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

For more information, call +1.512.815.8836 or email info@languagemonitor.com


2008 Election Overview

.

.

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, USA 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 RonaldReagan 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 catalogue 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
.

UPDATE:

.

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

.

Austin, TX, USA 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 is 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 past and current associations.

.

6.Gender is 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 IS 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?

.

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, USA 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.


  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.

.

Rank Comment
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, USA.   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 are 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, USA 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, USA.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 de-regulation initiatives of Alan Greenspan of ‘99) that are being all but over-shadowed (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 contradicting 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 miniscule 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, USA.   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, USA.   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 in 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 2008 Primary Season

Listen to the interview here:

Change, Ill-chosen Words and Race Dominate

Comments by Michelle Obama, Jeremiah Wright and both Clintons



.

Austin, TX July 2, 2008 MetaNewswire — ‘Change,’ ill-chosen words by Michelle Obama, Jeremiah Wright and both Clintons, and ‘Race’ were named the Top Political Buzz Words and Phrases of the Recently concluded primary season by the Global Language Monitor in its periodic survey. The Top Ten included ‘Just Words,’ ‘Misspoke,’ ‘Inevitability,’ ‘Aloof,’ and ‘Obama a Muslim?’

The word ‘change’ remains atop the chart as it has for the last six months, however Michelle Obama’s ‘proud of my country’ comments rocketed to the No. 2 position, up from No. 5 in the previous survey, knocking the comments by Rev. Wright from the No. 2 to No. 3 position.

“The entire list is quite sobering, and rather surprising.  Sobering in the fact that the list is dominated by those issues and sound bites generated by the negative sides of the campaign.  The list is surprising in the fact that strong preponderance of the words and phrases are related to the Democratic campaign with just a handful from the Republican side,” said Paul JJ Payack, President of The Global Language Monitor (GLM).


This Sunday, the contenders’ spoken words are talk of the day

Political buzzwords are terms of 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 Lede (New York Times):  Has the ‘surge’ been surging?


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 Hindi’s take on the latest Political Buzzwords


The Top Political Buzzwords of the Primary Season of the 2008 Presidential Campaign follows with Ranking, Buzzword, Previous Ranking, and Comment.


  1. Change (1) – Number 1 buzzword of the Primary Season with an index rating 10X that of any other word or phrase..
  2. ‘Proud of my country’ (5) – In the last month alone, Ms. Obama’s ‘first time’ quote is up over 200% in citations.  Apparently, Michelle plays a far larger role in this campaign than many suspect.
  3. Jeremiah Wright (2) – Obama’s former pastor looms large in the media and on the web.
  4. Race – (4) The word actually means ‘lineage’. The numbers say it’s more significant than most would like to hear.
  5. Bill Clinton’s Jesse Jackson Comments (3) – Though fading, made a lasting impact and impression.
  6. Misspoke – (10) As did her Sniper Fire episode and subsequent explanation.
  7. Bosnian Sniper Fire (9) – Reverberations continued from Hillary’s ‘misspeaking’
  8. Just Words (6) – Clinton’s characterization of Obama’s eloquence has had an impact.
  9. Internet fundraising (8) – Obama’s adeptness in using the Internet as a primary source of funding was major buzz.
  10. Inevitability (7) – Mark Penn’s Inevitability Strategy still under discussion (and derision).
  11. Working Class Whites (12) – Discussion (with racial subtext) up some 500% from the beginning of the year.
  12. Thrown Under the Bus (13)– Directly related to Clinton’s Kitchen Sink Strategy but also said of Obama and Reverend Wright.
  13. Obama a Muslim? (14) – Though he is a proclaimed Christian, the question lingers.
  14. Aloof (15) — Obama demeanor has its drawbacks according to the PQI.
  15. Punditocracy (16) — Those inhabiting the Media Echo Chamber find themselves part of the story.
  16. Bitter (17) – Obama’s characterization of blue-collar Pennsylvania Whites to an audience of West-Coast supporters.
  17. Gender (18) — According to the media buzz, not nearly the as dominating as the word race.
  18. Experience (19) – Hillary’s original argument no longer resonant as early in the primary season.
  19. Surge (20) – One of 2007’s Top Words, still used mainly in relation to Senator McCain.
  20. 100 Years War (21) – The original One Hundred’s Year War actually lasted 116 years.

