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OK: 175 years old and going strong

Most Recognized Word on the Planet:  OK or O.K. or Okay

March 23, 2014.  This week is the 175th anniversary of one of the great moments in the English Language:  the old Boston Post newspaper printing the phrase ‘oll korrect’, in a bit of humorous wordplay back in 1839.

Earlier this afternoon, we performed a simple Google search for the word; the search returned some 1,200,000,000 references to OK.   Not bad for a word no one is quite sure how to spell.

OK is now widely heard wherever one sets foot on the planet.

U.S. President Martin Van Buren (A.D. 1837–1841) was born in Old Kinderhook, New York. His nickname, Old Kinderhook, was incorporated into his re-election campaign slogan in 1840 (“Old Kinderhook is O.K.”).  O.K. Democratic Clubs sprung up around the young nation. Van Buren was a founding member of the Democratic Party. (He was overwhelmingly defeated by the Whigs in his re-election attempt.)

Alternative derivations, since disproven, suggested that OK was from the Greek phrase ola kala for ‘all is well’ used in the shipping industry. Another, actually favored by president Woodrow Wilson, was that OK was derived from the Native American language of the Choctaw ‘okeh’.

However, what is well-documented is that the U.S. Presidential Election of 1840 catalyzed OK’s already growing usage and subsequent global expansion during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.  After World War II, US hegemony cemented its global propagation.

As English became the world’s first, true global language with some 1.83 billion speakers, dominance of the software of the Microsoft Corporation further embedded it everyday use on the Internet.  Some 80% of its computer programs that are ‘localized’ into native languages use the English word OK to assert completion or assent.

For good measure, the successful completion of a server response on the World Wide Web (of which there are billions every second) is defined as OK.

Now with the proliferation of social media, the word itself has further evolved with its shortening to the single letter, k.

OK?

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Sochi 2014 Brand Marketing Games: Subway Leads P&G for Gold, Red Bull vs. GE for Silver, McDonald’s Falters

Sochi Olympic Logo
Sochi Rings

Where’s Nike?

Subway Leads P&G for Gold, Red Bull vs. GE for Silver, McDonald’s Falters

Terra Cotta Medals Introduced

Sochi Olympics Week Two, February, 2014 Austin, Texas — After the first full week of the Sochi Winter Games, the marketing medal count finalized with the competition between and among the official sponsors and the Non-affiliated Marketers (NAM) is tight, according to the Global Language Monitor.  Some highlights include Subway leading P&G for the Gold, Red Bull contending with GE for Silver, and McDonald’s apparently faltering thus far.  The complete details are shown in the charts below.

Also, since no one can be eliminated from the Games once they begin, GLM has introduced the Terra Cotta medal in addition to the traditional Gold, Silver, and Bronze.  In the Ancient world, Terra Cotta was considered the least valuable material for permanence (after gold, silver, and bronze).

The Terra Cotta Medal is depicted below.

Sochi Silver Medal
Sochi Silver Medal
Sochi Gold Medal
Sochi Gold Medal
Sochi Bronze Medal
Sochi Bronze Medal
Terra Cotta Medal
Terra Cotta Medal

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“While the eyes of the world are focused on the athletes and the intense struggle on the ice and snow in Sochi, the eyes of the marketing world are keenly aware of the battle being waged for the billions of dollars in brand equity for being associated with the Winter Games.” said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst, the Global Language Monitor.

Some highlights from the longitudinal study:

  • P&G has had an extraordinary Olympics thus far and will be in serious contention for the overall Gold.
  • Coke has a towering lead over McDonald’s, more a testament to Coke improving and Mickey D’s essentially treading water.
  • Rolex has improved , in terms of BAI from 6.1 in London to 144.23 today.
  • Red Bull leads the pack in the for Silver contenders.  After all, if you jump from a Space Capsule to Earth, you’re must be affiliated with Red Bull.
  • GE and Siemens are neck-and-neck; Siemens moved down two spots, while GE was up four.
  • Unilever sits comfortably at No. 9,  up one from last week.
  • Great commercials are bringing home the fact GE is (a lot) more than light bulbs.
  • Dow (No. 13) is up 2 this week, while DuPont (No.14) is down 2.
  • IBM Global Services and Atos Origin come in at No. 19 and 21, however they are both B-to-B plays and as long as they connect to the right people.
  • Omega deserves a higher profile; though they are on the screen for key moments of every competition, they are down in Terra Cotta territory.
  • Finally, Where is Nike?  They are ready to pounce, but no pouncing evidenced thus far.
Read more

