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:
ObamaVision — From the primaries to the election to the Inauguration to the middle school classroom: all Obama, all the time, everywhere.
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?
Michael Jackson – The biggest TV funeral in history. What’s the King of Pop’s next act?
Susan Boyle – Britain’s surprise spinster singing sensation demonstrated the power of the ‘third screen’.
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.
Vampires – All over the tube: ever chaste (with human girls); ever so exotic and popular.
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.
Wizards (from the Wizards of Waverly Place) – Wizards that need a bit of science to maintain their powers.
“And that’s the way it is” – Walter Cronkite’s shadow over television news spans the decades.
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”.
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.
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:
Michael Jackson, June 25 – July 8, 2009
Pope John Paul II, April 2 – April 9, 2005
Ronald Reagan, June 5 – June 10, 2004
Mother Teresa, September 5 – September 14, 1997
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:
Michael Jackson, died in 2009
Ronald Reagan, died in 2004
Pope John Paul II, died in 2005
Princess Diana, died in 1997
Mother Teresa, died in 1997
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.”
OTTAWA — California-based [Word Analyst] Paul Payack expects the English language to gain its one-millionth word this autumn. The language has come a long way indeed, as the English would say, in 400 years. In 1582, the English grammarian Richard Mulcaster could say that the language was “of small reach, stretching no further than this island of ours, nay not there over all.” In 1582, though, William Shakespeare married Ann Hathaway — and the language itself has since flourished as magnificently as the playwright himself. More than one billion people now speak it. Another billion people are learning it. Not bad, indeed.
The British Council, an independent charitable organization, says the English language now has special status of one kind or another in 75 countries. That one-third of the world’s books are published in English. That two-thirds of all scientists read English. That three-quarters of the world’s mail is written in English. That four-fifths of all electronic communications are in English. That people who spend time in Britain simply to learn English spend $2-billion a year doing it.
Language is a fascinating thing, the most complex of human achievements, spontaneously evolved, one unique word or expression at a time, without government control — for that matter, without government interest (aside from official language status). It is true that more than 40 countries have established academic police forces to protect their languages. But these are, for the most part, reactionary institutions that seek to reverse the past rather than invent the future. Cardinal Richelieu was the first of the language cops, founding the illustrious L’Académie française in 1634 with a mandate “to give rules to our language, and to render it pure and elegant.” Time travel would have been a simpler assignment. Once the great language of diplomacy, the French language has been going through rough times. Indeed, France deemed it necessary a few years ago to amend its constitution, specifying French as the official language of the republic. By its nature, language is decentralized, independent and anarchic. Only in exceptional circumstances, is it pure and elegant. It is almost always out of control.
In the 18th century, the English language almost became the American language, escaping by the very skin of its teeth — itself one of those inspired English-only phrases devised by the translators of the King James version of the Bible. (In contrast, the Douay Bible expresses Job’s lament for his wasted body with the literal assertion that “nothing but lips are left about my teeth.”) In the century between the Revolutionary and Civil wars, American references to “the American language” abounded. In 1780, American envoy John Adams could write from France to lobby Congress for an American language academy, directed by learned Americans and empowered to “correct and improve” the young country’s rude misuse of the language. “English is destined to be more generally the language of the world,” he wrote, “than Latin in a previous age and French in the present age.”
North America gave English room to roam. In Mr. Mulcaster’s 1582, English was spoken by perhaps four million people. In Mr. Adams’s 1780, by perhaps 12 million. In Noah Webster’s 1828, on publication of The American Dictionary of the English Language, by perhaps 50 million. A century later, in H.L. Mencken’s rambunctious 1920s, on his publication of The American Language, by perhaps 200 million. With two billion now speaking it or learning to speak it, we can credibly imagine a genuine global language.
Some linguists say that three or four dominant “language brands” will emerge — Chinese and Spanish are most frequently suggested as rival global languages. (In any case, Canada will be competitive. Of the 100 languages used in Canada, Chinese is already No. 3, spoken by one million people.) Language has always been closely connected to patriotism, and almost always to a particular country. The English have always regarded “the American language” as essentially barbaric. Inevitably, in the 19th century, Americans came to regard their distinctive English as a unique language. In 1838, Indiana instructed its state university “to instruct the youth of the Commonwealth in the American language.” In 1854, secretary of state William Marcy ordered U.S. diplomatic missions to use only “the American language.”