Words dropped from the list:  Latte Liberal and Kitchen Sink Strategy.

The Top Political Buzzwords for the 2006 Midterm Elections included:Throes, Quagmire, Credibility, Global Warming, and Insurgency.

The Top Political Buzzwords from the 2004 Presidential Campaign included:swift boats, flip flop/flopping, quagmire, Fahrenheit 911, misleader and liar!

 

Political Buzzwords:

2008 Election Before the Primary Season

“This disparate collection of buzzwords speaks volumes about today’s electorate,” said Paul JJ Payack, President of The Global Language Monitor (GLM).  “We have an Iraq War strategy, a name, a corporate entity, and a commentary on a female candidate’s ‘neckline’ at the top of the list … and then it really gets interesting.”

To see the YouTube Announcement, click here

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 of the Presidential Campaign and Commentary follows.

1.  Surge — The ‘Surge’ surges to the No.1 Political Buzzword

2.  Obama — His name now qualifies as a buzzword.  This is quite unusual, though the name Hillary comes close.

3.  YouTube — Changing the nature of American Campaigning?

4.  Cleavage — Despite critics’ contentions, Hillary found to be a woman after all.

5.  Pardon — Furor over Libby pardon riles the news media.

6.  Live Earth — Rock the Earth lived up to its billing in ‘buzz’.

7.  Subpoena — Congressional subpoenas abound as predicted if a Democratically control congress were elected.

8.  Congress — Congress is now polling lower numbers that the President.  Congress as a dirty word:  another ‘C’ word?

9.  All-time Low — A constant description of the president’s ever falling poll numbers.

10. “I don’t recall.” — AG Alberto Gonzales used this phrase three score and thrice in one day of testimony.

Top Political Buzzwords for 2006

The Top Political Buzzwords for 2006 included:  Throes, Quagmire, Credibility, Global Warming, and Insurgency.

Rewind: June 13, 2006

First Political Buzzword Tracker of 2006 Portends Raucus Fight

 

Heading Into Mid-term Elections

 

Culture of Corruption: 56% Republican vs. 44% Democrat

 

San Diego, June 13, 2006 (Updated). For the last three years, GLM has been tracking political buzzwords as they appear in the print and electronic media (newspapers, television, radio, etc.) on the Internet and in the Blogosphere. Using our proprietary algorithm, the Political-Sensitivity Quotient Index or PQI, GLM has been able to see which buzzwords and catchphrases are moving in and out of use, thereby reflecting what the media are writing about as opposed to the opinions of the Talking Heads and Pundits.

Nota Bene (November 8, 2006): The Exit Polls, According to CNN, “Asked which issues were extremely important to their vote, 42 percent said corruption and ethics; 40 percent, terrorism; 39 percent, the economy; 37 percent, Iraq; 36 percent, values; and 29 percent, illegal immigration”.


GLM, in early June, found that the corruption and ethics tag was more tightly linked to Republicans than Democrats by a 56% to 44% margin. Apparently, the Democrats have transformed the Mid-term elections into a ‘national’ election, thus upturning the ‘all politics is local’ dictum that usually holds sway. Translating this early finding into a party-line vote: Democratic Majority of 244-191. CNN’s

HOUSE RACE Updated: 6:13 a.m. ET, Nov. 8: With 435 seats at stake, with 14 still undecided: 227-194 Democratic Majority

Rewind the Interview from May, 2006


Election Day PQI:

The Top 15 are still dominated by ‘Green’ and ‘Defense’

Fastest Risers:

No. 1 Hussein Guilty Verdict

No. 2 Iran Nuclear Weapon


San Diego, California November 7, 2006 – The Global Language Monitor’s Political-Sensitivity Quotient Index (PQI) has found that John Kerry’s ‘Stuck in Iraq’ remarks as well as the conviction of Saddam Hussein will both impact today’s Election. Kerry ‘Stuck in Iraq’ remarks debuted at (No. 8) on the list of politcally sensitive buzzwords, while and Hussein’s ‘Guilty’ verdict entered at (No. 11). This is in marked contrast to the 2004 General Election when the last-minute October and November ‘surprises’ (such as the Osama bin-Laden broadcast) were trumped by ‘moral values’. This effect was apparently alone recognized by GLM and was published the week before the vote.