OK, So It’s a Boy; Top Internet Media-buzzed Male Royal Baby Names (plus UK, US & AUS Trendlists)

OK, So It’s a Boy;  Top Internet Media-buzzed Male Royal Baby Names (plus UK, US & AUS Trendlists)

A Tight  List With a Sudden Re-emergence of Traditional Names as Trendy

July 23, 2013  Austin, TEXAS — The Top Internet Media-buzzed Male Royal Baby Names (plus UK, US & AUS Trendlists) The Top Royal Baby’s Names Most Buzzed About on the Internet.  This is an update to that story.

For the analysis, GLM examined a score of masculine names most associated with the British Throne since A.D. 1700.  GLM then cross-referenced them with names associated with the royal birth according to global Internet  MediaBuzz.  Finally, since Prince William and the former Kate Middleton seem to have a penchant for the latest fashion, GLM then cross-referenced the Classic Royal Names withe the top male  baby names in the UK, US, and Australia for 2012.

The Brand Affiliation Index (BAI) ranks the names according to their association with the royal birth.

Read more

Top Politically Correct Buzzwords of 2012

Note:  Top Politically Correct Buzzwords of 2014 Announced May 3, 2015

His and Her, Peanut Butter Sandwich, Columbus, Normal and Pet Owner Top List

The Seventh Global Survey

Words and Phrases from the US, UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, India, Sweden and Australia

Austin, Texas, December 7-9 – ‘His and Her’, Peanut Butter Sandwich, Columbus, Normal and Pet Owner have been named the top politically correct words and phrases of the past year according to The Global Language Monitor in its seventh survey of the global media. Rounding out the top ten were Skin Lightening, Black Peter, Holding Down the Fort, Rule of Thumb, and White Males of European Descent.  The survey found words and phrases originating from the US, UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, India, Sweden and Australia.

“This year’s survey once again illustrates the difficulty in engaging in public dialogue without offending those on the right, left, center, or various combinations thereof,” said Paul JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst of The Global Language Monitor. “We are seeing that continued attempts to remove all bias from language is itself creating an entirely new set of biases. 

To see the Top Words of 2012, go here.

The Top Politically Correct Words and Phrases for 2012 include:

  1. ‘His and Her’  (Sweden) – The Swedes once again promoting gender-neutrality, this time its with personal pronouns:  him [han in Swedish], her [hon] and he/she [hen].
  2. Peanut Butter Sandwich — Deemed by a Portland grade-school principal to be culturally insensitive to children of other cultures.
  3. Columbus –  Explorer’s Day, please.  Offensive to those who believe Columbus was the beginning of a 16th c. ‘Ethnic Cleansing’ of American Indians, Native Americans, or First Peoples.
  4. Normal (Australia) — According to new guidelines, normal persons in the presence of people with disabilities should not be referred to as ‘normal’ but rather  non-disabled persons.
  5. Pet Owner — It is becoming less acceptable to ‘own’ animals, pet owners have been transformed into ‘pet guardians’.
  6. Skin Lightening (India)– A new phenomenon where Indian women lighten their skin to achieve a ‘fair total-body complexion’.
  7. Black Peter (Zwarte Piet) (Netherlands and Belgium) — The companion of Sinterklaas (Santa Clause), most frequently portrayed by whites in blackface.  First introduced in the mid-nineteenth century, Black Peter is now considered by many, a racist stereotype.
  8. Holding Down the Fort — Possibly offensive to Native Americans, since we all know who the forts was being held down against.
  9. Rule of Thumb  (UK) — Originates from the old English dictum that a husband could not beat his wife or children with any stick wider than his thumb.
  10. White Males of European Descent –From press accounts, you would think this population segment should soon be placed on the EPA’s endangered species list.
  11. Handicap (UK) — Aside from the ‘disabled’ reference, ‘handicap can be offensive to beggars, with ‘cap in hand’.
  12. Christmas — Considered by many under siege until supporters realized that the  ‘holidays’ in ‘happy holidays’ originated from ‘holy days’ and the ‘X’ in Xmas is the Greek letter ‘chi,’ representing the first two letters of Christ.
  13. Prayer — In public the favored word substitute for ‘prayer’  is now ‘thoughts,’ as in ‘keep hen in your thoughts and wishes’.
  14. Global English – The dominance of the English language worldwide is opposed by those who think it the result of  linguistic imperialism or Western Hegemony.  Either way, not good.
  15. Politically Correct – The term politically correct is still politically incorrect (or is it incorrect?).
  16. Phobes — The Loyal Opposition? How 19th century, of you; opponents are now cast as afraid and fearful, a ‘-phobe’.
  17. Speech Codes — Limiting free-speech by declaring what is considered offensive off-limits. A hot topic on campus.
  18. Settled Science — In 1925 it was settled science that rockets would not fly in Outer Space.  Beware of Settled Science.
  19. Dutch Treat — Possibly offensive to the Dutch, since it portrays them as either (take your choice) thrifty (good) or stingy (bad).
  20. Global Warming/Climate Change — As the temperature continues to rise, the debate continues as to its primary cause.  Either phrase is a potential minefield.

