several worlds.

After a millennium passed in the Buddhist era, various references occur to a game that seems the direct forbear of present-day chess. According to Sanskrit literature, apart from the central king and counselor, the pieces represented the quadrants of the ancient Indian army: war chariots, cavalry, elephants, and foot soldiers. The Upper Basin of the Ganges, or thereabouts, was the locale where this game first appeared. Since the area was a Buddhist stronghold, it is not unreasonable to assume that their monks had a hand in its inception. Since Buddhists oppose the killing of any form of life, it can be hypothesized that the game was invented as a bloodless substitute for war (by allowing men to engage in a combat of a higher sort).

In this version the infantrymen moved as pawns of all times and places, excepting the modern two-square debut. The cavalrymen were placed and manipulated in the same manner as the knight. The elephants’ movements were diagonal and limited to two squares, therefore they were inherently weaker than the bishops into which they were later transformed. The chariots were equal in every respect to the castles which through some ripple in history came to be called rooks. And the counselor, beside the king, moved diagonally also and only one square per move; as time passed its powers were increased to that of the bishop, thereby considerably enhancing the complexity of the game.

Chess spread rapidly (in historical terms) from the Subcontinent to the curiously diverse cultures further west, each leaving ineradicable traces of their time and culture. Persia bestowed the name to the game. Words, unlike mathematical formulae, both lose and gain in their sojourn through time and place. Aside from the usual etymological eddies, the development of the name flowed as follows. The Persian shah “king” came through the Arabic and the tangles of time to Europe as, among other variations, the Old French (e)sches, plural of (e)schek “check” derived from “shah.” From there it was but a minor simplification to the Saxon and Modern English word “chess.”

The culmination of this bloodless substitute for bloodletting is the murder of the enemy king, although the modern game ends euphemistically with the checkmate. This term, too, can be traced through a millennium to Persia. Shah mat “checkmate” means ‘the king (shah) is dead,’ where “mat” is related to the Latin stem mort- “death” found in “mortuary.”

Within a generation of the Hegira, the Arabs conquered Persia in the sacred name of Mohammed. As is usually the case, the two cultures became inextricably entwined and from that time forward it was the Islamic culture that became the primary vehicle of chess. As the game was carried from land to land it underwent a series of transmutations, some surprising and some not so surprising at all.

The Elephant was reduced to its ears. That is it was simplified (for reasons of convenience and religion) to a lump of wood, with a cut extracted from its center. An item of far more interest concerns the Arab rukh which predates the English rook for crow. It is still a matter of some controversy whether the rook was actually a chariot, a bird, or even a ship. It is highly probable that in differing cultures in differing centuries it was each.

In Arabia there seems little doubt that the chariot was replaced by a moderately prominent member the then-current mythology. In Arabian Nights the rukh was an enormous bird of gigantic girth which was inordinately wide of wing; a vast magnification of the eagle or condor. In most variations, the bird had the ability to carry an elephant, and sometimes several, in its talons. The thread of interest that lies about and through all variations of the rukh myth is that it was, whatever else, a deadly enemy of the elephant. (Later, with the aristocratization of chess, the elephant would be transformed into an ecclesiastic.)

Soon chess was a commonplace throughout the world of Islam, from Andalus in the West to the Indus in the East. The Moors carried chess to the Iberian Peninsula during the eighth century of the Christian era, and the Eastern Empire in Byzantium also learned of the game before the century had waned. From Iberia it spread to the north of Europe, while Russia seems to have acquired the game directly from India. (In Russian chess bears its original name, shakh-maty.)

During the High Middle Ages chess became a leisure time activity of the feudal lords, and the pieces began to resemble the aristocracy. (The rukh became, curiously enough, a castle.) A knowledge of ‘Nights and Days’ was considered a social grace for every genteel and parfait knight. Obviously, one reason for this was the connection between chess and war. Soon the powers of certain pieces were increased,making the game much more lively or, if you prefer, deadly.

That lump of wood with the split was not recognized in Europe as an elephant. This was understandably so, since to the folks of medieval Europe an elephant was just as much a mythological creature as the rukh, and possibly more so. To those who were unaware of its esoteric meaning, the elephant, also suggested a bishop’s mitre, an old man, a count or a fool. To this day in French the man is called Le Fou “the fool” and it is diagramed as a cap and bells.

The English, however, were the first to introduce chess diagrams to printing and since the piece remained a bishop there (and in Iceland) the bishop’s mitre would soon become the worldwide standard. However, Germans use this now universal symbol for their laufer “runner” while Russians use the mitre for their slon “the elephant.”

The evolution of the king’s counselor into the queen has been attributed to the similarity of the Arabic word fere “advisor,” to the French vierge “maiden” but probably can be more simply attributed to the make-up of the feudal court. A parallel between the historical liberation of women and the glorification of Mary by the Church could also have been factors in the metamorphosis.

And finally, a mention should be made of pawns; those so adequately named pieces which are even denied the status of chess ‘men’. They are, without exception in all cultures, represented by conveniently small and humble objects. For these there seems a universal need. History: read it and weep.

There are some 1.7 x 10 to the 29th methods of playing the first ten moves of this ancient and storied game. (The Greeks, clever as they were, didn’t even possess a symbol or number for any number larger than ten to the fourth, a myriad.) This being so, it becomes comprehensible why, while chess has ebbed and flowed through history, it has never been successful as a method of channeling the human mind to that combat of a higher sort.

To be sure, there have been wars of every possible description since its inception some thirteen hundred years ago, and when the number of possible permutations is envisioned even in this relatively simple game, it becomes obvious why there is more than adequate room for that phenomenon, war, in the universal scheme of things.

This nightmare, even when contained by a square of sixty-four smaller squares, has the potential to continue in a million billion varying guises for eons on end (and still there would remain variations untried).

Is Websters its Own Worst Frenemy?

60% of new words in 2009 Collegiate Dictionary update were born before today’s college students

‘New’ words average age — 29 years

Austin, TX July 16, 2009, (MetaNewswire) – Is Merriam-Webster its own worst frenemy? The answer to that question can perhaps be answered by the upcoming release of its Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition with the addition of almost 100 new words and word meanings (or senses).

The ‘new’ words (with their dates of first usage) include:

New Word or Term First Usage

Carbon footprint 1999

Flash mob 1977

Green-collar 1990

Locavore 2005

Memory foam 1987

Missalette 1977

Reggaeton 2002

Sock puppet 1959

Waterboarding 2004

Webisode 1997

These are ‘new’ words only insofar as they were never included in Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate, but on average, the words were coined more than 29 years ago (according to M-W’s own definitions). This compares with the average age of today’s college students in the mid-twenties (even with the recent shift to older students).

On the web, ‘waterboarding’ has some 2,000,000 references, ‘webisode’ about 5,000,000 and ‘sock puppet‘ some half million (according to Google). Last year ‘dark energy’ was added to the Collegiate Dictionary some ten years after it had become the subject of much scientific, philiosophical and popular debate. (It had about 10,000,000 references at the time.)

“This is perhaps why students are evermore turning to online resources to understand current affairs and class materials.The reality of today’s Internet-based communications means that new English-language words are appearing and being adopted at an ever-quickening pace,” said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of the Global Language Monitor. “It is entirely possible some of these students heard or even used some of these words while they were still in grammar school”.

To celebrate the coming of age of English as the first, true, global language, The Global Language Monitor announced the 1,000,000th word to enter the English language on June 10, 2009. GLM estimates that a new word appears every 98 minutes, generated by the 1.5 billion people who now use English as a first, second or business language.

Words of the Pandemic

This explainer will be expanded continuously as information on the Type A H1N1 Flu Pandemic becomes available.

Media Alert:  If you need a customized version of this explainer, please call +1.512.801.6823.

These are the technical definitions of the phases and the Planned US Federal Government response.

Term                                            Definition

20th Century Pandemics

1917 Pandemic — La Gripe Espanola or the “Spanish Flu”.   50 million or more died in the 1918 pandemic, up to 200,000 in the US.  Some 30% of the world’s population of 1.5 billion were infected.

1957 Pandemic —  The “Asian Flu”  originated in China.  It had two major waves killing some 2 million people.

1968 Pandemic —  The “Hong Kong Flu” spread globally for two years resulting in about  1 million deaths.

1976 faux Pandemic — First identified at Ft. Dix, NJ in a new recruit, the pandemic never unfolded.  The massive US immunization program resulted in about 500 cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome, a neurological condition that can be fatal.  About fifty deaths were reported.

CDC  —  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Located in Atlanta, Georgia, the CDC is part of the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Close Contact – One meter (about three feet) is often cited by infection control professionals to define close contact (based on studies of respiratory infections); for practical purposes, this distance may range up to 2 meters (six feet).  The World Health Organization says approximately one meter; the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidlelines state within 6 feet”.

Epidemic —  A disease occurring suddenly in humans in a community, region or country in numbers clearly in excess of normal.

Facemask — A disposable mask cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use as a medical device.   Facemasks have several designs.  Held in place two ties, conforms to the face with the aid of a flexible adjustment for the nose bridge, and may be flat/pleated or duck-billed in shape; pre-molded, attached a single elastic band, and has a flexible adjustment for the nose bridge; and flat/pleated and attached  with ear loops. Facemasks cleared by the FDA for use as medical devices have been determined to have specific levels of protection from penetration of blood and body fluids.

Ground Zero  —  The location where the first case occurred.  The earliest confirmed case of the influenz A H1N1 has been traced to the village of La Gloria in Veracruz, Mexico located south east of Mexico City.

H1N1 — See Influenza A H1N1.

Influenza —  A serious disease caused by viruses that infects the upper respiratory tract.

(Electron Microscope image of Influenza A H1N1 virus.)

Influenza A (H1N1) — The official name of what is commonly but inaccurately called ‘swine flu”.  The strain consists of four elements, one human, one avian, and two swine.  The World Health Organization began using this nomenclature on April 30, 2009.

Influenza Pandemic —  A global outbreak of a new influenza ‘A’ virus that is easily transmitted from person-to-person worldwide.

Mutating Virus —  In general, any flu virus mutates and evolves mechanisms that enable it to escape the immune defence systems of its victims.

Pandemic —  The global outbreak of a disease in humans in numbers clearly in excess of normal.

Pandemic Phases —  WHO has divided pandemics into six phases.  (See Figure above.)

Pandemic Phase 1  —  Low risk of human cases.  No viruses circulating among animals have been reported to cause infections in humans.

Pandemic Phase 2  —  Higher risk of human cases.  An animal influenza virus circulating among domesticated or wild animals is known to have caused infection in humans, and is therefore considered a potential pandemic threat.

Pandemic Phase 3 —  No or very limited human-to-human transmission.  An animal or human-animal influenza reassortant virus has caused sporadic cases or small clusters of disease in people, but has not resulted in human-to-human transmission sufficient to sustain community-level outbreaks. Limited human-to-human transmission may occur under some circumstances, for example, when there is close contact between an infected person and an unprotected caregiver. However, limited transmission under such restricted circumstances does not indicate that the virus has gained the level of transmissibility among humans necessary to cause a pandemic.

Pandemic Phase 4  —  Evidence of increased human-to-human transmission.  Human-to-human transmission of an animal or human-animal influenza reassortant virus able to cause “community-level outbreaks.” The ability to cause sustained disease outbreaks in a community marks a significant upwards shift in the risk for a pandemic. Any country that suspects or has verified such an event should urgently consult with WHO so that the situation can be jointly assessed and a decision made by the affected country if implementation of a rapid pandemic containment operation is warranted. Phase 4 indicates a significant increase in risk of a pandemic.