Fifteen years ago, Robert MacNeil, the Canadian who for many years co-anchored The MacNeil/Lehrer Report on PBS, wrote his evocative memoir Wordstruck as a love story with the English language. In the end, looking retrospectively from his mother’s home in Halifax to the Atlantic, he says simply: “This is where I was first struck by words. This is where they made me more than a Canadian, an Englishman, or an American; or Scottish, or Irish, or German — all things my forebears were. This is where I became what [dissident Russian poet] Joseph Brodsky calls ‘a citizen of the great English language.’ ” It is this sense of the language that most fully expresses its dynamic.
English is to language as capitalism is to economics. It is the language
of laissez-faire, of enterprise — and, beyond all argument, of hope.
This explainer will be expanded continuously as information on the Type A H1N1 Flu Pandemic becomes avaiable.
Media Alert: If you need a customized version of this explainer, please call +1.512.815.8836
These are the technical definitions of the phases and the Planned US Federal Government response.
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.
Cloud Computing, Green Washing & Buzzword Compliant
Austin Texas November 21, 2008 — In its third annual Internet and media analysis, The Global Language Monitor (www.LanguageMonitor.com) has found the most confusing yet frequently cited high tech buzzwords of 2008 to be cloud computing, green washing, and buzzword compliant followed by resonate, de-duping, and virtualization.Rounding out the Top Ten were Web 2.0, versioning, word clouds, and petaflop.The most confusing Acronym for 2008 was SaaS (software as a service).
Paul JJ Payack, president of the Global Language Monitor, said “The words we use in high technology continue to become even more obtuse even as they move out of the realm of jargon and into the language at large.”
The Most Confusing Yet Frequently Cited High Tech Words of 2008 with Commentary follow:
·Cloud Computing – Distributing or accessing programs and services across the Internet.(The Internet is represented as a cloud.)
·Green washing – Repositioning your product so that its shortfalls are now positioned as environmental benefits:Not enough power? Just re-position as energy-saving.
·Buzzword Compliant — Including the latest buzzwords in literature about a product or service in order to make it ‘resonate’ with the customer.
·Resonate – Not the tendency of a system to oscillate at maximum amplitude, but the ability to relate to (or resonate with) a customer’s desires.
·De-duping – shorthand for de-duplication, that is, removing redundant data from a system.
·Virtualization – Around since dinosaurs walked the planet (the late ‘70s) virtualization now applies to everything from infrastructures to I/O.
·Web 2.0 – Now there’s talk of Web 3.0, just when we were finally getting used to Web 2.0.
·Versioning – Creating new revisions (or versions) with fewer bugs and more features.
·Word Clouds – Graphic representations of the words used in a text, the more frequently used, the larger the representation.
·Petaflop –A thousand trillion (or quadrillion) floating point operations per secondOften mistaken as a comment on the environmental group.
The Most Confusing Yet Frequently Cited Acronym for 2008:SaaS — software-as-as-service to be differentiated, of course, from PaaS (platforms as a service) and IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-service).
Others words under consideration include the ever popular yet amorphous ‘solution’, 3G and SEO.
In 2007 IPOD, Flash, Cookie, Nano and Cookie lead the list with SOA as the most confusing acronym
In 2005, HTTP, VoIP, Megapixel, Plasma, & WORM were the leading buzzwords.
The analysis was completed using GLM’s Predictive Quantities Indicator (PQI), the proprietary algorithm that tracks words and phrases in the media and on the Internet.The words are tracked in relation to frequency, contextual usage and appearance in global media outlets.This analysis was performed earlier this month.
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.
First Internet-based College and University Rankings (2008)
Austin, Texas, USA. September 19, 2008. In an exclusive TrendTopper MediaBuzz analysis of the nation’s colleges and universities, the Global Language Monitor (www.LangaugeMonitor.com) has ranked the nation’s colleges and universities according their appearance on the Internet, throughout the Blogosphere, as well in the global print and electronic media. The rankings include Social Media.