The Top 15 are still dominated by ‘Green’ and ‘Defense’ issues. ‘Ethanol,’ ‘Global Warming,’ and ‘Climate Change Disaster’ are at No.’s 1, 2 and 15. ‘Al-qaeda,’ Bird Flu,’ and ‘Iran Nuclear Weapons’ Round out the Top 5. The Mark Foley scandal sits at No. 10, ‘Illegal Immigration’ at No. 13, ‘Rumsfeld Resignation’ sits at No.19 (about the same position he has maintained for the previous three years), and ‘Culture of Corruption’ comes in at No 20. Other hot button issues that have marked the campaign include ‘domestic spying’ that comes in at No.22 and the continued backlash against the ‘New Orleans’ fiasco still strong at No. 30. ‘North Korean nuclear weapons’ fell twelve spots to No. 41, a marked contrast to the question of ‘Iran Nuclear Weapons’ at No. 5.
Paul JJ Payack, President of the Global Language Monitor suggested that “over the last few years the PQI has proved to start where the polls and pundits leave off. This appears to be because the PQI provides a view of the underlying trends – and rapid movement — that the polls can’t possibly provide. The PQI is not dependent upon who is at home, GLM is not forced to ask ‘double-blind’ questions; since the PQI requires no questions at all.”
The Global Language Monitor’s Political-Sensitivity Quotient Index is a proprietary algorithm that measures ‘the buzz’ in the major print and electronic media, as well as on the Internet.” The data is anaylzed for change since the beginning of 2006, then quarterly, monthly and finally weekly. The basic premise is to analyze short-term variations (e.g., Mark Foley) in the context of the longer-term terms (e.g., bin-Laden).
The following data snapshot was analyzed on Sunday November 5 and updated on Monday November 6th, the day befor the Mid-term Election.

PQI Rank on Nov 6 — Buzzword

1 Ethanol
2 Global Warming
3 Al-qaeda
4 Bird Flu
5 Iran nuclear weapon
6 Impeach Bush
7 Conservative Politics
8 Kerry “stuck in Iraq”
9 Increased Tax Revenue
10 Mark Foley Scandal
11 Saddam Hussein guilty
12 Raise Taxes
13 illegal Immigration
14 Progressive Politics
15 Climate Change Disaster
16 Liberal Politics
17 Religious right
18 Cut Taxes
19 Rumsfield Resign
20 Culture of Corruption
21 Osama bin-Laden
22 Domestic Spying
23 Republican Majority
24 Quagmire Iraq War
25 Extreme Right Political
26 Hillary Clinton credibility
27 Bush Lame Duck
28 Filibuster Senate
29 Iraq War Insurgency
30 “New Orleans” Recovery
31 Religious Left
32 China World Stage
33 Losing War Iraq
34 War for Oil
35 George Bush Credibility
36 Nuclear Option Senate
37 Out of the Political Mainstream
38 Supreme Court Nomination
39 Democratic Majority
40 Fema New Orleans
41 “Nuclear weapon” North Korea
42 NSA Eavesdrop
43 Likeability Bush
44 Winning War Iraq
45 Gasoline Crisis

Fastest Risers Since Oct 22nd

1 Saddam Hussein guilty
2 Iran nuclear weapon

A Note About the Predictive Quantities Indicator (PQI)

The Global Language Monitor’s proprietary algorithm, the Predictive Quantities Indicator 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.).

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.

Global Language Monitor Exclusive Analysis PQI October 26:


Electorate has a Clear Vision of the Future Both U.S. Parties Seem to Lack
‘Green’-Issues No. 1 and 2 but Al Qaeda Still No. 3
‘Winning the Iraq War’ Dead Last


San Diego, California October 26, 2006 — With two weeks to go before the mid-term election, the Global Language Monitor’s Political-Sensitivity Quotient Index (PQI) has found that the public seems to have a clear agenda and direction that both parties seem to lack. Green Issues, al-Qaeda and bin-Laden dominate the Top Ten, though the Mark Foley scandal makes its first appearance in ranking, as does ‘Impeach Bush’.