Pandemic Phase 5 — Evidence of significant human-to-human transmission.  Human-to-human spread of the virus into at least two countries in one WHO region (Figure 4). While most countries will not be affected at this stage, the declaration of Phase 5 is a strong signal that a pandemic is imminent and that the time to finalize the organization, communication, and implementation of the planned mitigation measures is short.

Pandemic Phase 6   —   Efficient and sustained human-to-human transmission. The pandemic phase  is characterized by community level outbreaks in at least one other country in a different WHO region in addition to the criteria defined in Phase 5. Designation of this phase will indicate that a global pandemic is under way.  [Editor’s Note:  According to these stated criteria, the pandemic phase has already reached pandemic phase 6 on April 30, 2009.]

Respirator — Refers to an N95 or higher filtering facepiece respirator certified by the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

rRT-PCR Swine Flu Panel diagnostic  test – A tool used to diagnose swine flu cases locally, thus speeding up the confirmation process.

Spanish Flu    —    Another name for the 1918 flu pandemic or La Gripe Espanola.

Swine Flu    —    Commonly used shorthand name for influenza A (H1N1) Symptoms — Body aches, fever, headaches, sore throat, body pain, chills and fatigue, and sometimes diarrhea and vomiting.

Tamiflu and Relenza   —   In response to the request from CDC, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration , in has issued Emergency Use Authorizations  for the use of Relenza and Tamiflu antiviral products.   Tamiflu has been stockpiled by Homeland Security in the US. For optimum efficacy, infected individuals should take it as early as possible.  It lessens the symptoms but is not a cure for Swine Flu.

WHO — Located in Geneva, Switzerland, the World Health Organization, is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system.

 

‘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 1.512,801.6823 email info@GlobalLanguageMonitor.com, or visit www.LanguageMonitor.com.

CNN Sunday Morning

 

Words of the Year 2008

BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR:

Hello, everybody, and good morning. This is CNN SUNDAY MORNING. It is December 7th. I’m Betty Nguyen.

RICHARD LUI, CNN ANCHOR:

And good morning. I’m Richard Lui, in for T.J. Holmes. He’s off today.Thanks for starting your day with us on this Sunday…. We do have a top 10 list for you this morning. You know, it’s almost the end of the year.LUI: Yes, of course.

NGUYEN: So, we’re bringing you the top 10 words of 2008. Can you guess what some of them might be?

LUI: Yes. What would a year be without a top 10 list here? Our Josh Levs has that for us.

Josh, do you speak Phelpsian Chinglish?

JOSH LEVS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Guys, I need to say (ph)…

(LAUGHTER)

NGUYEN: What the heck is that? Can you bail us out from that one? I know bailout is one of the words.

LEVS: That was really good. Yes. Well, I’m going to try to do some Phelpsian bailout Chinglish for you now.

NGUYEN: All right.

LEVS: Let’s take a look. This is from Global Language Monitor. And it’s really interesting when they put this list every year.

Let’s just go to the first graphic because I want you to see what it is that we are starting off with. One to five: change, and then, bailout, Betty, just like you were saying. Three, Obamania. Not much of a surprise since I think we’ve said that on the air a few hundred times. Green — well, I was not — are you guys familiar with greenwashing?

NGUYEN: No.

LUI: No.

LEVS: I didn’t know greenwashing. Greenwashing is repositioning of products to stress its earth-friendly attributes. Basically trying to sell something claiming that it’s green, maybe greener than it is.

NGUYEN: OK. Hold on. Let me ask you this.

LEVS: Yes.

NGUYEN: If these are the top 10 words, why aren’t these words that we’re like, yes, I’ve heard that several times?

LEVS: I know. And I’ll tell you how they go about coming up with the list.

NGUYEN: OK.

LEVS: I want to show you the other five. This is what they do. They look at — here I tell you exactly from here — basically, they look at words and phrases used in media on the Internet and they also look at how often they’re used in major news media.

So, for example, I saw that there is greenwashing. So, I wonder, do we use greenwashing a lot? Check it out. I do a search for greenwashing on CNN.com. Apparently, we do. It’s one of our stories. LUI: Oh.

NGUYEN: Really?

LEVS: And over here is a video that we have all about greenwashing from our eco-solutions unit.

LUI: Guilty as charged.

(LAUGHTER)

LEVS: I guess I’m not watching enough of our stuff.

Let’s check out six through 10.

NGUYEN: OK.

LEVS: I want to show you, guys, the rest of this, it’s great stuff. Derivative is at the top.

LUI: Oh, no. I’m going to do use that one.

(LAUGHTER)

NGUYEN: Oh, the dreaded subprime, foreclosure, yikes.

LEVS: and this is where we get the Phelpsian and Chinglish. Now, Phelpsian, we know Phelpsian is a huge feat that’s never been done before. But Chinglish is, I’ll tell you how they define it, the often amusing Chinese-English language hybrid that Beijing tried to stamp out before the Olympics began. Apparently, Beijing didn’t want people speaking a lot of Chinglish when the world arrived there.

LUI: Yes.

LEVS: So, apparently, they got rid of it.

One more thing to show you, guys. Top phrases of the year.

NGUYEN: OK.

LEVS: I’ll show you this really quick then I’m going to go.

All right. Number one: Financial tsunami. Two: Global warming. Three: Yes we can. No shocker. Four: Lame Duck. And five, working class whites. They say apparently that’s been used as a code word for whites who are working class. More information, language monitor…

NGUYEN: How is it a code word because it says working class whites — it’s right there?

LEVS: Exactly, not even a code word.

LUI: I’ve got one for you, Josh, that you should have put on that list — fact check.

LEVS: Fact check, reality check.

NGUYEN: Oh, yes. Or the truth squad. Any of those.

LEVS: You know, I should have thought of that. I’m calling the language monitor and say it throughout the year. Watch out, buddy.

NGUYEN: All right, get on it.

LUI: Get hopping, my friend.

NGUYEN: Thank you, Josh.

(LAUGHTER)

 

 

 

2008 Presidential Election, Real-time Analysis

Real-time (Historical) Analysis

Complete Coverage of the 2008 Elections

 

Nicholas D. Kristof: Obama and the war on brains

 

Obama “Yes, We Can” Speech Ranked With “I have a Dream,” “Tear Down this Wall,” and JFK Inaugural

AUSTIN, TX,  November 7, 2008 – In an analysis completed earlier today, the Global Language Monitor has found that Barak Obama’s “Yes, We Can” speech delivered Tuesday night in Chicago’s Grant Park ranked favorably in tone, tenor and rhetorical flourishes with memorable political addresses of the recent past including Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I have a Dream” speech, “Tear Down his Wall,” by Ronald Reagan and John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address. GLM has been tracking the language used in the debates and speeches of the Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates throughout the bruising 2008 campaign. In nearly every category, from grade level to the use of passive voice, even the average numbers of letters in the words he chose, Obama’s Victory Speech was very similar in construction to the speeches of King, Reagan, and Kennedy.

Obama Speech a Winner

“As is appropriate for a forward-looking message of hope and reconciliation, words of change and hope, as well as future-related constructions dominated the address,” said Paul JJ Payack President and Chief Word Analyst of the Global Language Monitor. “Evidently, Obama is at his best at connecting with people at the 7th to 8th grade range, communicating directly to his audience using simple yet powerful rhetorical devices, such as the repetition of the cadenced phrase ‘Yes, we can’, which built to a powerful conclusion.”

Obama’s Victory Speech also was similar in construction to his 2004 Democratic Convention address, which first brought him to widespread national attention.

The statistical breakdown follows.

Obama Victory Speech Obama 2004 Convention
Words 2049 2238
Sentences/Paragraph 1.8 2
Words/Sentence 18.9 20.0
Characters/Word 4.2 4.3
Reading Ease 72.4 67.5
Passive 11% 8%
Grade Level 7.4 8.3

For a future-oriented message of hope and vision, the passive voice was used frequently but effectively. Examples include: “There will be setbacks and false starts. It was also noted that Obama spoke in the authoritative voice of the future Commander-in-Chief with such phrasings as “To those who would tear the world down – We will defeat you. Some commentators noticed the absence of the collapse of the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers in the 2001 terrorist attacks from Obama’s catalog of significant events of last 106 years. Historical comparisons follow.

Kennedy Inaugural Address 10.8
Reagan ‘Tear Down This Wall” 9.8
Lincoln “Gettysburg Address” 9.1
Martin Luther King: ”I have a dream” 8.8
Obama 2004 Democrat Convention 8.3
Obama Victory Speech “Yes, we can” 7.4

Change’, ‘Cataclysmic Events,’ and ‘Global Financial Tsunami’ Dominate Concerns of the American Electorate on Nov. 4

AUSTIN, TX, November 4, 2008 – In an analysis completed just hours before voting began for the 2008 the USPresidential Elections, Austin, Texas-based Global Language Monitor has found that ‘Change’, ‘‘Cataclysmic Events,’ and ‘Global Financial Tsunami’ related words and phrases dominate the Top Ten Concerns of the American Electorate on Nov. 4, 2008.

The results are based on an on-going 18-month analysis of the political language and buzzwords used throughout the presidential since before the primaries began.  GLM’s uses its PQI Index, a proprietary algorithm that scours the global print and electronic media, the Internet, and blogosphere for ‘hot’ political buzzwords and then ranks them according to year-over-year change, acceleration, and directional momentum. Political buzzwords are terms or phrases that become loaded with emotional freight beyond the normal meaning of the word.

Top Ten Concerns of the American Electorate on November 4, 2008.

  1. Change is key. Change favors Obama over McCain 3:2.
  2. Cataclysmic events, global warming and climate change rank higher than all other issues except change.
  3. The Global Financial Tsunami and related terms permeate the Election and are that persistent low-humming heard in the background.
  4. Experience counts. Experience favors McCain over Obama 4:3.
  5. Concerns persist about Obama’s experience, background, and the past and current associations.
  6. Gender is an ongoing issue: it began with Hillary and continues with Palin though it is disguised in all sorts of well-meaning platitudes.
  7. For many in this campaign, gender actually trumps race.
  8. For all the concern about race, it actually seems to be having a positive effect on the Obama campaign, in its an ongoing, just beneath the surface dialogue, with millions (both black and white) voting for Obama precisely BECAUSE he is a black man. This is viewed as separating us (and in some sense liberating us) from a long, painful history.
  9. Working Class Whites are used as a code word for whites who are working class. No other moniker, such as Reagan Democrats or Soccer Moms has caught on in this election cycle.
  10. Obama, to his great credit, is no longer perceived as ‘aloof’.

What’s the advantage of the PQI over the Polls?

According to Paul JJ Payack, president and chief Word Analyst of the Global Language Monitor:

The PQI is, perhaps, the ultimate ‘It is what it is’ measurement of consumer (and in this case Political) sentiment. The PQI simply measures the occurrence of certain words or phrases in the print and electronic media (traditional or otherwise), on the Internet, and across the Blogosphere. It is by its very nature non-biased. When we take a statistical snapshot for the PQI there is no adjustment for ‘underrepresented’ groups, there are no assumptions about probability of turnout, the proportions of newly registered voters, traditional models, or expanded modularities. Rather we take our measurements, check for the rate of positive or negative change in the appearance of a searched word or phrase (what we call velocity and) and publish our results. In other words, it is what it is. Using this methodology, GLM was the only media analytics organization that foresaw the ’04 electorate voting with their moral compasses rather than their pocketbooks.”

The Top Political Buzzwords for the 2006 Midterm Elections included:  Throes, Quagmire, Credibility, Global Warming, and Insurgency; the Top Political Buzzwords from the 2004 Campaign included:  Swift Boats, Flip Flop, Quagmire, Fahrenheit 911, Misleader, and Liar!