“There are only three types of intellectual property in the US, and one of them is the trademark (or brand) which are intended to represent all the perceived attributes of a service – and institutions of higher education are no different,” said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst at GLM. “Prospective students, alumni, employers, and the world at large believe that students who are graduated from such institutions will carry on the all the hallmarks of that particular school. Our TrendTopper analysis is a way of seeing the schools through the eyes of the world at large.”
The schools were also ranked according to ‘media momentum’ defined as having the largest change in media citations over the last year.
GLM used its proprietary Predictive Quantities Indicator (PQI) software for the TrendTopper Media Buzz Analysis. GLM used the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s classifications to distinguish between Universities and Liberal Arts Colleges.The schools were ranked according to their positions in early September, a mid-year snapshot, and used the last day of 2007 as the base.
‘Nappy-Headed Ho’ Top Politically inCorrect Phrase for 2007 Closely Followed by ‘Ho-Ho-Ho’ and ‘Carbon Footprint Stomping’
Henderson , NV . March 21, 2008. ‘Nappy-headed Ho,’’ closely followed by ‘Ho-Ho-Ho’ and ’Carbon Footprint Stomping’ top the list of the most egregious examples of politically inCorrect language found in 2007 by the Global Language Monitor in its annual global survey. This year’s list includes words and phrases from the US , the UK , Australia , and China .
“It is no surprise that a ‘Nappy-headed Ho’ was selected as the Top Politically Incorrect word or phrase for 2007,” said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of The Global Language Monitor (GLM). “A year later that phrase is still ricocheting about the Internet even affecting Christmas-season Santas in Australia.” The list was nominated by the GLM’s Language Police, volunteer language observers from the world over.
The Top Politically Incorrect Terms and Phrases for previous years include:
2006: Global Warming Denier
2005: Misguided Criminals
2004: Master/Slave computer jargon
The Top Politically inCorrect Words and Phrases for 2007:
1. Nappy-headed Ho’s – Radio personality Don Imus’ reference to the women on the Rutgers University championship basketball team. ‘Nappy’ is ultimately derived from the Anglo Saxon hnoppa for the ‘wooly substance on the surface of cloth’. Combined with the word ‘ho’ — a derogratory term for women, Imus’ comments led to an uproar in the media and ultimately led to his resignation.
2. HoHoHo — Staffing company in Sydney suggesting to prospective Santas to re-phrase their traditional greeting of “ho, ho, ho” in favor of “ha, ha, ha” so as not be confused with American urban parlance, a derogatory term for women.
3. Carbon footprint stomping – The movement to flaunt carbon-intensive activities such as driving Hummers and flying private jets; a reaction to the Green movement is the height of political inCorrectness.
4. Year of the Pig Restrictions – Chinese State Television in Shanghai warns Nestle against Happy Pig New Year ads, foregoing thousands of years of Chinese Tradition, because it might inflame pork-shying minorities.
5. Three Little Pigs – according to the BBC, A retelling of the three little pigs fairy tale, called Three Little Cowboy Builders, was excluded from award consideration because judges said that “ the use of pigs raises cultural issues”. It was also found to “alienate parts of the workforce (building trade): “Is it true that all builders are cowboys, builders get their work blown down, and builders are like pigs?”
6. The ‘Race’ Card – Originally a printed card with information about a thoroughbred horse race, now used in 2008 Presidential campaign parlance as in ‘playing the race card’, meaning intentionally injecting issues of ethnicity into the campaign. The word ‘race’ is ultimately derived from the Old High German for lineage.
7. “Obesity Is Socially Contagious” — That was the widely reported headline in the UCSD press release announcing the results of a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine that actually came to the opposite conclusion. One of the study’s authors made it worse by stating “It’s spread from person to person like a fashion or a germ … once it starts; it’s hard to stop it. It can spread like wildfire.”