The Top Politically Incorrect Terms and Phrases in previous surveys include:

  • 2009:  Swine Flu — Various governments and agencies for political motives ranging from protecting pork producers to religious sensitivity insist on calling it by its formal name: influenza A(H1N1).
  • 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.
For a complete list of Politically Correct language and controversies since 2003, click here.

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. Since 2003, GLM has launched a number of innovative products and services monitoring the Internet, the blogosphere, social media as well as the top print and electronic media sites.

For more information, call 1.512.815.8836, email editor@GlobalLanguageMonitor.com, or visit www.LanguageMonitor.com.

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Protected: How London 2012’s TOP Sponsors Fared for the Full Olympic Year

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Top Trending Words of 2012 Mid-year Update

Obesogenic, Derecho (and gender-neutral ‘hen’) take on Apocalypse, Kate and Debt

Number of Words in the English Language:  1,016,672 (July 6 estimate)


AUSTIN, Texas July 10 – Trending 2012 Update: Obesogenic, Derecho (and the gender neutral ‘hen’) are taking on the Mayan Apocalypse, Kate, and Debt as candidates for the Top Word of the Year according to a mid-year update by the Global Language Monitor. Each year, GLM produces the top trending words for the following year just before the new year begins.  In 2011, it announced 12 possible candidates; mid-way through the year  the three new terms have been added to the list.

  • Obesogenic — An environment that tends to encourage obesity.  Lately it has been used to describe television advertisement that promote sugary and high-calorie snacks to kids.
  • Derecho — A ‘land hurricane,’ a sudden storm with extremely strong one-directional winds, such as occurred in the Eastern states earlier this month.
  • Hen — The Swedish attempt to create a gender-neutral pronoun to replace him or her or combinations therefore: hen.

“The new words are taken from an intensifying debate on obesity as a major societal health crisis, a ‘land Hurricane’ that some link to global warming. and a move sometimes viewed as political correctness to end gender distinction among pronouns,”  said Paul JJ Payack, the president and chief word analyst of the Global Language Monitor.  “At 2012’s mid-point, there has been considerable movement among the top trending words, and that trend will no doubt continue as it has during the entire life of our 1400-year old language.”

The words are culled from throughout the English-speaking world, which now numbers more than 1.83 billion speakers (January 2012 estimate).

The Trending Top Words of 2012 in revised order:

Rank/ Previous Rank/ Word / Comments

1.  China (3) — Middle Kingdom – There is little indication that China’s continuing economic surge will fade from the global media spotlight –or abate.

2. Europe (12) — United, breaking apart, saving the Euro, abandoning the Euro, with the UK again as an ‘interested onlooker’.  Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

3.  The Election (6) —  No Obama-mania this time around, more of an Obama-ennui for the November 6 elections.

4.  Kate (2) — There are seven billion humans on the planet but sometimes it seems that it’s all about Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, the former Kate Middleton in terms of fashion, celebrity, and the royal line. (And most definitely not Katie, the future ex-Mrs. Tom Cruise.)

5.  Deficit (7) — Looks like deficit-spending will plague Western democracies for at least the next decade.

6.  Global Warming (10)— The earth has been warming since New York was covered under a mountain of ice; what makes 2012 any different?

7.  Derecho (New) — A ‘land hurricane,’ a sudden storm with extremely strong one-directional winds, such as occurred in the Eastern states earlier this month.