Top 10 Things Political Buzzwords Tell Us About the Vote

AUSTIN, TX, November 3, 2008 – In an analysis completed just 48 hours before the US Presidential Elections theGlobal Language Monitor has announced the final installment of the Top Political Buzzwords of the 2008 Presidential Campaign. GLM, has been tracking the buzzwords in this election cycle for some eighteen months. Political buzzwords are terms or phrases that become loaded with emotional freight beyond the normal meaning of the word. For example, the word surge has been in the English-language vocabulary since time immemorial.  However, in its new context as an Iraq War strategy, it inspires a set of emotions in many people far beyond the norm.

According to Paul JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst of Global Language Monitor:

  1. The electorate appears to be more advanced in its thinking than either party (or platform). Taken as a whole their concerns center upon uncontrollable, cataclysmic events such as the global financial meltdown and climate change (Nos. 1 and 2), while raising taxes (No. 22) or cutting taxes (No. 27) are lesser (though still important) concerns.
  2. The phrase ‘Financial Meltdown’ has broken into the Top 20, jumping some 2600% in usage over the last month.
  3. Change is the topmost concern. Though change from what to what remains a good question. ‘Change’ is,without question the top word of this campaign. Both candidates are benefitting from the mantra; however Obama holds a 3:2 edge over McCain in this regard.
  4. The second-most discussed term of the campaign barely surfaces in most media reports, and this is the combination of ‘Climate Change’ and/or ‘Global Warming’.
  5. Experience (No. 5) counts. A lot. Especially, if that experience can serve as a guide through the current series of cataclysmic events. McCain edges Obama 4:3 in the experience category. But Obama is given significant credit as a quick (and judicious) study.
  6. Everyone is talking about race (No. 16) except, apparently, the electorate. It is a Top Twenty issue, but it’s nestled between Joe the Plumber and Obama’s smoking.
  7. Iraq is now a non-issue. No. 8, Surge,and its apparent success has settled the argument, so it is no longer a question of victory or defeat. Even Al Qaeda has lost its grip on the electorate, falling some 11 spots in two weeks.
  8. Palin (Nos 14 and 21) is a ‘go-to’ subject for the media and campaigns alike, with both sides thinking they gain tremendous leverage in her disparagement or apotheosis.
  9. Tony Rezko (No. 23), Acorn (No. 24) and Jeremiah Wright (No. 26) are indeed issues, but are viewed as minor, settled or both for the Obama campaign.
  10. The word, aloof, as related to Obama is no longer on the list.  At the end of the Primary season in June, it was No 14 and a major concern of the Obama campaign.  Obama has apparently overcome this sense of aloofness.

The ranking of Top Election Buzzwords of the 2008 Presidential Campaign and commentary follow.

Presidential Campaign PQI 11.2.08 Comment
Rank
1 Change Obama has a 3:2 Edge over McCain with Change
2 Climate Change Global warming within 1/2 of 1% for the overall lead
3 Gasoline Up 2 this week as prices fall
4 Recession Does a global financial meltdown count as a recession?
5 Experience Down 2; McCain has 4:3 Edge Here
6 Obama Muslim A continued presence in Cyberspace
7 Subprime How we got into this mess in the first place
8 Surge One of the Top Words from ’07 now taking a victory lap
9 “That one” Has spurred the Obama base with ‘I’m for That One’ slogans
10 “Just Words” Oh Hillary, what hath thou wrought?
11 Gender Up dramatically since fall campaign though down for week
12 Working Class Whites Still the object of much affection AND derision
13 Price of oil More discussion as price declines; up 5
14 Palin Swimsuit On SNL Alec Baldwin claimed Balin’s ‘way hotter in person’
15 Joe the Plumber Now making appearances with McCain; up 5
16 Racism (election) Belies all the media buzz; now in top 20
17 Obama smoking Down 5 but still in Top Twenty
18 Financial meltdown Now buzzworthy, indeed.
19 Wall Street Bailout As reality of global financial meltdown sets in, down 6
20 Internet fundraising Hangs in there as a hot buzzword at 20
21 Lipstick Drops dramatically over the last survey; down 10
22 Raise taxes Raise Taxes No 22; cut taxes No. 27.  Ho Hum.
23 Rezko Obama’s relationship with Tony Rezko gains one
24 Acorn Voter Reg Loses a couple as interest apparently wanes
25 Al Qaeda election Lurking beneath the surface but falls out of Top Twenty
26 Jeremiah Wright Dr. Wright remains on the radar though falling five more spots
27 Cut taxes Raise Taxes No 22; cut taxes No. 27.  Ho Hum.
28 Hockey Mom Causes headlines but not a top issue
29 Nuclear Iran Drops one more spot since last survey
30 Wash Talking Heads Not a good week for the Cognoscenti; down 15

The ranking is determined by GLM’s PQI Index, a proprietary algorithm that scours the global print and electronic media, the Internet, and blogosphere for ‘hot’ political buzzwords and then ranks them according to year-over-year change, acceleration and directional momentum.  Using this methodology, GLM was the only media analytics organization that foresaw the ’04 electorate voting with their moral compasses rather than their pocketbooks.

The Top Political Buzzwords for the 2006 Midterm Elections included:  Throes, Quagmire, Credibility, Global Warming, and Insurgency; the Top Political Buzzwords from the 2004 Campaign included:  Swift Boats, Flip Flop, Quagmire, Fahrenheit 911, Misleader, and Liar!

Listen to the Interview on WNYC/PRI

 

The Final Debate:  Obama & McCain Differ Sharply

Obama Doubles Use of Passive Voice Over McCain

Memorable quotes: ‘Joe the Plumber’; ‘I am not President Bush’

AUSTIN, TX,  October 16, 2008.  In a linguistic analysis of the final Presidential Debate between Barack Obama and John McCain, the Global Language Monitor has found that in sharp contrast to prior debates, Obama’s use of the passive voice doubled that of McCain (and was significantly higher than he typically uses).  The use of the passive voice is considered significant in political speech because audiences generally respond better to active voice, which they tend to view asmore direct.  On a grade-level basis, Obama came in at 9.3 with McCain scoring grade level, while McCain came in at 7.4, a difference of nearly two grade levels.  The debate took place at Hofstra University, in Hempstead, New York.   The statistical breakdown follows.

Obama McCain Difference
Words 7,146 6,562 584
Words/Sentence 19.4 15.2 4.2
Sentences/Paragraph 2.0 2.1 5%
Characters/Word 4.4 4.4 0%
Passive Voice (%) 6% 3% 100%
Reading Ease 62.6 68.6 6
Grade level 9.3 7.4 1.9

Using industry-standard tools and techniques, GLM ranks the candidates’ speech on a number of levels from grade-reading level, the use of the passive voice, a reading ease score (the higher, the easiest to understand), the number of words per sentence, the number of characters per word, among others.

“Again, word choice and usage speaks volumes,” said Paul JJ Payack, GLM’s President & Chief Word Analyst. “Obama came in at a higher grade level than his previous efforts, but McCain was somewhat easier to understand.  Obama’s significantly higher use of the passive voice combined with his frequent use of the word ‘I’ perhaps indicated an impatience with his opponent  last witnessed in his debates with Hillary Clinton.”

Read:   L’Histoire’s    La Langue des Campagnes

Obama used the personal pronoun, ‘I’ about 158 times in the debate, while McCain used the word some 119 times.

Memorable phrases include more than a dozen references to ‘Joe the Plumber,’ one Joe Wurzelbacher of Holland, Ohio, and John McCain’s ‘I am not President Bush’ retort to Sen. Obama’s attempt to link his policies to those of the current president.

Obama the Intellectual
Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times

 

For comparison purposes, here is the results last week’s Town-hall style debate. That debate was notable in the fact that the questions asked by the audience outdistanced both Obama and McCain in the grade-level ranking category.  Perhaps, the most memorable phrase from that debate is perhaps ‘’That one!” the term McCain used to refer to Obama.  “That One” has already joined GLM’s analysis of the Top Political Buzzwords of the 2008 Campaign.

Obama McCain Difference
Words 7,146 6,562 584
Words/Sentence 19.4 15.2 4.2
Sentences/Paragraph 2.0 2.1 5%
Characters/Word 4.4 4.4 0%
Passive Voice (%) 6% 3% 100%
Reading Ease 62.6 68.6 6
Grade level 9.3 7.4 1.9

Top Buzzwords of Presidential Campaign: Two Weeks Out

Bailout falls dramatically; Experience and Gender Rise
‘Change’ and ’Global Warming/Climate Change’ in statistical tie for top

.

AUSTIN, TX, October 21, 2008 – In an analysis completed just two weeks before the US Presidential Elections the Global Language Monitor has announced that Change and Climate Change remain in a statistical tie for top spot in its list of Political Buzzwords of the 2008 Presidential Campaign, with Bailout falling dramatically to No. 13.

“In the Change ranking, Obama outdistanced McCain by a 3:2 ratio, while in the No. 2 Experience ranking, McCain held a 3:2 edge over Obama,” said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of the Global Language Monitor. “Joe the Plumber and ACORN voter registration references broke into the Top 25, at No. 19 and No. 22, respectively. In a related finding, Gender (No. 10) continued to rise as Race (No. 20) continued to fall, raising the question if gender is the new race?”

Political buzzwords are terms or phrases that become loaded with emotional freight beyond the normal meaning of the word.  For example, the word surge has been in the English-language vocabulary since time immemorial.  However, in its new context as an Iraq War strategy, it inspires a set of emotions in many people far beyond the norm. The rank of Top Election Buzzwords, past rank, and commentary follow.

  1. Change (1) — Obama has a 3:2 edge over McCain with Change
  2. Climate Change (2) — Global warming within 1/2 of 1% for the overall lead
  3. Experience (5) — McCain has 3:2 edge over Obama with Experience
  4. Recession (4) — World economy imploding but still not officially a ‘recession’
  5. Gasoline (6) — Up one as the price dropsa1
  6. Obama Muslim Connection (8) — A persistent topic in Cyberspace; up 2
  7. Subprime (7) — How we got into this mess in the first place
  8. Surge (10) — One of the Top Words from ‘07 moving up ‘ 08 chart
  9. “That one” (12) – The remark has spurred the Obama base: ‘I’m for That One’
  10. Gender (9) – Is ‘gender’ the new ‘race’?
  11. Lipstick (13) — Any talk of Lipstick seems to spur McCain-Palin base
  12. Obama smoking (11) – Surprise here; continues to draw interest
  13. Bailout (3) – Bailout, as a word, dramatically slipping as reality of the entire debacle sets in
  14. “Just Words” (20) — Hillary’s comment on Obama still echoes through the media
  15. Washington Talking Heads (21) – Up six this past week alone
  16. Palin Swimsuit (24) – Fueled by Alec Baldwin on SNL: Balin’s ‘way hotter in person’
  17. Al Qaeda (14) — Always lurking beneath the surface
  18. Price of oil (15) – Weakens as price declines
  19. Joe the Plumber (NR) – Breaks into Top 25 in debut
  20. Race (16) – Continues to drop in media buzz
  21. Jeremiah Wright (19) — Dr. Wright remains on the radar, down from No.2 at start
  22. Acorn Voter Registration (NR) – Debuts in Top 25; dramatic move over last week
  23. Internet fundraising (17) — Loses luster as story; down 6 more spots
  24. Rezko (25) — Obama’s relationship with Tony Rezko breaks into Top 25
  25. Raise taxes (18) Raise Taxes No 25; cut taxes No. 27: Are you Listening

Others

  1. Hockey Mom (22) – Loses a bit of steam
  2. Cut taxes (26) Both ‘cut’ and ‘raise’ down this week, again
  3. Nuclear Iran (23) Peaked out at No. 18

The ranking is determined by GLM’s PQI Index, a proprietary algorithm that scours the global print and electronic media, the Internet, and blogosphere for ‘hot’ political buzzwords and then ranks them according to year-over-year change, acceleration and directional momentum.  Using this methodology, GLM was the only media analytics organization that foresaw the ’04 electorate voting with their moral compasses rather than their pocketbooks.