8. Fire-breathing Dragon – Lindsey Gardiner, a leading British children’s author of the popular Lola, Poppy and Max characters, was instructed to eliminate a fire-breathing dragon from her new book because publishers feared they could be sued under health and safety regulations.
9. “Wucha dun did now?” — Handbook distributed a Houston school district police officer to enable the reader to speak “as if you just came out of the hood”.
10. Gypsy skirt – The worldwide phenomenon of the gypsy, tiered or Boho skirt has a new name: Traveler’s Skirt, since police in Cornwall believed that the term ‘Gypsy Skirt’ might be considered offensive to this cultural minority.
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.
GLM is moving its headquarters to Austin , Texas in the coming months.
For more information, call 1.512.815.8836, email info@LanguageMonitor.com, or visit www.LanguageMonitor.com.
Misguided Criminals, Intrinsic appitude, and Thought Shower Top List
San Diego, California (Updated November 29, 2005) Misguided Criminals, Intrinsic Aptitude, and Thought Shower top the list of the most egregious examples of politically correct language found in 2005 by the Global Language Monitor in its annual global survey. This year’s list includes words from the US, UK, France and Australia.
“2005 was the year we saw the Political Correctness movement become a truly global phenomenon,” said Paul JJ Payack, President of The GlobalLanguage Monitor (GLM). “The list is but one more example of the insertion of politics into every facet of modern life.”
The year has been rife with examples that have been nominated by the GLM’s Language Police, volunteer language observers from the world over.
2. Intrinsic Aptitude (or lack thereof) was a suggestion by LawrenceSummers, the president of Harvard, on why women might be underrepresented in engineering and science. He was nearly fired for his speculation.
3. Thought Shower or Word Shower substituting for brainstorm so as not to offend those with brain disorders such as epilepsy.
4. Scum or “la racaille” for French citizens of Moslem and North African descent inhabiting the projects ringing FrenchCities. France’s Interior Minister, Nicolas Sarkozy, used this most Politically inCorrect (and reprehensible) label to describe the young rioters (and by extension all the inhabitants of the Cites).
5. Out of the Mainstream when used to describe theideology of any political opponent: At one time slavery was in the mainstream, thinking the sun orbited the earth was in the mainstream, having your blood sucked out by leeches was in the mainstream. What’s so great about being in the mainstream?
6. Deferred Success as a euphemism for the word fail. The Professional Association of Teachers in the UK considered a proposal to replace any notion of failure withdeferred success in order to bolster students self-esteem.
7. Womyn for Women to distance the word from man. This in spite of the fact that the term man in the original Indo-European is gender neutral (as have been its successors for some 5,000 years).
8. C.E. for A.D.: Is the current year A.D. 2005 or 2005 C.E.? There is a movement to strip A.D. (Latin for “In the Year of the Lord”) from the year designation used in the West since the 5th century and replace it with the supposedly moreneutral Common Era (though the zero reference year for the beginning of the Common Era remains the year of Christ’s birth).
9. “God Rest Ye Merry Persons” for “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”: A Christmas, eh, Holiday, carol with 500 years of history isnot enough to sway the Anglican Church at Cardiff Cathedral (Wales) from changing the original lyrics. There are those who suggest going one step further: “Higher Power Rest Ye Merry Persons”.
10. Banning the word Mate: the Department ofParliamentary Services in Canberra issued a general warning to its security staff banning the use of the word ‘mate’ in dealings t with both members of Parliament and the public. What next? banning ‘no worries’ so as not to offend the worried, or banning ‘Down Under’ So as not to offend those of us who live in the “Up Over”.
HolidayBonus: Happy Holidays or Season’s Greetings for Christmas (which in some UK schools now label Wintervale). However, the word holiday is derived directly from Holy Day, and in the word X-Mas, the Greek letter ‘chi’ represented by the Roman X actually stands for the first two letters of the name Christ.) Now there are published reports of organization banning the traditional Christmas Colours of red and green.
Last year the Top Politically Incorrect words were: Los Angeles Countys insistence of covering over with labels any computer networking protocols that mention master/slave jargon. Following closelywere same-sex marriage for marriage and waitron for waiter of waitress.