New Haven, CT August 22, 2014 — “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” and “No Justice, No Peace” are the Top Trending Phrases of 2014, according to the Global Language Monitor, which has been tracking major shifts in English language word usage since 2003. The phrases emanate from the Ferguson, MO, shooting death of the unarmed Michael Brown. Over the last ten days, protesters shouting “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” and “No Justice, No Peace” while holding up their hands in the universal position of surrender, have appeared in cities across the nation, in NFL stadiums, on university and college campuses, and other venues.
Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” and “No Justice, No Peace” have melded into any number of memes as the power of memes has demonstrated an ever larger effect on global communication”, said Paul JJ Payack, president and Chief Word Analyst for GLM.
Though both phrases have been around for decades, the events of August 9th and the following protests have been emulated around the nation (and now the world) at a rapid pace.
Some suggest that “No Justice, No Peace” phrasing was first used in relationship to the death of Michael Griffith in Howard Beach, New York in 1987. Local newspapers reported the phrase,at that time had become a “battle cry”. Earlier this year, “No justice, no peace” was heard at the George Zimmerman murder trial, held near Orlando, where Zimmerman was acquitted on all counts of the murder of Trayvon Martin. Many see a strong similarity between the two cases.
In November, 2013, Austin, Texas-based GLM announced that the Internet error code ’404′ was the Top Word of the Year of 2013.
The words are culled from throughout the English-speaking world, which now numbers more than 1.83 billion speakers (January 2014 estimate).GLM employs its TrendTracking technologies for global Internet and social media analysis. TrendTopper is based on global discourse, providing a real-time, accurate picture about any topic, at any point in time. TrendTracking Technologies analyzes the Internet, blogosphere, the top 300,000 print and electronic global media, as well as new social media sources as they emerge.
About the Global Language Monitor