The Top Political Buzzwords for the 2006 Midterm Elections included:  Throes, Quagmire, Credibility, Global Warming, and Insurgency; the Top Political Buzzwords from the 2004 Campaign included:  Swift Boats, Flip Flop, Quagmire, Fahrenheit 911, Misleader, and Liar!

The US Presidential Election and the Financial Tsunami

Seemingly chaotic events reflect normalcy of new reality

A Historical Inflection Point

AUSTIN, TX,  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 deregulation initiatives of Alan Greenspan of ‘99) that are being all but overshadowed (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, contradict 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 minuscule 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

Vice Presidential Debate Linguistic Analysis:

Palin at 10th Grade-level; Biden at 8th Grade-level
Palin’s use of passive voice highest of the 2008 Debates

 

AUSTIN, TX,  October 3, 2008. The first and only vice presidential debate of the 2008 Campaign has resulted in Governor Sarah Palin, the republican nominee for vice president speaking at a 10th-grade level, with Senator Joe Biden coming in at an 8th-grade level.  Also noteworthy was the fact that Gov. Palin’s use of passive voice was the highest (at 8%) of the 2008 Presidential and Vice Presidential debates thus far.  The analysis was performed by The Global Language Monitor (www.LanguageMonitor.com), the Austin, Texas-based media analytics and analysis company.

GLM ranks the candidates’ speech on a number of levels from grade-reading level, the use of the passive voice, ‘a readability’ score (the closer to one hundred the easiest to understand, the number of words per sentence, even the number of characters per word.

The statistical breakdown follows.

Vice Presidential Debate
Biden Palin Comment
Grade Level 7.8 9.5 Palin raises a few eyebrows here.
No. of Words 5,492 5235 This is a surprise; shows tremendous restraint on the normally loquacious Biden. Obama used 20 more words per minute than McCain.
Sentences/Paragraph 2.7 2.6 A statistical tie.
Words/Sentence 15.8 19.9 Palin even outdistances professorial Obama on this one; Obama scored 17.4
Characters/Word 4.4 4.4 Everyone has apparently learned that shorter words are easier to understand (rather than monosyllabic words facilitate comprehension).
Passive Voice 5% 8% Passive voice can be used to deflect responsibility; Biden used active voice when referring to Cheney and Bush; Palin countered with passive deflections.
Ease of Reading 66.7 62.4 100 is the easiest to read (or hear).

Notes:  The excessive use of passive voice can be used to obscure responsibility since there is no ‘doer of the action’.  For example, ‘Taxes will be raised’ is a passive construction, while ‘I will raise (or lower) taxes’ is an active construction.  Five percent is considered average; low for a politician.

By way of comparison, the ranking by grade-levels for historical debates follow.

Historical Contrasts Grade level
Lincoln in Lincoln-Douglas Debates 11.2
Joseph Lieberman 9.9
Ronald Reagan 9.8
John F. Kennedy 9.6
Sarah Palin 9.5
Richard Nixon 9.1
Dick Cheney 9.1
Michael Dukakis 8.9
Bill Clinton 8.5
Al Gore 8.4
George W. Bush 7.1
George H.W. Bush 6.6
Ross Perot 6.3

The number of words is considered approximate, since transcripts vary.

The methodology employed is a modified Flesch-Kincaid formulation.

The First Presidential Debate:

A ‘Linguistic Dead Heat’ — with One Exception

In true professorial fashion, Obama averages some 20 more words per minute

AUSTIN, TX,  September 28, 2008. The first presidential debate of the 2008 Campaign resulted in a ‘Linguistic Dead Heat’ according to an analysis performed by The Global Language Monitor (www.LanguageMonitor.com).  In nearly every category, from grade level to the use of passive voice, even the average numbers of letters in the words they chose, the candidates remained within the statistical margin of error with one major exception.  In the Number of Words category that the candidates used to convey their messages, Obama, in true professorial style, outdistanced McCain by some thousand words, which breaks down to an average of about 20 more words per minute.

“As in the famous Harvard-Yale game back in 1968, Harvard declared a victory after securing a come-from-behind 29-29 tie.   In the same manner, both sides of the debate have declared victory in an essential deadlocked outcome,” said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of GLM. “Look at the debate as a football game.  Both teams effectively moved the ball.  However, the scoring was low, and the quarterbacks performed as expected, with McCain completing some excellently thrown passes only to have others blocked by Obama.  Obama’s ground game was more impressive, churning out the yards — but he had difficulty getting the ball over the goal line.”

The statistical breakdown follows.

McCain Obama
Sentences per paragraph 2.2 2.1
Words per sentence 15.9 17.4
Characters per word 4.4 4.3
Passive voice 5% 5%
Ease of Reading (100 Top) 63.7 66.8
Grade Level 8.3 8.2
Number of words (approximate) 7,150 8,068

Notes:  The excessive use of passive voice can be used to obscure responsibility since there is no ‘doer of the action’.  For example, ‘Taxes will be raised’ is a passive construction, while ‘I will raise (or lower) taxes’ is an active construction.  Five percent is considered low.

What are they saying in China?

 

McCain’s Speech Comes in at the Third Grade Level: Most Direct of all Speakers at Either Convention

Palin & Obama Speech Score Nearly Identical

AUSTIN, TX, . September 7, 2008. (Updated)  In an exclusive analysis of the speeches made at the recently concluded Political Conventions, the Global Language Monitor found that John McCain spoke at a third-grade reading level, meaning that his speech was the easiest to comprehend of any delivered at either convention. GLM also found that McCain scored the lowest of all convention speakers in use of the passive voice, an indication of ‘direct’ talk. Higher use of the passive voice is often viewed as an indicator of ‘indirect’ and more easily confused speech because the doer of the action is obscured: ‘Taxes will be raised’ rather than ‘I will raise taxes’.

In another finding, GLM found that both Sarah Palin’s and Barack Obama’s widely viewed (38 and 37 million viewers respectively), and much-acclaimed acceptance speeches were closely similar, delivered in language that reflected a ninth grade (9.2 and 9.3 respectively) ‘reading level’.

The basic language evaluation stats are shown below.

John McCain Sarah Palin Barack Obama
3.7 9.2 9.3 Grade Level
1.9 1.3 1.5 Sentences / Paragraph
4.4 4.4 4.4 Letters / Word
79.1 63.8 64.4 Reading Ease (100 is easiest)
6.4 19.5 22.1 Words / Sentence
2% 8% 5% Passive Sentences

It is widely believed that shorter sentences, words and paragraphs are easier to comprehend.

The analysis was performed by the Global Language Monitor, the media analysis, and analytics agency.

GLM used a modified Flesch-Kincaid formula for its analysis, which measures factors such as the number of words in a sentence, the number of letters in a word, the percentage of sentences in passive voice, and other indicators of making things easier to read and, hence, understand.

This release comes in at the second year of college level (14+). 

Warning: do not incorporate these words into presidential addresses.

admin2008 Presidential Election, Barack Obama, PQI, Presidential Elections

2008 Presidential Election, Real-time (Historical) Analysis

 

Complete Coverage of the 2008 Elections

 Nicholas D. Kristof: Obama and the war on brains

Obama’s “Yes, We Can” Speech Ranked with “I have a Dream,”

“Tear Down this Wall,” and JFK Inaugural

 

AUSTIN, TX,  November 7, 2008 – In an analysis completed earlier today, the Global Language Monitor has found that Barack Obama’s “Yes, We Can” speech delivered Tuesday night in Chicago’s Grant Park ranked favorably in tone, tenor and rhetorical flourishes with memorable political addresses of the recent past including Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I have a Dream” speech, “Tear Down his Wall,” by Ronald Reagan and John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address. GLM has been tracking the language used in the debates and speeches of the Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates throughout the bruising 2008 campaign. In nearly every category, from grade level to the use of passive voice, even the average numbers of letters in the words he chose, Obama’s Victory Speech was very similar in construction to the speeches of King, Reagan, and Kennedy.

Obama Speech a Winner

“Complete Coverage of the for a forward-looking message of hope and reconciliation, words of change and hope, as well as future-related constructions dominated the address,” said Paul JJ Payack President and Chief Word Analyst of the Global Language Monitor. “Evidently, Obama is at his best at connecting with people at the 7th to 8th-grade range, communicating directly to his audience using simple yet powerful rhetorical devices, such as the repetition of the cadenced phrase ‘Yes, we can’, which built to a powerful conclusion.”

Obama’s Victory Speech also was similar in construction to his 2004 Democratic Convention address, which first brought him to widespread national attention.

The statistical breakdown follows.

Obama Victory Speech Obama 2004 Convention
Words 2049 2238
Sentences/Paragraph 1.8 2
Words/Sentence 18.9 20.0
Characters/Word 4.2 4.3
Reading Ease 72.4 67.5
Passive 11% 8%
Grade Level 7.4 8.3

For a future-oriented message of hope and vision, the passive voice was used frequently but effectively. Examples include: “There will be setbacks and false starts. It was also noted that Obama spoke in the authoritative voice of the future Commander-in-Chief with such phrasings as “To those who would tear the world down – We will defeat you.

Some commentators noticed the absence of the collapse of the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers in the 2001 terrorist attacks from Obama’s catalog of significant events of last 106 years.

Historical comparisons follow.

Kennedy Inaugural Address 10.8
Reagan ‘Tear Down This Wall” 9.8
Lincoln “Gettysburg Address” 9.1
Martin Luther King: ”I have a dream” 8.8
Obama 2004 Democrat Convention 8.3
Obama Victory Speech “Yes, we can” 7.4

Change’, ‘Cataclysmic Events,’ and ‘Global Financial Tsunami’

Dominate Concerns of the American Electorate on Nov. 4

AUSTIN, TX, November 4, 2008 – In an analysis completed just hours before voting began for the 2008 the USPresidential Elections, Austin, Texas-based Global Language Monitor has found that ‘Change’, ‘‘Cataclysmic Events,’ and ‘Global Financial Tsunami’ related words and phrases dominate the Top Ten Concerns of the American Electorate on Nov. 4, 2008.

The results are based on an on-going 18-month analysis of the political language and buzzwords used throughout the presidential since before the primaries began.  GLM’s uses its PQI Index, a proprietary algorithm that scours the global print and electronic media, the Internet, and blogosphere for ‘hot’ political buzzwords and then ranks them according to year-over-year change, acceleration, and directional momentum. Political buzzwords are terms or phrases that become loaded with emotional freight beyond the normal meaning of the word.

Top Ten Concerns of the American Electorate on November 4, 2008.

1. Change is key. Change favors Obama over McCain 3:2.

2. Cataclysmic events, global warming and climate change rank higher than all other issues except change.

3. The Global Financial Tsunami and related terms permeate the Election and are that persistent low-humming heard in the background.

4. Experience counts. Experience favors McCain over Obama 4:3.

5. Concerns persist about Obama’s experience, background, and the past and current associations.

6. Gender is an ongoing issue: it began with Hillary and continues with Palin though it is disguised in all sorts of well-meaning platitudes.

7. For many in this campaign, gender actually trumps race.

8. For all the concern about race, it actually seems to be having a positive effect on the Obama campaign, in its an ongoing, just beneath the surface dialogue, with millions (both black and white) voting for Obama precisely BECAUSE he is a black man. This is viewed as separating us (and in some sense liberating us) from a long, painful history.