8. Olympiad (2) — The Greeks measured time by the four-year interval between the Games.  Moderns measure it by medal counts, rights fees and billions of eyeballs.

9. CERN (9) — Neutrons traveling faster than light?  The ‘God Particle’? The world ending in a mini-black hole? All these somehow revolve around CERN (The European Center for Nuclear Research). One CERN scientist calculated that the chance of a mini-Black Hole swallowing the Earth is less than 1 in 50,000,000.  Somewhat comforting until you realize this is about ten times more likely than winning a national lottery.)

10.  Rogue nukes (8)—  Iran and North Korea will be the focus of attention here.

11.  Near-Earth Asteroid (11) —  Yet another year, another asteroid, another near-miss. (However, one does strike the Earth every one hundred million years or so.)

12.  Arab Spring (13) — the successor term for ‘Arab Spring’, whatever that might be.

13.  Bak’tun (4) — A cycle of  144,000 days in the Maya ‘Long Count’ Calendar. This bak’tun ends on December 21, 2012, also being called the Mayan Apocalypse.  (Actually Maya ‘long-count’ calendars stretch hundreds of millions of years into the future, December 21st merely marks the beginning of a new cycle.)

14. Solar max (5)—  The peak of the 11-year sunspot cycle;  in 1854 solar storms melted telegraph wires; what’s in store for our all-pervasive electronic infrastructure?

15. Hen (New) — The Swedish attempt to create a gender-neutral pronoun to replace him or her or combinations thereof: hen.

16. Obesogenic (New) — An environment that tends to encourage obesity.  Lately it has been used to describe television advertisement that promote sugary and high-calorie snacks to kids.

The Top Words for 2011:  ‘Occupy’ was the Top Word, ‘Arab Spring’ the Top Phrase and ‘Steve Jobs’ the Top Name of 2011 in its twelfth annual global survey of the English language.

GLM employs its NarrativeTracker technologies for global Internet and social media analysis. NarrativeTracker is based on global discourse, providing a real-time, accurate picture about any topic, at any point in time.

NarrativeTracker analyzes the Internet, blogosphere, the top 250,000 print and electronic global media, as well as new social media sources as they emerge.



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We Tell the World What the Web is Thinking …

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Google/Harvard Validates GLM Word Count

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See how GLM Brand Affiliation Services can help your organization; call 1.512.815.8836 or email info@LanguageMonitor.com



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Olympic Ambush Marketers Continue to Dominate London 2012

Nike over Adidas; BA Trails Three Competitors; Subway and Pizza Hut Top McDonald’s


Kate Middleton ‘Brand’ Tops Coke, Adidas, and BA

Austin, Texas. Weekend May 4-6, 2012.  Ambush Marketers continue to dominate the run-up to the London Summer Games.  In fact ‘non-affiliated marketers’ took 27 of the top 50 spots measuring effective brand activation by the Global Language Monitor’s Brand Affiliation Index (BAI).

This despite the recent tightening of the rules by the IOC,  The GLM BAI rankings are not simply a matter of pride or bragging rights but rather a battle for brand equity and the consumer’s mind and the billions of dollars committed to the IOC, which are primarily used to fund the Games.

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“The Olympic movement it is not immune to the historic shifts in communications affecting all institutions worldwide,” said Paul JJ Payack, founding president of the Global Language Monitor. “The seemingly all-pervasive media ensure that the flow of information can be stopped neither by national boundaries nor institutional gatekeepers.   There is no reason to think that marketing activities are immune from such forces.  In fact, marketing has been one of the foremost purveyors of new media technology.”

For these rankings GLM measured the strength of the brand affiliation for each official Olympic sponsor against those of their primary non-affiliated competitors. Though ‘ambush marketing’ is well understood to mean an organization knowingly exploiting a brand affiliation with the Games without the benefit of official sponsorship.

All perceived Olympic affiliations according to their presence in the global media, and statistically linked to the London Games, qualify for GLM’s Ambush Marketing rankings.

The GLM Brand Affiliation Index for this analysis, ranged from a high of 524.45 to a low of 1.49.  The higher the score, the closer the brand affiliation with an event.

GLM has been tracking ambush marketing at the Olympics since the Beijing Games in 2008.  For London 2012, GLM began the three tiers of official sponsors since the third quarter of 2011.  These results are based on a study concluded on May 1,  2012.

With its Branded Individual Index (BII) GLM also tracks the brand equity of the athletes before and during the Games.