New Orleans’ in the context of Hurricane Katrina still festers at No.12, while ‘North Korean nuclear weapon’ debuts at No. 31, and ‘Iran nuclear weapon’ falls two positions from the previous run and occupies the 17th position. Perhaps notably, ‘Winning the Iraq War’ comes in dead last on the list of political phrases and buzzwords, at No. 43, immediatedly preceded by ‘gasoline crisis’.

“The combination of ‘green issues,’ long-term threats, and current enemies seems to define an electorate strongly conflicted by the two major parties lack of defined leadership in these core areas of belief. With neither party appealing to the electorate’s direct concerns, we see the the results being more of an ‘all politics is local’ phenomenon, and far less of the political upheavel most pundits and polls are predicting. The difference between the PQI and the polls is that the PQI provides a ten-month view of the underlying trends that the polls can’t possibly provide. In addition, the PQI is not dependent upon who is at home to pick up the phone at a particular hour of the day. Also, GLM is not forced to ask ‘double-blinded’ questions; since the PQI requires no questions at all. We simply measure what is found in the print, and electronic media, and the Internet, in their every changing mix and milieu,” Payack concluded.


The Global Language Monitor’s Political-Sensitivity Quotient Index is a proprietary algorithm that measures ‘the buzz’ in the major print and electronic media, as well as on the Internet.” The data is anaylzed for change since the beginning of 2006, then quarterly, monthly and finally weekly. The basic premise is to analyze short-term variations (e.g., Mark Foley) in the context of the longer-term terms (e.g., bin-Laden). The following data snapshot was analyzed for the week of October 23rd, two weeks before the election.

Rank on Oct 24 — Buzzword — Previous Ranking (10/10/2006)

1. Global Warming — Previously No. 1
2. Ethanol — Previously No. 3
3. al-Qaeda — Previously No. 2
4. Conservative Politics — Previously No. 4
5. Illegal Immigration — Previously No. 11
6. Flu — Previously No. 6
7. Supreme Court Nomination — Previously No. 7
8. Osama bin-Laden — Previously No. 5
9. Impeach Bush — Previously No. 8
10. Mark Foley — Previously No. 43
11. Religious Right — Previously No. 9
12. “New Orleans” Recovery — Previously No. 10
13. Climate Change Disaster — Previously No. 12
14. Increased Tax Revenue — Previously No. 15
15. Progressive Politics — Previously No. 16
16. Liberal Politics — Previously No. 44
17. Iraq Nuclear Weapons — Previously No. 17
18. Raise Taxes — Previously No. 20
19. Rumsfeld Resign — Previously No. 14
20. Cut Taxes — Previously No. 19
21. Domestic Spying — Previously No. 18
22. Republican Majority — Previously No. 23
23. Extreme Right Political — Previously No. 21
24. Iraq War Insurgency — Previously No. 25
25. Culture of Corruption — Previously No. 28
26. Losing War Iraq — Previously No. 22
27. George Bush Credibility — Previously No. 24
28. Senate Filibuster — Previously No. 26
29. Fema (New Orleans) — Previously No. 40
30. Hilary Clinton Credibility — Previously No. 27
31. North Korean Nuclear Weapon — Previously Unranked
32. Quagmire Iraq War — Previously No. 29
33. Bush Lame Duck — Previously No. 34
34. China on the World Stage — Previously No. 30
35. Religious Left — Previously No. 37
36. Nuclear Option Senate — Previously No. 35
37. War for Oil — Previously No. 36
38. Out of the Mainstream — Previously No. 39
39. Democratic Majority — Previously No. 38
40. NSA Eavesdrop — Previously No. 41
41. Likeability Bush — Previously No.42
42. Gasoline Crisis — Previously No. 45
43. Winning Iraq War — Previously No. 13

.

Top Political Buzzwords Index Belies Inside the Beltway Chatter

San Diego, California October 13, 2006 — In a world where polls themselves become the news, The Global Language Monitor’s Political-Sensitivity Quotient Index (PQI) smoothes out the highs and lows and lets you focus on the deeper trends.

Consider Mark Foley, there are about 21,000 stories on Notre Dame’s Saturday game to about 19,600 on Mark Foley.  Does this mean the Dems or GOP should be wrapping themselves in Norte Dame pennants?