9. Working Class Whites are used as a code word for whites who are working class. No other moniker, such as Reagan Democrats or Soccer Moms has caught on in this election cycle.

10.  Obama, to his great credit, is no longer perceived as ‘aloof’.

What’s the advantage of the PQI over the Polls?

According to Paul JJ Payack, president and chief Word Analyst of the Global Language Monitor:

The PQI is, perhaps, the ultimate ‘It is what it is’ measurement of consumer (and in this case Political) sentiment. The PQI simply measures the occurrence of certain words or phrases in the print and electronic media (traditional or otherwise), on the Internet, and across the Blogosphere. It is by its very nature non-biased. When we take a statistical snapshot for the PQI there is no adjustment for ‘underrepresented’ groups, there are no assumptions about probability of turnout, the proportions of newly registered voters, traditional models, or expanded modularities. Rather we take our measurements, check for the rate of positive or negative change in the appearance of a searched word or phrase (what we call velocity and) and publish our results. In other words, it is what it is. Using this methodology, GLM was the only media analytics organization that foresaw the ’04 electorate voting with their moral compasses rather than their pocketbooks.”

The Top Political Buzzwords for the 2006 Midterm Elections included:  Throes, Quagmire, Credibility, Global Warming, and Insurgency; the Top Political Buzzwords from the 2004 Campaign included:  Swift Boats, Flip Flop, Quagmire, Fahrenheit 911, Misleader, and Liar!

Top 10 Things Political Buzzwords Tell Us About the Vote

AUSTIN, TXNovember 3, 2008 – In an analysis completed just 48 hours before the US Presidential Elections theGlobal Language Monitor has announced the final installment of the Top Political Buzzwords of the 2008 Presidential Campaign. GLM, has been tracking the buzzwords in this election cycle for some eighteen months. Political buzzwords are terms or phrases that become loaded with emotional freight beyond the normal meaning of the word. For example, the word surge has been in the English-language vocabulary since time immemorial.  However, in its new context as an Iraq War strategy, it inspires a set of emotions in many people far beyond the norm.

According to Paul JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst of Global Language Monitor:

  1. The electorate appears to be more advanced in its thinking than either party (or platform). Taken as a whole their concerns center upon uncontrollable, cataclysmic events such as the global financial meltdown and climate change (Nos. 1 and 2), while raising taxes (No. 22) or cutting taxes (No. 27) are lesser (though still important) concerns.
  2. The phrase ‘Financial Meltdown’ has broken into the Top 20, jumping some 2600% in usage over the last month.
  3. Change is the topmost concern. Though change from what to what remains a good question. ‘Change’ is,without question the top word of this campaign. Both candidates are benefitting from the mantra; however Obama holds a 3:2 edge over McCain in this regard.
  4. The second-most discussed term of the campaign barely surfaces in most media reports, and this is the combination of ‘Climate Change’ and/or ‘Global Warming’.
  5. Experience (No. 5) counts. A lot. Especially, if that experience can serve as a guide through the current series of cataclysmic events. McCain edges Obama 4:3 in the experience category. But Obama is given significant credit as a quick (and judicious) study.
  6. Everyone is talking about race (No. 16) except, apparently, the electorate. It is a Top Twenty issue, but it’s nestled between Joe the Plumber and Obama’s smoking.
  7. Iraq is now a non-issue. No. 8, Surge,and its apparent success has settled the argument, so it is no longer a question of victory or defeat. Even Al Qaeda has lost its grip on the electorate, falling some 11 spots in two weeks.
  8. Palin (Nos 14 and 21) is a ‘go-to’ subject for the media and campaigns alike, with both sides thinking they gain tremendous leverage in her disparagement or apotheosis.
  9. Tony Rezko (No. 23), Acorn (No. 24) and Jeremiah Wright (No. 26) are indeed issues, but are viewed as minor, settled or both for the Obama campaign.
  10. The word, aloof, as related to Obama is no longer on the list.  At the end of the Primary season in June, it was No 14 and a major concern of the Obama campaign.  Obama has apparently overcome this sense of aloofness.

The ranking of Top Election Buzzwords of the 2008 Presidential Campaign and commentary follow.

Presidential Campaign PQI 11.2.08 Comment
Rank
1 Change Obama has a 3:2 Edge over McCain with Change
2 Climate Change Global warming within 1/2 of 1% for the overall lead
3 Gasoline Up 2 this week as prices fall
4 Recession Does a global financial meltdown count as a recession?
5 Experience Down 2; McCain has 4:3 Edge Here
6 Obama Muslim A continued presence in Cyberspace
7 Subprime How we got into this mess in the first place
8 Surge One of the Top Words from ‘07 now taking a victory lap
9 “That one” Has spurred the Obama base with ‘I’m for That One’ slogans
10 “Just Words” Oh Hillary, what hath thou wrought?
11 Gender Up dramatically since fall campaign though down for week
12 Working Class Whites Still the object of much affection AND derision
13 Price of oil More discussion as price declines; up 5
14 Palin Swimsuit On SNL Alec Baldwin claimed Balin’s ‘way hotter in person’
15 Joe the Plumber Now making appearances with McCain; up 5
16 Racism (election) Belies all the media buzz; now in top 20
17 Obama smoking Down 5 but still in Top Twenty
18 Financial meltdown Now buzzworthy, indeed.
19 Wall Street Bailout As reality of global financial meltdown sets in, down 6
20 Internet fundraising Hangs in there as a hot buzzword at 20
21 Lipstick Drops dramatically over the last survey; down 10
22 Raise taxes Raise Taxes No 22; cut taxes No. 27.  Ho Hum.
23 Rezko Obama’s relationship with Tony Rezko gains one
24 Acorn Voter Reg Loses a couple as interest apparently wanes
25 Al Qaeda election Lurking beneath the surface but falls out of Top Twenty
26 Jeremiah Wright Dr. Wright remains on the radar though falling five more spots
27 Cut taxes Raise Taxes No 22; cut taxes No. 27.  Ho Hum.
28 Hockey Mom Causes headlines but not a top issue
29 Nuclear Iran Drops one more spot since last survey
30 Wash Talking Heads Not a good week for the Cognoscenti; down 15

The ranking is determined by GLM’s PQI Index, a proprietary algorithm that scours the global print and electronic media, the Internet, and blogosphere for ‘hot’ political buzzwords and then ranks them according to year-over-year change, acceleration and directional momentum.  Using this methodology, GLM was the only media analytics organization that foresaw the ’04 electorate voting with their moral compasses rather than their pocketbooks.

The Top Political Buzzwords for the 2006 Midterm Elections included:  Throes, Quagmire, Credibility, Global Warming, and Insurgency; the Top Political Buzzwords from the 2004 Campaign included:  Swift Boats, Flip Flop, Quagmire, Fahrenheit 911, Misleader, and Liar!

Listen to the Interview on WNYC/PRI

.

The Final Debate:  Obama & McCain Differ Sharply

Obama Doubles Use of Passive Voice Over McCain

Memorable quotes: ‘Joe the Plumber’; ‘I am not President Bush’

AUSTIN, Texas,  October 16, 2008.  In a linguistic analysis of the final Presidential Debate between Barack Obama and John McCain, the Global Language Monitor has found that in sharp contrast to prior debates, Obama’s use of the passive voice doubled that of McCain (and was significantly higher than he typically uses).  The use of the passive voice is considered significant in political speech because audiences generally respond better to active voice, which they tend to view asmore direct.  On a grade-level basis, Obama came in at 9.3 with McCain scoring grade level, while McCain came in at 7.4, a difference of nearly two grade levels.  The debate took place at Hofstra University, in Hempstead, New York.   The statistical breakdown follows.

Obama McCain Difference
Words 7,146 6,562 584
Words/Sentence 19.4 15.2 4.2
Sentences/Paragraph 2.0 2.1 5%
Characters/Word 4.4 4.4 0%
Passive Voice (%) 6% 3% 100%
Reading Ease 62.6 68.6 6
Grade level 9.3 7.4 1.9

Using industry-standard tools and techniques, GLM ranks the candidates’ speech on a number of levels from grade-reading level, the use of the passive voice, a reading ease score (the higher, the easiest to understand), the number of words per sentence, the number of characters per word, among others.

Again, word choice and usage speaks volumes,” said Paul JJ Payack, GLM’s President & Chief Word Analyst. “Obama came in at a higher grade level than his previous efforts, but McCain was somewhat easier to understand.  Obama’s significantly higher use of the passive voice combined with his frequent use of the word ‘I’ perhaps indicated an impatience with his opponent  last witnessed in his debates with Hillary Clinton.”

Read:   L’Histoire’s    La Langue des Campagnes

 

Obama used the personal pronoun, ‘I’ about 158 times in the debate, while McCain used the word some 119 times.

Memorable phrases include more than a dozen references to ‘Joe the Plumber,’ one Joe Wurzelbacher of Holland, Ohio, and John McCain’s ‘I am not President Bush’ retort to Sen. Obama’s attempt to link his policies to those of the current president.

Obama the Intellectual
Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times

 

For comparison purposes, here is the results last week’s Town-hall style debate. That debate was notable in the fact that the questions asked by the audience outdistanced both Obama and McCain in the grade-level ranking category.  Perhaps, the most memorable phrase from that debate is perhaps ‘’That one!” the term McCain used to refer to Obama.  “That One” has already joined GLM’s analysis of the Top Political Buzzwords of the 2008 Campaign.

Obama McCain Difference
Words 7,146 6,562 584
Words/Sentence 19.4 15.2 4.2
Sentences/Paragraph 2.0 2.1 5%
Characters/Word 4.4 4.4 0%
Passive Voice (%) 6% 3% 100%
Reading Ease 62.6 68.6 6
Grade level 9.3 7.4 1.9

Top Buzzwords of Presidential Campaign: Two Weeks Out

 

Bailout falls dramatically; Experience and Gender Rise
‘Change’ and ’Global Warming/Climate Change’ in statistical tie for top

.

AUSTIN, Texas,  October 21, 2008 – In an analysis completed just two weeks before the US Presidential Elections the Global Language Monitor has announced that Change and Climate Change remain in a statistical tie for top spot in its list of Political Buzzwords of the 2008 Presidential Campaign, with Bailout falling dramatically to No. 13.

“In the Change ranking, Obama outdistanced McCain by a 3:2 ratio, while in the No. 2 Experience ranking, McCain held a 3:2 edge over Obama,” said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of the Global Language Monitor. “Joe the Plumber and ACORN voter registration references broke into the Top 25, at No. 19 and No. 22, respectively. In a related finding, Gender (No. 10) continued to rise as Race (No. 20) continued to fall, raising the question if gender is the new race?”

Political buzzwords are terms or phrases that become loaded with emotional freight beyond the normal meaning of the word.  For example, the word surge has been in the English-language vocabulary since time immemorial.  However, in its new context as an Iraq War strategy, it inspires a set of emotions in many people far beyond the norm. The rank of Top Election Buzzwords, past rank, and commentary follow.