The official Olympic sponsors are divided into three tiers:  Worldwide Partners, Official Partners, and Official Supporters. GLM tracks over fifty non-affiliated companies that are direct competitors with the Official Olympic sponsors.

To schedule a confidential consultation, call +1.512.815.8836.

For these rankings, encompassing the first quarter of 2012, GLM measured the strength of the brand affiliation for each official Olympic sponsor against those of their primary non-affiliated competitors. Though ‘ambush marketing’ is well understood to mean an organization knowingly exploiting a brand affiliation with the Games without the benefit of official sponsorship.

All perceived Olympic affiliations according to their presence in the global media, and statistically linked to the London Games, qualify for GLM’s Ambush Marketing rankings.

The top findings include:

  1. McDonald’s is in a tough fight, ranking behind Subway and Pizza Hut, but beating KFC.
  2. Ambusher Nike leads Partner Adidas by a wide margin.
  3. British Airways trails ambushers Lufthansa, United and Air France in the rankings.
  4. Royal Philip outpaced ever-strong GE.
  5. P&G continues to crush ambush competitors as it did in Vancouver.
  6. Ambusher Ericsson Over Supporter Cisco by a 3:1 margin.

The Duchess Effect Meets the Summer Games

One interesting side note is that even the Summer Games are encountering the Duchess Effect.  The GLM BAI analysis showed that when linked with London  2012, Kate Middleton had a closer brand affiliation than a number of top sponsors including Coke, Adidas, BA and Panasonic, among others.

This again demonstrates the power of the ‘Kate Middleton Brand’.  A Tier 1 Olympic sponsor pays about $160 million for the privilege, plus the attendant advertising fees promoting the relationship that can cost upwards of $500 million over the four-year arrangement.  This would suggest that the Kate Middleton Brand could be valued at nearly a billion dollars or more, just in relationship to Summer Games.
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The Top Ten Official Olympic Sponsors by BAI are listed below.

1 Arcelor Mittal Supporter
2 EDF energy Partner
3 BT Group Partner
4 Thomas Cook Supporter
5 UPS Supporter
6 Lloyds TSB Partner
7 Cadbury Supporter
8 BP Partner
9 P&G IOC
10 ATOS IOC

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The Top Ten non-Olympic Affiliated Marketers by BAI are listed below.

1 Centrica AMB OP
2 Eon Energy UK AMB OP
3 Barclaycard AMB IOC
4 Schroders AMB OP
5 Royal Philips AMB IOC
6 EI DuPont AMB IOC
7 Kraft AMB SUP
8 Ericsson Comm AMB SUP
9 Subway AMB IOC
10 Lufthansa AMB OP

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The Top Twenty Combined Olympic Sponsors and Non-Affiliated Marketers Ranked by BAI.

1 Arcelor Mittal Supporter
2 EDF energy Partner
3 BT Group Partner
4 Centrica AMB OP
5 Eon Energy UK AMB OP
6 Thomas Cook Supporter
7 Barclaycard AMB IOC
8 UPS Supporter
9 Schroders AMB OP
10 Lloyds TSB Partner
11 Cadbury Supporter
12 BP Partner
13 Royal Philips AMB IOC
14 P&G IOC
15 ATOS IOC
16 EI DuPont AMB IOC
17 Kraft AMB SUP
18 Ericsson Comm AMB SUP
19 Subway AMB IOC
20 Lufthansa AMB OP

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The GLM Brand Affiliation Index for this analysis, ranged from a high of 524.45 to a low of 1.49.  The higher the score, the closer the brand affiliation with an event.

GLM has been tracking ambush marketing at the Olympics since the Beijing Games in 2008.  For London 2012, GLM began the three tiers of official sponsors since the third quarter of 2011.  These results are based on a study concluded on March 31,  2012.

With its Branded Individual Index (BII) GLM also tracks the brand equity of the athletes before and during the Games.

The official Olympic sponsors are divided into three tiers:  Worldwide Partners, Official Partners, and Official Supporters. GLM tracks over fifty non-affiliated companies that are direct competitors with the Official Olympic sponsors.

