The ‘f-word’ is (unfortunately) the Top Hollyword of 2013
The Year in Film as Reflected in the English Language
11th Annual Global Survey by the Global Language Monitor
Austin, Texas, March 11, 2013. The word euphemistically described as the ‘f-word‘ has been named the Top Hollyword of the 2013 season by the Global Language Monitor, in its eleventh annual survey. Gravity came in second followed by slavery, minion, and operating system (OS). Rounding out the Top Ten were melancholia, secret identity, Lone Star, ‘sense of place’, and recurrence. Each year, GLM announces the words after the Oscars at the conclusion of the awards season. The 86th Annual Academy Awards ceremony was held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, CA, Sunday, March 2, 2014. Ellen Degeneres was the host for the second time.
“The word euphemistically described as the ‘f-word’ is our Top Hollyword of the Year. The seemingly all-persuasive word can be found in all major Western Cinema, evidenced by the majority of this year’s Best Picture Nominees.” said Paul JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst for the Global Language Monitor. ”Though the word was first introduced onto the screen in an apparent effort to shock the audience, the word is now used for various parts of speech with several dozen differing senses (or definitions). In literature, the word was identified in the mid-1600s peaking in the 1730s. The word then re-emerged in the 1960s and its use has increased exponentially ever since.”
The Oscars also introduced a new class of Ambush Marketing (Inverse-ambush Marketing), where the sponsor ambushes the audience. In this case Samsung paid a reported $20 million fee for product placement during the live broadcast, when Ellen used a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 for the ‘spontaneous’ selfie of the star-studded audience was re-tweeted some 871,000 times within an hour.
The Top Hollywords of the 2013 season with commentary follow.
Rank / Word or Phrase / Commentary
- The F-Word (Wolf of Wall Street, American Hustle, etc.) — Not an endorsement but can’t ignore the preponderance of the word in contemporary film-making. Historically it was first used extensively in the late 1600s and was revived in the early 1960s.
- Gravity (Gravity) — Unarticulated protagonist of the film defined: Any two bodies in the universe attract each other with a force that is directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. Just sayin’.
- Slavery (12 Years a Slave) — There are said to be more slaves in the 21st c. than anytime in history. Many conjecture what they would have done during the earlier periods of human trafficking. They have the same opportunity today for that time is now.
- Minion (Despicable Me 2) — Literally, a servile follower or inferior. Not the aspiration of any B-School grad but much more humorous.
- Operating System (Her) — Breaking new ground here; not an Operating System as a protagonist (that would be 2001: a Space Odyssey’s HAL), but, rather, the first OS as a romantic lead.
- Melancholia (Blue Jasmine) — Kate Blanchett’s masterful rendition of what the Ancient’s considered a preponderance of ’black bile’: melancholia.
- Secret Identity (Hunger Games) – Plutarch Heavensbee’s secret identity was to the benefit of millions in the Hunger Games; in real life the secret identity of Philip Seymour Hoffman led to his untimely death.
- ‘Lone Star’ (Dallas Buyers Club) — Like Mr. McConaughey, all things Texas (to admire or disparage), the Lone Star State are hot.
- Sense of Place (American Hustle, Nebraska, August (Osage County) – The world may be ‘flat’ but the sense of place appears to getting stronger in film.
- Recurrence (About Time) — An equation that defines a sequence recursively; e.g., something occurring again and again, and so on. An old screen formula, applied gently and lovingly here.
Previous Top Hollyword Winners include:
- 2012 ’Emancipation — (Lincoln, Django, Argo) — Webster says ‘to free from restraint, control, or the power of another’.
- 2011 ’Silence’ – Silent movies, (the Artist), a wife’s silence (Descendants), a father’s silence (Extremely Loud), silence among the trenches of WWI (Warhorse).
- 2010 ’Grit’ — firmness, pluck, gritty, stubborn, indomitable spirit, courageous, and brave perseverance.
- 2009 ‘Pandora’ — from Avatar
- 2008 ’Jai Ho!” — Literally ‘Let there be Victory’ in Hindi from Slumdog Millionaire
- 2007 “Call it, Friendo” — from No Country for Old Men
- 2006 “High Five!!! It’s sexy time!” – from Borat!
- 2005 ‘Brokeback’ — from Brokeback Mountain
- 2004 ‘Pinot’ — from Sideways
- 2003 ‘Wardrobe malfunction’ — Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson from Super Bowl XXXVIII
Methodology. 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. This exclusive ranking is based upon GLM’s Narrative Tracking technology. NarrativeTracker analyzes the Internet, blogosphere, the top 250,000 print and electronic news media, as well as new social media sources (such as Twitter) as they emerge. The words, phrases and concepts are tracked in relation to their frequency, contextual usage and appearance in global media outlets.
About the Global Language Monitor
In 2003, The Global Language Monitor (GLM) was founded in Silicon Valley by Paul J.J. Payack on the understanding that new technologies and techniques were necessary for truly understanding the world of Big Data, as it is now known. GLM provides a number of innovative products and services that utilize its ‘algorithmic services’ to help worldwide customers protect, defend and nurture their branded products and entities. Products include ‘brand audits’ to assess the current status, establish baselines, and competitive benchmarks for current intellectual assets and brands.
These services are currently provided to the Fortune 500, the Higher Education market, high technology firms, the worldwide print and electronic media, and the global fashion industry, among others.
For more information, call 1.512.815.8836, email info@LanguageMonitor.com, or visit www.LanguageMonitor.com.