1. Change (1) — Obama has a 3:2 edge over McCain with Change

2. Climate Change (2) — Global warming within 1/2 of 1% for the overall lead

3. Experience (5) — McCain has 3:2 edge over Obama with Experience

4. Recession (4) — World economy imploding but still not officially a ‘recession’

5. Gasoline (6) — Up one as the price dropsa1

6. Obama Muslim Connection (8) — A persistent topic in Cyberspace; up 2

7. Subprime (7) — How we got into this mess in the first place

8. Surge (10) — One of the Top Words from ‘07 moving up ‘ 08 chart

9. “That one” (12) – The remark has spurred the Obama base: ‘I’m for That One’

10. Gender (9) – Is ‘gender’ the new ‘race’?

11. Lipstick (13) — Any talk of Lipstick seems to spur McCain-Palin base

12. Obama smoking (11) – Surprise here; continues to draw interest

13. Bailout (3) – Bailout, as a word, dramatically slipping as reality of the entire debacle sets in

14. “Just Words” (20) — Hillary’s comment on Obama still echoes through the media

15. Washington Talking Heads (21) – Up six this past week alone

16. Palin Swimsuit (24) – Fueled by Alec Baldwin on SNL: Balin’s ‘way hotter in person’

17. Al Qaeda (14) — Always lurking beneath the surface

18. Price of oil (15) – Weakens as price declines

19. Joe the Plumber (NR) – Breaks into Top 25 in debut

20. Race (16) – Continues to drop in media buzz

21. Jeremiah Wright (19) — Dr. Wright remains on the radar, down from No.2 at start

22. Acorn Voter Registration (NR) – Debuts in Top 25; dramatic move over last week

23. Internet fundraising (17) — Loses luster as story; down 6 more spots

24. Rezko (25) — Obama’s relationship with Tony Rezko breaks into Top 25

25. Raise taxes (18) Raise Taxes No 25; cut taxes No. 27: Are you Listening

Others

26. Hockey Mom (22) – Loses a bit of steam

27. Cut taxes (26) Both ‘cut’ and ‘raise’ down this week, again

28. Nuclear Iran (23) Peaked out at No. 18

The ranking is determined by GLM’s PQI Index, a proprietary algorithm that scours the global print and electronic media, the Internet, and blogosphere for ‘hot’ political buzzwords and then ranks them according to year-over-year change, acceleration and directional momentum.  Using this methodology, GLM was the only media analytics organization that foresaw the ’04 electorate voting with their moral compasses rather than their pocketbooks.

The Top Political Buzzwords for the 2006 Midterm Elections included:  Throes, Quagmire, Credibility, Global Warming, and Insurgency; the Top Political Buzzwords from the 2004 Campaign included:  Swift Boats, Flip Flop, Quagmire, Fahrenheit 911, Misleader, and Liar!

The US Presidential Election and the Financial Tsunami

Seemingly chaotic events reflect normalcy of new reality

A Historical Inflection Point

AUSTIN, Texas,   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 deregulation initiatives of Alan Greenspan of ‘99) that are being all but overshadowed (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, contradict 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 minuscule 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

Vice Presidential Debate Linguistic Analysis:

Palin at 10th Grade-level; Biden at 8th Grade-level

Palin’s use of passive voice highest of the 2008 Debates

Read about CNN’s take on the GLM debate analysis.

The Debate on the Debate on the 

An Analysis of the Analysis

AUSTIN, Texas,  October 3, 2008. The first and only vice presidential debate of the 2008 Campaign has resulted in Governor Sarah Palin, the republican nominee for vice president speaking at a 10th-grade level, with Senator Joe Biden coming in at an 8th-grade level.  Also noteworthy was the fact that Gov. Palin’s use of passive voice was the highest (at 8%) of the 2008 Presidential and Vice Presidential debates thus far.  The analysis was performed by The Global Language Monitor (www.LanguageMonitor.com), the Austin, Texas-based media analytics and analysis company.

GLM ranks the candidates’ speech on a number of levels from grade-reading level, the use of the passive voice, ‘a readability’ score (the closer to one hundred the easiest to understand, the number of words per sentence, even the number of characters per word.

The statistical breakdown follows.

Vice Presidential Debate

Biden Palin Comment
Grade Level 7.8 9.5 Palin raises a few eyebrows here.
No. of Words 5,492 5235 This is a surprise; shows tremendous restraint on the normally loquacious Biden. Obama used 20 more words per minute than McCain.
Sentences/Paragraph 2.7 2.6 A statistical tie.
Words/Sentence 15.8 19.9 Palin even outdistances professorial Obama on this one; Obama scored 17.4
Characters/Word 4.4 4.4 Everyone has apparently learned that shorter words are easier to understand (rather than monosylablic words facilitate comprehension).
Passive Voice 5% 8% Passive voice can be used to deflect responsibility; Biden used active voice when referring to Cheney and Bush; Palin countered with passive deflections.
Ease of Reading 66.7 62.4 100 is the easiest to read (or hear).

Notes:  The excessive use of passive voice can be used to obscure responsibility, since there is no ‘doer of the action’.  For example, ‘Taxes will be raised’ is a passive construction, while ‘I will raise (or lower) taxes’ is an active construction.  Five percent is considered average; low for a politician.

By way of comparison, the ranking by grade-levels for historical debates follow.

Historical Contrasts Grade level
Lincoln in Lincoln-Douglas Debates 11.2
Joseph Lieberman 9.9
Ronald Reagan 9.8
John F. Kennedy 9.6
Sarah Palin 9.5
Richard Nixon 9.1
Dick Cheney 9.1
Michael Dukakis 8.9
Bill Clinton 8.5
Al Gore 8.4
George W. Bush 7.1
George H.W. Bush 6.6
Ross Perot 6.3

The number of words is considered approximate, since transcripts vary.

The methodology employed is a modified Flesch-Kincaid formulation.

The First Presidential Debate:

A ‘Linguistic Dead Heat’ — with One Exception

In true professorial fashion, Obama averages some 20 more words per minute

AUSTIN, Texas,  September 28, 2008. The first presidential debate of the 2008 Campaign resulted in a ‘Linguistic Dead Heat’ according to an analysis performed by The Global Language Monitor (www.LanguageMonitor.com).  In nearly every category, from grade level to the use of passive voice, even the average numbers of letters in the words they chose, the candidates remained within the statistical margin of error with one major exception.  In the Number of Words category that the candidates used to convey their messages, Obama, in true professorial style, outdistanced McCain by some thousand words, which breaks down to an average of about 20 more words per minute.

“As in the famous Harvard-Yale game back in 1968, Harvard declared a victory after securing a come-from-behind 29-29 tie.   In the same manner, both sides of the debate have declared victory in an essential deadlocked outcome,” said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of GLM. “Look at the debate as a football game.  Both teams effectively moved the ball.  However, the scoring was low, and the quarterbacks performed as expected, with McCain completing some excellently thrown passes only to have others blocked by Obama.  Obama’s ground game was more impressive, churning out the yards — but he had difficulty getting the ball over the goal line.”

The statistical breakdown follows.

McCain Obama
Sentences per paragraph 2.2 2.1
Words per sentence 15.9 17.4
Characters per word 4.4 4.3
Passive voice 5% 5%
Ease of Reading (100 Top) 63.7 66.8
Grade Level 8.3 8.2
Number of words (approximate) 7,150 8,068

Notes:  The excessive use of passive voice can be used to obscure responsibility, since there is no ‘doer of the action’.  For example, ‘Taxes will be raised’ is a passive construction, while ‘I will raise (or lower) taxes’ is an active construction.  Five percent is considered low.

What are they saying in China?

McCain’s Speech Comes in at the Third Grade Level

Most Direct of all Speakers at Either Convention

Palin & Obama Speech Score Nearly Identical

Austin, Texas, USA. September 7, 2008. (Updated)  In an exclusive analysis of the speeches made at the recently concluded Political Conventions, the Global Language Monitor found that John McCain spoke at a third-grade reading level, meaning that his speech was the easiest to comprehend of any delivered at either convention. GLM also found that McCain scored the lowest of all convention speakers in use of the passive voice, an indication of ‘direct’ talk. Higher use of the passive voice is often view as an indicator of ‘indirect’ and more easily confused speech because the doer of the action is obscured: ‘Taxes will be raised’ rather than ‘I will raise taxes’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In another finding, GLM found that both Sarah Palin’s and Barack Obama’s widely viewed (38 and 37 million viewers respectively), and much acclaimed acceptance speeches were closely similar, delivered in language that reflected a ninth grade (9.2 and 9.3 respectively) ‘reading level’.

The basic language evaluation stats are shown below.

John McCain Sarah Palin Barack Obama
3.7 9.2 9.3 Grade Level
1.9 1.3 1.5 Sentences / Paragraph
4.4 4.4 4.4 Letters / Word
79.1 63.8 64.4 Reading Ease (100 is easiest)
6.4 19.5 22.1 Words / Sentence
2% 8% 5% Passive Sentences

It is widely believed that shorter sentences, words and paragraphs are easier to comprehend.

The analysis was performed by the Global Language Monitor, the media analysis and analytics agency.

GLM used a modified Flesch-Kincaid formula for its analysis, which measures factors such as number of words in a sentence, number of letters in a word, the percentage of sentences in passive voice, and other indicators of making things easier to read and, hence, understand.

This release comes in at the second year of college level (14+). 

Warning: do not incorporate these words into presidential addresses.

 

Top Political Buzzwords of the 2008 Primary Season

 

Top Political Buzzwords BEFORE the Primary Season

2008 Olympic Sponsors Medal Round

 

Final GLM TrendTopper MediaBuzz Rankings

 

Lenovo Takes the Gold Pulling Away

J&J Finishes Strong Edging McDonald’s,

Coca-Cola Leaps Over Rivals

Austin, Texas, USA.   August 29, 2008.   The final week of the GLM TrendTopper™ analysis of the performance of the Global Sponsors at the Beijing Olympics, Lenovo (OTC: LNVGY) takes the Gold pulling away from the pack, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:  JNJ) finishes strong edging McDonald’s (NYSE:  MCD) for the Silver, while Coca-Cola (NYSE: K), in a bold move leaps five spots to No. 4.

On the downside, Samsung (OTC: SSNFL) and Kodak (NYSE: K) each fell three spots to No. 6 and 7 respectively.

Over the last two weeks, Lenovo has completed its remarkable climb from No. 10 to the Top Spot. The analysis was performed by the Global Language Monitor (www.LanguageMonitor.com), the internet and media tracking agency.

Global Sponsors

Last

Change

Rank

1

Lenovo

1

0

2

J&J

5

3

3

McDonald’s

2

-1

4

Coca-Cola

9

5

5

Visa

6

1

6

Samsung

3

-3

7

Kodak

4

-3

8

Panasonic

7

-1

9

Omega

8

-1

10

GE

10

0

11

Atos Origin

11

0

12

Manulife

12

0

According to Paul JJ Payack, President, “In medal round of our competition, Lenovo performed a Phelpsian move pulling away from the crowd.  In fact, its media awareness grew over 2100% since our baseline ‘snapshot’ on the last day of 2007.  The strength of the Johnson & Johnson brand was also remarkable at No. 2. McDonald’s brand equity was leveraged in clever and interesting ways, especially with their spectacular kick-off event. And, once again, Coca-Cola proved itself in the distance events, placing at or near the top for another Olympiad.”  

PQI

The Predictive Quantities Indicator (PQI)

The Global Language Monitor’s proprietary algorithm, the Predictive Quantities Indicator (PQI) is the basis of our analytical engine.

The PQI tracks 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 (Factiva, Lexis-Nexis, etc.).

Once a keyword base index is created (including selected keywords, phrases, ‘excluders’ and ‘penumbra’ words), ‘timestamps’ and a ‘media universe’ are determined.

The PQI is a weighted Index, factoring in: Long-term trends, Short-term changes, Momentum, and Velocity.   As such it can create ’signals’ that can be used in a variety of applications.

Outputs include: the raw PQI, a Directional Signal, or a Relative Ranking with 100 as the base.

When analyzing words and phrases in political contexts, GLM uses the Political-sensitivity Quotient Index; when analyzing words and phrases in any other context, GLM uses a slightly different Predictive Quantities Indicator.  A third variation is used when analyzing words and phrases in commercial contexts called GLM’s TrendTopper software.