Customized GLM Ambush Marketing Rankings are released monthly up to and following London 2012.  The Ambush Marketing London 2012 report features dozens of charts representing the interrelationship of each company to the Olympic Brand, their competitors and their partners. In addition, the reports contain exclusive and individualized Narrative Tracker analyses, the most advanced trend tracking analytics available. For more information, individualized reports, or a monthly subscription, call +1.512.815.8836 or email info@LanguageMonitor.com

About Global Language Monitor:  “We Tell You What the Web is Thinking”
Founded in Silicon Valley, Austin, Texas-based GLM collectively documents, analyzes and tracks trends worldwide, with a particular emphasis upon the English language.

GLM employs proprietary ‘algorithmic methodologies’ such as the NarrativeTracker for global Internet and social media analysis.  NarrativeTracker is based on global discourse, providing a real-time, accurate picture of what the public is saying about any topic, at any point in time.

NarrativeTracker analyzes the Internet, blogosphere, the top 175,000 print and electronic global media, as well as new media sources, as they emerge.  For more information, individualized reports, or a monthly subscription, call +1.512.815.8836 or email info@LanguageMonitor.com



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Trending Top Words of 2012: End-of-World stories, Kate, China, CERN, the Olympics

Global Language Monitor’s Top Words of 2012 projections from current word trends

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AUSTIN, Texas December 26, 2011 – Trending 2012:  Multiple End-of-World scenarios, Kate, China, CERN, the Olympics, The US Elections will dominate word creation and usage in the English language in 2012.

This is according to current word trends in global English being tracked by the Global Language Monitor. Last month, Austin, Texas-based Global Language Monitor had announced that ‘Occupy’ was the Top Word, ‘Arab Spring’ the Top Phrase and ‘Steve Jobs’ the Top Name of 2011 in its twelfth annual global survey of the English language.

To see the final list Top Words of 2012, go here.

 

The words are culled from throughout the English-speaking world, which now numbers more than 1.83 billion speakers (January 2012 estimate).
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The Projected Top Words of 2012
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1.  Kate — There are seven billion humans on the planet but sometimes it seems that it’s all about Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, the former Kate Middleton in terms of fashion, celebrity, and the royal line.
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2.  Olympiad — The Greeks measured time by the four-year interval between the Games.  Moderns measure it by medal counts, rights fees and billions of eyeballs.
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3.  Middle Kingdom – There is little indication that China’s continuing economic surge will fade from the global media spotlight –or abate.
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4.  Bak’tun — A cycle of  144,000 days in the Maya ‘Long Count’ Calendar. This bak’tun ends on December 21, 2012, also being called the Mayan Apocalypse.  (Actually Maya ‘long-count’ calendars stretch hundreds of millions of years into the future, December 21st merely marks the beginning of a new cycle.)
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5.  Solar max —  The peak of the 11-year sunspot cycle;  in 1854 solar storms melted telegraph wires; what’s in store for our all-pervasive electronic infrastructure?
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6.  The Election —  No Obama-mania this time around, more of an Obama-ennui for the November 6 elections.
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8.  Rogue nukes —  Iran and North Korea will be the focus of attention here.
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9.  CERN — Neutrons traveling faster than light?  The ‘God Particle’? The world ending in a mini-black hole? All these somehow revolve around CERN (The European Center for Nuclear Research). One CERN scientist calculated that the chance of a mini-Black Hole swallowing the Earth is less than 1 in 50,000,000.  Somewhat comforting until you realize this is about ten times more likely than winning a national lottery.)
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10.  Global Warming — The earth has been warming since New York was covered under a mountain of ice; what makes 2012 any different?
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11.  Near-Earth Asteroid —  Yet another year, another asteroid, another near-miss. (However, one does strike the Earth every one hundred million years or so.)
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GLM employs its NarrativeTracker technologies for global Internet and social media analysis. NarrativeTracker is based on global discourse, providing a real-time, accurate picture about any topic, at any point in time.
NarrativeTracker analyzes the Internet, blogosphere, the top 75,000 print and electronic global media, as well as new social media sources as they emerge.

“The year 2012 looks to be a vibrant year for the English language with word creation again driven by events both scheduled and unanticipated. Typically there is an ‘end-of-the-world’ scenario every few years that impacts the English language. This year we will see no fewer than three, including the Maya Apocalypse and the Solar Max,” said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of GLM.

”Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, will compete with the London Olympics, the economic surge of China, various activities involving the CERN atom smasher, and the US presidential election for Top Word honors, though we always allow for word creation generated from unexpected events such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005 or the Japanese ‘triple disaster’ of 2011.”