Perhaps.

The Global Language Monitor’s Political-Sensitivity Quotient Index is a proprietary algorithm that measures what people are actually talking about on the web, blogs, the major print and electronic media.   We ran the PQI, as of Oct 7th, one month before the general election on Tuesday, November 7th.

Its results are counter intuitive to beltway thinking. This happened once before, when the PQI, the week before the 2004 Presidential Elections, signaled a strong shift to ‘value-based voting’ which was reported to the media, a week before the same was seen in the exit polls for the presidential elections.

If the present signal is true, both the Democrats and Republicans should focus on the issues that are driving what’s reflected in the PQI.  For example: Mark Foley appears as No. 43 — but Al-qaeda and Osama rank as No. 2 and 5.  The PQI seems to indicate that national security ranks far above the Mark Foley scandal.  And not some vague notion of ‘national security,’ but rather No. 2 Al Qaeda and No. 5 Osama bin Laden.  The PQI indicates that the American people know precisely who the enemy is.

And maybe Al Gore is a better politician that everybody thinks since his ‘platform’ topic ‘global warming’ is currently No. 1 on the PQI.    Perhaps a ‘green party’ strong on national security would better reflect the mood reflected in the current PQI.

GLM has been publishing the PQI for some three years; it has been cited by the major global media hundreds of times.

Rank on Oct 7 — Buzzword — Previous Ranking (May 31)

1.  Global Warming — Previous Ranking No. 34
2.   Al-qaeda — Previous Ranking No. 35
3.   Ethanol — Previous Ranking No.  6
4.   Conservative Politics — Previous Ranking No.  7
5.   Osama bin-Laden — Previous Ranking No. 8
6.   Bird Flu — Previous Ranking No. 9
7.   Supreme Court Nomination — Previous Ranking No. 10
8.   Impeach Bush — Previous Ranking No. 12
9.   Religious right — Previous Ranking No. 13
10.   “New Orleans” Recovery — Previous Ranking No. 14
11.   Immigration — Previous Ranking No. 1
12.   Climate Change Disaster — Previous Ranking No. 21
13.   Winning War Iraq — Previous Ranking No. 20
14.   Rumsfield Resign — Previous Ranking No. 19
15.   Increased Tax Revenue — Previous Ranking No. 26
16.  Progressive Politics — Previous Ranking No. 23
17.   Iran nuclear weapon — Previous Ranking No. 15
18.   Domestic Spying — Previous Ranking No. 18
19.   Cut Taxes — Previous Ranking No. 28
20.   Raise Taxes — Previous Ranking No. 25
Other interesting buzzwords and their rankings
21.   Extreme Right Political — Previous Ranking No. 36
22.   Losing War Iraq — Previous Ranking No. 11
23.   Republican Majority — Previous Ranking No. 30
24.   George Bush Credibility — Previous Ranking No. 27
25.   Iraq War Insurgency — Previous Ranking No. 24
27.   Hilary Clinton credibility
28.   Culture of Corruption — Previous Ranking No. 16
29.   Quagmire Iraq War — Previous Ranking No. 39
34.   Bush Lame Duck — Previous Ranking No. 38
36.   War for Oil — Previous Ranking No. 43
37.   Religious Left — Previous Ranking No. 5
38.   Democratic Majority — Previous Ranking No. 42
41.   NSA Eavesdrop — Previous Ranking No. 7
43.   Mark Foley Scandal — Previous Ranking (Not Ranked)

First Political Buzzword Tracker of 2006 Portends a Raucus Fight Heading Into US Mid-term Elections

Impeach Bush is No. 3 on the Year-to-Date List

For the past three years, GLM has been tracking political buzzwords as they appear in the print and electronic media (newspapers, television, radio, etc.) on the Internet and in the Blogosphere.

Using our proprietary algorithm, the Political-Sensitivity Quotient Index or PQI, GLM has been able to see which buzzwords and catchphrases are moving in and out of use, thereby reflecting what the media are writing about as opposed to the opinions of the Talking Heads and Pundits.

For example, in the 2004 Presidential Election, GLM’s PQI actually picked up the surge in moral values that became apparent to the pundits and polls only after votes were cast. (USAToday carried the story on the Monday before the vote.)