If you are interested in taking a closer look at the methodology underlying the PQI, see the slide show below.

A more detail look is available upon the signing of a NDA (non-disclosure agreement).  We will then take you through the methodology in detail as we have done with numerous technology organizations, government agencies, and media organizations.  If you would like to pursue this option, please send email to info@LanguageMonitor.com.

Click here for a slide show explaining the PQI and how it underlies our TrendTopper Services

The New York Times: The Power of Words features the Global Language Monitor and the PQ Indicator

Sunday, January 29, 2006.  This analysis measure the likelihood of a real estate  in New York (as re

Click here.

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Chinglish

Will the Beijing Olympics Finally Eradicate Chinglish?

Is this the End to ‘Deformed-man Toilets’ and ‘Racist Parks’

We think not.

Austin, Texas, USA.   July 30, 2008.   MetaNewswire.  There has been much publicity about Beijing’s vaunted attempt to eradicate Chinglish before the 2008 Games begin.  Menus at the top hotels have been replaced with standardized, albeit less poetic, versions (no more ‘exploding shrimp’.)

And many of the city’s traffic signs have been tamed (no more signposts to the Garden with Curled Poo).  “We have worked out 4,624 pieces of standard English translations to substitute the Chinglish ones on signs around the city,” said Lu Jinlan, head of the organizing committee of the Beijing Speaks Foreign Languages Programme (BSFLP).

 

Is this really the end of Chinglish, that delightful admixture of Chinese and English?

Studies by the Global Language Monitor suggest that Chinglish will persist – and even thrive – far after the Games have ended.

Chinglish is the outgrowth of several convening forces, including:

·    the widespread acceptance of English as a Global Language

·    the fact that some 250 million Chinese are currently studying English as a second, auxiliary or business language

·    he astonishing complexity and richness of the Mandarin language

·    the English language vocabulary is approaching the million word mark

·    The Chinese people evidently enjoy wearing Chinglish on their clothing

Mandarin has more than 50,000 ideograms each of which can be used to represent any number of words.  In addition, Mandarin is a tonal language meaning that tonal variations in pronunciation can distinguish one word from another.  Therefore attempting to map a precise ideogram to any particular word in the million-word English lexicon is a nearly impossible task.

The difficulty is further evidenced on the official Olympic website of the Beijing Olympic Games,http://en.beijing2008.cn, where it states that “we share the charm and joy of the Olympic Games”.  Hundreds of scholars have proofed the site and decided that the word charm is most appropriate in describing the Games.  In past Olympiads words such as ‘power’, ‘pride,’ ‘heroic,’ ‘majesty,’ ‘triumph,’ and, even, ‘tragedy’ frequently have been used to described the Olympic movement but the word ‘charm’ has largely been ignored.   Charm has a number of meanings including the ‘individuating property of quarks and other elementary particles’.  In this case, we assume the authorities were using the definition of charm as a transitive verb:  to attract or please greatly; enchant; allure; fascinate, or delight.

Finally, there is the on-going cross-pollination between English and Mandarin, with Chinglish at the epicenter of the movement.  Recently, the Ministry of Education (MOE) accepted some 171 neologisms into the Chinese language.   Words were considered only after they passed the scrutiny of a dozen scholars associated with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) Institute of Linguistics.  These included a new ideogram for ‘brokeback,’ a word popularized from the banned movie Brokeback Mountain to indicate ‘gay’.

You will find brokeback in few English-language dictionaries, but it already has been accepted into the Chinese.  Words passed over for formal entry, which despite their frequency of use were deemed inappropriate included:  “cool”, “zip it”, 3Q for “thank you” and “kick your ass”.

Recently, the Global Language Monitor listed its all-time favorite Chinglish words and phrases.  These included:

·         Deformed man toilet (handicapped restroom)

·         Airline Pulp (food served aboard airlines – no explanation necessary

·         The slippery are very crafty (slippery when wet)

·         If you are stolen, call the police

·         Do not climb the rocketry (rock wall)

Chinglish Adds Flavor to Alphabet Soup

 

2/19/2008 (China Daily) — San Diego-based consultancy group - Global Language Monitor claims Chinglish is adding the most spice to the alphabet soup of today’s English by contributing more words than any other single source to the global language.

And the more Chinese I learn, the more appetizing this seems.

Subscribing to the Elizabethan definition of a word as “a thing spoken and understood”, GLM is using a predictive quantities indicator (PQI) to scan the Web for emergent English words and track their mainstream use over time.

As GLM president Paul JJ Payack says: “Language colors the way you think. Thinking in Chinese is completely different.”

And every day that I learn more Chinese, the more vibrant this coloration becomes in my mind. This is mostly because of the descriptive nature of the language, in which many words are created by mixing and matching diasylobolic words to create new diasylobolic words.

Generally speaking, English is more definitional, so its words are more terminological than descriptive. For example, a “spider” is a spider - the word in itself tells you nothing about what it represents. But the Chinese word for spider (zhizhu) literally translates as “clever insect” - a description it earns in Chinese by spinning intricate webs to ensnare prey.

In Chinese, you don’t ride a bike, bus or train; you instead respectively ride a (zixinche) “self-walk vehicle”, a (gonggongqiche) “public all-together gas vehicle” or a (huoche) “fire vehicle”.

A massage is a (anmo) “press and touch”. A pimple is a (qingdou) “youth bean”. Investing is to (touzi) “throw funds”. And when you don’t make your money back, the disappointment is conveyed directly as (saoxing) “sweep interest”.

While linguists ballyhoo English’s capacity for specificity, this has in some ways become its weakness, as the definitional often trumps the descriptive, with wonderful exceptions, such as “rainbow”. But that’s where the other widely vaunted strength of the language - its capacity to ravenously gobble up other languages’ words - could become a beautiful thing. And I’m glad to know the English language is developing a growing taste for Chinese food.

In the 1960s, there were about 250 million English speakers, mostly from the United States, the United Kingdom and their former colonies.

Today, the same number of Chinese possesses some command of the language, and that number is growing. One possibility is the plethora of localized “lishes”, such as Chinglish, Hinglish (a Hindi-English hybrid) and Spanglish (an English-Spanish hybrid) could branch so far from English, they become mutually unintelligible tongues sharing a common root, much as Latin did in Medieval Europe.

Many linguists agree that if the lishes splinter, Chinglish will likely become the most prominent offshoot by virtue of sheer numbers, giving Chinese primary ownership of the language.

Perhaps then, English could become more beautiful than I could now describe - at least with its currently existing words. (Contributed by China Daily)

The Million Word March. Fueled by Chinglish?

No Noising’ and ‘Airline Pulp’ named Top Chinglish Words

San Diego, Calif. November 22, 2006. ‘No Noising’ and ‘Airline Pulp’ have been named the Top Chinglish Words of 2006 in The Global Language Monitor’s annual survey of the Chinese-English hybrid words known more commonly as Chinglish. Though often viewed with amusement by the rest of the English-speaking world, The Chinglish phenomenon is one of the prime drivers of Globalization of the English Language.

The Annual Survey by the Global Language Monitor

The importance of Chinglish is the fact that some 250,000,000 Chinese are now studying, or have studied, English and their impact (and imprint) upon the language cannot be denied,” said Paul JJ Payack, President and The WordMan of the Global Language Monitor. “Since each Chinese ideogram can have many meanings and interpretations, translating ideas into English is, indeed, difficult. Nevertheless, the abundance of new words and phrases, unlikely as this may seem, can and will impact Global English as it evolves through the twenty-first century”.

With the English Language marching steadily toward the 1,000,000 word mark, there are now some 1.3 billion speakers with English as their native, second, business or technical tongue. In 1960, the number of English Speakers hovered around 250,000,000 mainly located in the UK and its Commonwealth of former colonies, and the US.

Some scholars maintain that you cannot actually count the number of words in the language because it is impossible to say exactly what a word is, talking rather of memes and other linguistic constructs, are afraid that Global English is just another form of cultural Imperialism. GLM take the classic view of the language as understood in Elisabethan England, where a word was ‘a thing spoken’ or an ‘idea spoken’.

Others say that English is undergoing a rebirth unlike any seen since the time of Shakespeare, when English was emerging as the modern tongue known to us today. (Shakespeare, himself, added about 1700 words to the Codex.) English has emerged as the lingua franca of the planet, the primary communications vehicle of the Internet, high technology, international commerce, entertainment, and the like.

Chinglish is just one of a number of the -Lishes, such as Hinglish (Hindu-English hydrid) and Singlish, that found in Singapore. A language can best be view as a living entity, where it grows just like any other living thing and is shaped by the environment in which it lives. With the continuing emergence of China on the world stage — and with the Olympics coming to Beijing in 2008, the state is now attempting to stamp-out some of the more egregious examples of Chinglish.

In its annual survey the Global Language Monitor has selected from hundreds of nominees, the top Chinglish words and Phrases of 2006.

The Top Chinglish Words and Phrases of 2006 follow:

1. “No Noising”. Translated as “quiet please!”

2. “Airline pulp.” Food served aboard an airliner.

3. “Jumping umbrella”. A hang-glider.

4. “Question Authority”. Information Booth.

5. “Burnt meat biscuit.” No it’s not something to enjoy from the North of England but what is claimed to be bread dipped in a savory meat sauce.

Bonus: GLM’s all-time favorite from previous surveys: “The Slippery are very crafty”. Translation: Slippery when wet!

Independent News (London): Chinglish Phrases on the Rise

People’s Daily (China): Global Language Monitor: Many Chinglish into English

The Sunday Times (London): Chinglish: It’s a word in a million

Click here to add your thoughts to the China Daily Online Translation Community

Chinese Translation Exam Features GLM (Section 7)

Chinglish one of the Top Words of 2005

Read More.

Click here to Read and Listen to the Chinese Radio Int’l (CRI) Report

How 9/11 Changed the Way Americans Speak

How 9/11 Changed the Way Americans Speak

Subtle Yet Profound Differences

Austin, Texas, USA. September 11, 2008. (Updated) The Global Language Monitor today released an updated analysis of how the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, The Pentagon, and the pending targets in Washington, D.C., widely suspected to be the White House or the Capitol Building, have changed the way Americans speak in terms of vernacular, word choice and tone.

Updating an earlier analysis completed on the Fifth Anniversary of the attacks, it a continued and historic change in an ‘unCivil War‘ in terms of the vitriolic exchange currently witnessed on the American Political scene.  According to Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of GLM (www.LanguageMonitor.com), these are a few of the ways where the events of 9/11 have impacted the way Americans speak.

1. 9/11 — The first case is the use of 9/11, itself, as a shorthand for the 2001 terrorist attacks. Using various web metrics, 9/11 outpaces any other name, including the spelled out ‘September 11th” by 7:1 margin. This designation in itself it quite interesting. It is true that Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed the Pearl Harbor attack as “December 7th, 1941 as a day which will live in infamy”. But there were no “12/7” rallying cries thereafter. Neither were the dates immortalized of the original battles of the Korean War, the Gulf of Tonkin Incident which preceded the major escalation of the Vietnam War, The First Gulf War, The Afganistan siege, or even the recent Iraqi Invasion. Only the 7/7 attacks on the London Subway system are recorded in common memory by their date (and primarily in the UK in general,  and London in particular).