Rank / Word / Comments

7.  Deficit — Looks like deficit-spending will plague Western democracies for at least the next decade.

12.  Europe — United, breaking apart, saving the Euro, abandoning the Euro, with the UK again as an ‘interested onlooker’.  Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

Bonus Phrase:   The successor term for ‘Arab Spring’, whatever that might be.


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Top Words of 2011, ‘Occupy’ is 2011 Word of the Year

Occupy is the Top Word of the Year,

Arab Spring is the Top Phrase of the Year and

Steve Jobs is the Top Name of the Year

Global Language Monitor’s 12th Annual Survey of Global English

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AUSTIN, Texas  December 6, 2011 (Updated from November 10) — The Global Language Monitor has announced that ‘Occupy’ is the Top Word, ‘Arab Spring’ the Top Phrase and ‘Steve Jobs’ the Top Name of 2011 in its annual global survey of the English language. Occupy was followed by deficit, fracking, drone, and non-veg. Kummerspeck, haboob, 3Q, Trustafarians, and (the other) 99 rounded out the Top 10.

“Our selections this year, to a large extent, reflect the ongoing political and economic uncertainty that seems to be affecting much of the developed world – with notable exceptions such as the Royal wedding and the continuing rise of China ,” said Paul JJ Payack, President of the Global Language Monitor.

“Our top words, phrases and names this year come from five continents… confirmation of the ever-expanding influence of the English language.

“The words are culled from throughout the English-speaking world, which now numbers more than 1.58 billion speakers. The Global Language Monitor’s Word of the Year rankings are based upon actual word usage in the English speaking world.

“In global English, words are not bestowed upon, agreed upon, or voted upon by cultural or academic elites but, rather, words are defined from the bottom up, that is, by the people themselves — and this is true whether in the East End of London, or south-central LA, the projects in Brooklyn, the slums of Kingston, the call centers of Mumbai, the streets of Singapore, the text messages out of Shanghai, or the fashion districts of Sydney.”

GLM employs its NarrativeTracker technologies for global Internet and social media analysis. NarrativeTracker is based on global discourse, providing a real-time, accurate picture about any topic, at any point in time. NarrativeTracker analyzes the Internet, blogosphere, the top 75,000 print and electronic global media, as well as new social media sources.

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See the Photo Essay from the Toronto Star

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BBC Magazine: The rich: Exactly what does that mean?

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.2011, l’année Steve Jobs?

(Time Person of the Year?)



Nunberg also selects ‘occupy’ as the 2011 Word of the Year

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The Top Words of 2011

Rank / Word / Comments

1. Occupy – ‘Occupy’ has risen to pre-eminence through Occupy Movement, the occupation of Iraq, and the so-called ‘Occupied Territories’.   (Also named by NPR and Time.)

2. Deficit – Growing and possibly intractable problem for the economies of the developed world.

3. Fracking – Hydraulic fracturing is a controversial method for extracting fossil fuels from hitherto unreachable deposits.

4. Drone – The ever increasing number of remotely piloted aircraft used for reconnaissance and attack purposes.

5. Non-veg – A meal served with meat, originally from India, now catching on worldwide.

6. Kummerspeck – From the German seeing wider acceptance in the English, excess weight gained from emotional overeating (grief bacon).

See the Photo Essay from The Stylist (UK)

7. Haboob – A name imported from the Arabic for massive sandstorms in the American Southwest.

8. 3Q – Near universal term for ‘thank you’ now earning additional status after being banned from official Chinese dictionaries. Another example of the ever- increasing mixing of numbers and letters to form words.

9. Trustafarians – Well-to-do youth (trust-funders) living a faux-Bohemian life style, now associated with the London Riots.

10. (The Other) 99 – Referring to the majority of those living in Western Democracies who are left out of the dramatic rise in earnings associated with “the Top 1%”.

The Top Phrases of 2011

Rank / Phrase / Comment

1. Arab Spring – The series of uprisings, social protests, and rebellions occurring among many nations of the Arab World beginning this spring.

2. Royal Wedding – The wedding of the former Kate Middleton and heir-to-the-British-Throne, Prince William that captivated millions around the world.

3. Anger and Rage – Characterizations of the global electorate by the pundits, though closer analyses has revealed more frustration than anger and more disappointment than rage.

4. Climate Change – No. 1 phrase for the first decade of the 21st century; still resonates into its second decade.

5. The Great Recession – Though officially over, the media term most frequently used to describe the on-going global economic restructuring.

6. Tahrir Square – The scene of the ‘25th of January’ demonstrations in Cairo against Hosni Mubarak.

7. Linear No Threshold (LNT) – The methodology to calculate risk from exposure to radioactive elements from the Fukushima Daiiachi disaster.

8. Bunga Bunga – Re-emerged in the language through ‘bunga-bunga’ parties hosted by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

9. ‘How’s that working out for you?’ – The New York Times credits Sarah Palin, but it predates her use of the phrase by several decades.

10. “Make no mistake about it!” – President Obama has repeated the phrase thousands of times since his 2008 election.

The Top Names of 2011

Rank / Name / Comments

1. Steve Jobs – The citations for Steve Jobs topped those for No. 2 (Osama bin-Laden and Seal Team 6) by more than 30%.

2. Osama bin-Laden & Seal Team 6 – Who changed the world more? Al-Qaeda or Steve Jobs?

3. Fukushima – The epicenter of the Japanese Triple Disaster (earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown).

4. Mohamed Bouazizi – the Tunisian fruit vendor who set himself afire and became the symbol of Tunisian resistance – and the Arab Spring.

5. Chinese Paramount Leader Hu Jintao – The Rise of the Tiger being a primary cause of the Global Economic Restructuring.

6. Kate Middleton – She captivated the world with her elegance and style and continues to do so as the Duchess of Cambridge.

7. Muammar Gaddafi – Libyan strongman toppled in the recent insurrection.

8. President Obama – Hope and Change retreat further into the history books; the game plan is now for survival.

9. PIIGS – The nations of Portugal, Ireland, Italy Greece and Spain taken together for their untenable deficits possibly affecting the economic health of the Eurozone.

10. Yaroslavl Lokomotiv – The ill-fated elite Russian hockey team that was virtually wiped out in the crash of a three-engine Yak-42.

Top Words of the Decade

The Top Words of the Decade  Global Warming, 9/11, and Obama outdistanced Bailout, Evacuee, and Derivative; Google, Surge, Chinglish, and Tsunami followed. Climate Change was top phrase; Heroes was the top name.

Previous Words of the Year include:

2010:
Top Words: No. 1 Spillcam, No. 2 Vuvuzela, No. 3 The Narrative
Top Phrases: No. 1 Anger and Rage, No. 2 Climate Change, No. 3 The Great Recession
Top Names: No. 1 Hu Jintao, paramount leader of China, No. 2 iPad, No. 3 Barack Obama

2009:
Top Words: No. 1 Twitter, No. 2 Obama-, No. 3 H1N1
Top Phrases: No. 1 King of Pop, No. 2 Obama-mania, No. 3 Climate Change
Top Names: No. 1 Obama, No. 2 Michael Jackson, No. 3 Mobama

2008:
Top Words: No. 1 Change, No. 2 Bailout, No. 3 Obama-mania
Top Phrases: No. 1 Financial Tsunami, No. 2 Global Warming, No. 3 “Yes, We Can!”
Top Names: No. 1 Barack Obama, No. 2 George W. Bush, No.3 Michael Phelps

2007:

Top Words: No. 1 Hybrid (representing all things green), No. 2: Surge
Top Phrase: Climate Change
Top Name: Al Gore

2006:
Top Word: Sustainable
Top Phrase: Stay the Course
Top Name: Dafur

2005:
Top Words: No. 1, Refugee No. 2: Tsunami No. 3: Katrina
Top Phrase: Outside the Mainstream
Top Name: (acts of ) God

2004:
Top Word: Incivility (for inCivil War)
Top Phrase: Red States/Blue States No. 2: Rush to War
Top Name: Dubya/Rove

2003:
Top Word: Embedded
Top Phrase: Shock and Awe, No. 2: Rush to War
Top Name: Saddam Hussein, No. 2 Dubya

2002:

Top Word: Misunderestimate

Top Phrase: Threat Fatigue
Top Name: W (Dubya)

2001:
Top Word: Ground Zero
Top Phrase: ‘Lets Roll’
Top Name: The Heros

2000:
Top Word: Chad
Top Phrase: Dot.com
Top Name: W (Dubya)

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 1.512.815.8836, email info@LanguageMonitor.com, or visit www.LanguageMonitor.com.



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