2. Ground Zero — The name Ground Zero evokes a sacred place, where the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers once stood. It is also revered as a burial ground since thousands of bodies literally vaporized in the ensuing collapse with no remains found whatsoever. Almost universally, it is capitalized as any other proper name, with a few exceptions, most notably the New York Times. Even this week, The Times insisted on referring to Ground Zero in the lower case, calling it ‘the area known as ground zero’. (Sic) Names are officially bestowed in a number of ways, most often by bureaucratic committees following arcane sets of rules, answering to few. In this case, we kindly request those bureaucrats to follow the lead of hundreds of millions around the world who have formally bestowed upon that special place, the formal name of Ground Zero.

3. Hero — In mythology, heroes were men and women often of divine ancestry endowed with the gifts of courage and strength. In reality, everyday heroes of the late 20th and early 21st centuries were sports figures (‘Be like Mike’ and ‘Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio’), comic book and cartoon characters ala Superman and Spiderman, and all too frequently ‘anti-heroes’ known for the colossal damage they might inflict upon a helpless (and often hapless) world. Into this tableaux, came the heroes of 9/11, very real men and women, rushing into and up the Towers as everyone else was rushing down and out; rushing the cockpit of Flight 93, with knives and forks and steaming hot coffee, forcing the startled highjackers to abandon their plans of crashing into the Capitol or White House rather than the previously unheralded soil of Swanksville, PA; and the men and women who quietly stood their posts at the Pentagon, just doing their duty, not knowing if they would be subjected to another horrific, and more deadly, attack at any moment. In the post-9/11 world, the term has now come to apply to any who place their lives in danger to foster the public good, especially ‘first-responders’ such as: firefighters, EMTs, and police, who quietly place their lives on the line every day.

4. -stan — The suffix in Persian and related languages that means, literally, ‘land of,’ hence, Afghanistan or Land of the Afghans, or Kurdistan (or Kurdish Territories), or even this relatively new moniker: Londonistan.  Talibanistan, referring to Afganistan and the ‘tribal lands’ in Pakistan in the New York Times Sunday Magazine is the latest instantiation.

5. The unCivil War — Since 9/11 after a very short reprieve, the political discourse of American politics has, arguably, descended to its lowest level since the Civil-War era when Lincoln was typically depicted as a know-nothing, Bible-spouting Baboon. Even speech of the Watergate era was spared the hyperbole commonly heard today, as respect for the institution of the presidency remained high. Today, political opponents are routinely called ‘liars,’ are typically compared to Hitler, Nazis, and Fascists; are accused of purposely allowing New Orleans’ inundation in order to destroy disenfranchised elements of our population, and so on. It is very difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of this reaction. It has been suggested that in the face of a nearly invisible, constantly morphing, enemy, we have turned the attack inward, upon ourselves, and our institutions.

Chinglish

 

 

 

 

Will the Beijing Olympics Finally Eradicate Chinglish?

 

  Is this the End to ‘Deformed-man Toilets’ and ‘Racist Parks’

 

  We think not.

Austin, Texas, USA.   July 30, 2008.   MetaNewswire.  There has been much publicity about Beijing’s vaunted attempt to eradicate Chinglish before the 2008 Games begin.  Menus at the top hotels have been replaced with standardized, albeit less poetic, versions (no more ‘exploding shrimp’.)

And many of the city’s traffic signs have been tamed (no more signposts to the Garden with Curled Poo).  “We have worked out 4,624 pieces of standard English translations to substitute the Chinglish ones on signs around the city,” said Lu Jinlan, head of the organizing committee of the Beijing Speaks Foreign Languages Programme (BSFLP).

Is this really the end of Chinglish, that delightful admixture of Chinese and English?

Studies by the Global Language Monitor suggest that Chinglish will persist – and even thrive – far after the Games have ended.

Chinglish is the outgrowth of several convening forces, including:

·    the widespread acceptance of English as a Global Language

·    the fact that some 250 million Chinese are currently studying English as a second, auxiliary or business language

·    he astonishing complexity and richness of the Mandarin language

·    the English language vocabulary is approaching the million word mark

·    The Chinese people evidently enjoy wearing Chinglish on their clothing

Mandarin has more than 50,000 ideograms each of which can be used to represent any number of words.  In

addition, Mandarin is a tonal language meaning that tonal variations in pronunciation can distinguish one word from another.  Therefore attempting to map a precise ideogram to any particular word in the million-word English lexicon is a nearly impossible task.

The difficulty is further evidenced on the official Olympic website of the Beijing Olympic Games, http://en.beijing2008.cn, where it states that “we share the charm and joy of the Olympic Games”.  Hundreds of scholars have proofed the site and decided that the word charm is most appropriate in describing the Games.  In past Olympiads words such as ‘power’, ‘pride,’ ‘heroic,’ ‘majesty,’ ‘triumph,’ and, even, ‘tragedy’ frequently have been used to described the Olympic movement but the word ‘charm’ has largely been ignored.   Charm has a number of meanings including the ‘individuating property of quarks and other elementary particles’.  In this case, we assume the authorities were using the definition of charm as a transitive verb:  to attract or please greatly; enchant; allure; fascinate; or delight.

Finally, there is the on-going cross-pollination between English and Mandarin, with Chinglish at the epicenter of the movement.  Recently, the Ministry of Education (MOE) accepted some 171 neologisms into the Chinese language.   Words were considered only after they passed the scrutiny of a dozen scholars associated with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) Institute of Linguistics.  These included a new ideogram for ‘brokeback,’ a word popularized from the banned movie Brokeback Mountain to indicate ‘gay’.

You will find brokeback in few English-language dictionaries, but it already has been accepted into the Chinese.  Words passed over for formal entry, which despite their frequency of use were deemed inappropriate included:  “cool”, “zip it”, 3Q for “thank you” and “kick your ass”.

Recently, the Global Language Monitor listed its all-time favorite Chinglish words and phrases.  These included:

·         Deformed man toilet (handicapped restroom)

·         Airline Pulp (food served aboard airlines – no explanation necessary

·         The slippery are very crafty (slippery when wet)

·         If you are stolen, call the police

·         Do not climb the rocketry (rock wall)

 

Chinglish Adds Flavor to Alphabet Soup

2/19/2008 (China Daily) — San Diego-based consultancy group - Global Language Monitor claims Chinglish is adding the most spice to the alphabet soup of today’s English by contributing more words than any other single source to the global language.

And the more Chinese I learn, the more appetizing this seems.

Subscribing to the Elizabethan definition of a word as “a thing spoken and understood”, GLM is using a predictive quantities indicator (PQI) to scan the Web for emergent English words and track their mainstream use over time.

As GLM president Paul JJ Payack says: “Language colors the way you think. Thinking in Chinese is completely different.”

And every day that I learn more Chinese, the more vibrant this coloration becomes in my mind. This is mostly because of the descriptive nature of the language, in which many words are created by mixing and matching diasylobolic words to create new diasylobolic words.

Generally speaking, English is more definitional, so its words are more terminological than descriptive. For example, a “spider” is a spider - the word in itself tells you nothing about what it represents. But the Chinese word for spider (zhizhu) literally translates as “clever insect” - a description it earns in Chinese by spinning intricate webs to ensnare prey.

In Chinese, you don’t ride a bike, bus or train; you instead respectively ride a (zixinche) “self-walk vehicle”, a (gonggongqiche) “public all-together gas vehicle” or a (huoche) “fire vehicle”.

A massage is a (anmo) “press and touch”. A pimple is a (qingdou) “youth bean”. Investing is to (touzi) “throw funds”. And when you don’t make your money back, the disappointment is conveyed directly as (saoxing) “sweep interest”.

While linguists ballyhoo English’s capacity for specificity, this has in some ways become its weakness, as the definitional often trumps the descriptive, with wonderful exceptions, such as “rainbow”. But that’s where the other widely vaunted strength of the language - its capacity to ravenously gobble up other languages’ words - could become a beautiful thing. And I’m glad to know the English language is developing a growing taste for Chinese food.

In the 1960s, there were about 250 million English speakers, mostly from the United States, the United Kingdom and their former colonies.

Today, the same number of Chinese possesses some command of the language, and that number is growing. One possibility is the plethora of localized “lishes”, such as Chinglish, Hinglish (a Hindi-English hybrid) and Spanglish (an English-Spanish hybrid) could branch so far from English, they become mutually unintelligible tongues sharing a common root, much as Latin did in Medieval Europe.

Many linguists agree that if the lishes splinter, Chinglish will likely become the most prominent offshoot by virtue of sheer numbers, giving Chinese primary ownership of the language.

Perhaps then, English could become more beautiful than I could now describe - at least with its currently existing words. (Contributed by China Daily)

The Million Word March. Fueled by Chinglish?

No Noising’ and ‘Airline Pulp’ named Top Chinglish Words

San Diego, Calif. November 22, 2006. ‘No Noising’ and ‘Airline Pulp’ have been named the Top Chinglish Words of 2006 in The Global Language Monitor’s annual survey of the Chinese-English hybrid words known more commonly as Chinglish. Though often viewed with amusement by the rest of the English-speaking world, The Chinglish phenomenon is one of the prime drivers of Globalization of the English Language.

The Annual Survey by the Global Language Monitor

The importance of Chinglish is the fact that some 250,000,000 Chinese are now studying, or have studied, English and their impact (and imprint) upon the language cannot be denied,” said Paul JJ Payack, President and The WordMan of the Global Language Monitor. “Since each Chinese ideogram can have many meanings and interpretations, translating ideas into English is, indeed, difficult. Nevertheless, the abundance of new words and phrases, unlikely as this may seem, can and will impact Global English as it evolves through the twenty-first century”.

With the English Language marching steadily toward the 1,000,000 word mark, there are now some 1.3 billion speakers with English as their native, second, business or technical tongue. In 1960, the number of English Speakers hovered around 250,000,000 mainly located in the UK and its Commonwealth of former colonies, and the US.

Some scholars maintain that you cannot actually count the number of words in the language because it is impossible to say exactly what a word is, talking rather of memes and other linguistic constructs, are afraid that Global English is just another form of cultural Imperialism. GLM take the classic view of the language as understood in Elisabethan England, where a word was ‘a thing spoken’ or an ‘idea spoken’.

Others say that English is undergoing a rebirth unlike any seen since the time of Shakespeare, when English was emerging as the modern tongue known to us today. (Shakespeare, himself, added about 1700 words to the Codex.) English has emerged as the lingua franca of the planet, the primary communications vehicle of the Internet, high technology, international commerce, entertainment, and the like.

Chinglish is just one of a number of the -Lishes, such as Hinglish (Hindu-English hydrid) and Singlish, that found in Singapore. A language can best be view as a living entity, where it grows just like any other living thing and is shaped by the environment in which it lives. With the continuing emergence of China on the world stage — and with the Olympics coming to Beijing in 2008, the state is now attempting to stamp-out some of the more egregious examples of Chinglish.

In its annual survey the Global Language Monitor has selected from hundreds of nominees, the top Chinglish words and Phrases of 2006.

The Top Chinglish Words and Phrases of 2006 follow:

1. “No Noising”. Translated as “quiet please!”

2. “Airline pulp.” Food served aboard an airliner.

3. “Jumping umbrella”. A hang-glider.

4. “Question Authority”. Information Booth.

5. “Burnt meat biscuit.” No it’s not something to enjoy from the North of England but what is claimed to be bread dipped in a savory meat sauce.

Bonus: GLM’s all-time favorite from previous surveys: “The Slippery are very crafty”. Translation: Slippery when wet!

Independent News (London): Chinglish Phrases on the Rise

People’s Daily (China): Global Language Monitor: Many Chinglish into English

The Sunday Times (London): Chinglish: It’s a word in a million

Click here to add your thoughts to the China Daily Online Translation Community

Chinese Translation Exam Features GLM (Section 7)

Chinglish one of the Top Words of 2005!

Read More.

Click here to Read and Listen to the Chinese Radio Int’l (CRI) Report