In fact, some 12 of the top 20 buzzwords GLM tracked were words and phrases that looked at the election through the prism of moral values from both the right and left perspective.

For the Mid-term elections GLM has set Dec. 31, 2005 as the beginning date of its analysis and has tracked some fifty buzzwords on a monthly basis since then. This is the first release of the PQI for the ’06 Mid-term elections.

A new feature includes adding two words or phrases from popular culture (which will change throughout the cycle).   This should help to place the results in cultural context.

Also, for the first time, we are releasing the Top 25 Year-to-Date List directly following the primary list.

The Results follow:

1. Immigration — Up some 4,000% for the month; though Illegal immigration trails in the No. 12 spot.

2. Conservative Politics — Good, bad or indifferent, ‘conservative’ is on everyone’s lips.

3. Bird Flu — Yes, Avian Flu is higher than Al Qaeda, bin-Laden, the gasoline crisis (No. 35), domestic surveillience, etc.

4. Al-qaeda — High in the consciousness of the American people. Higher than even American Idol.

5. American Idol — This is America, after all.

6. Religious Left — Making a sudden splash to attempt to counter the religious right’s powerful influence.

7. Ethanol (also E85) — Pol’s would do themselves well to note that the yellow fuel far outdistances the “gas crisis”.

8. NSA Eavesdrop — Suddenly exploded by 4,000% in the last month.

9. Osama bin-Laden — Still ever present, lurking just beneath the surface.

10. FEMA — half a year after Katrina struck, FEMA still a major whipping boy.

11. DaVinci Code — Gained steam through the first four months of the year.

12. Illegal Immigration — Trails immigration, though the entire topic is now hot.

13. Supreme Court Nomination — Still resonating through the ether; quietly awaiting another slot to become available.

14. Losing War Iraq — Considerably outdistancing ‘winning the Iraq War’ at No. 23.

15. Impeach Bush — Surprisingly strong; actually No. 3 on the Year-to-Date list.

16. Religious Right — Always a topic on conversation; a far greater base (greater than 30X over the Religious Left, above at No. 6).

17. New Orleans Recovery — A longer, slower dig-out than many assumed. A 60% population drop since Katrina dramatically changes the ethnic composition of the Cresent City.

18. Iran nuclear weapon — Steadily creeping up the list.

19. Culture of Corruption — The Democrat’s new mantra for taking back the House (and the Senate). Desparately hoping that voters don’t look into their closets.

20. Likeability Bush — Core supporters backing stronger than polls suggest; evidently, even the Core can grant the President an unfavorable ranking.

21. Domestic Spying — Showing up twice shows depth of concern (NSA Eavesdropping is No.8).

22. Rumsfield Resign — Nothing new here; In the Top Twenty-five for the third year running.

23. Winning War Iraq — Though seven spots below the ‘losing ‘ catchphrase, still a rather strong position on the chart.

24. Climate Change — Surprisingly weak position considering all the publicity.

25. Filibuster Senate — Still a topic of interest.

Others words and phrases being tracked (ranked in descending order) include: Iraq War Insurgency, George Bush and Credibility, China emerging onto the World Stage, concerns about losing the Republican Majority, Global Warming (as opposed to Climate Change), Gasoline Crisis, Bush as a Lame Duck, the Irag War as a Quagmire, ‘out of the mainstream (now losing its power to shock), War for Oil, and Hillary Clintons credibility.

Year-to-Date Rank:
1. Immigration
2. NSA Eavesdrop
3. Impeach Bush
4. DaVinci Code
5. Al-qaeda
6. Religious Right
7. Culture of Corruption
8. Bird Flu
9. Ethanol
10. Iran Nuclear Weapon
11. Domestic Spying
12. Illegal Immagration
13. Losing War Iraq
14. Rumsfield Resign
15. Osama bin-Laden
16. Supreme Court Nomination
17. Climate Change Disaster
18. Winning War Iraq
19. Filibuster Senate
20. New Orleans Recovery
21. Cut Taxes
22. Republican Majority
23. Raise Taxes
24. Iraq War Insurgency
25. George Bush Credibility

Katrina, Bird Flu, Climate Change Top List of Hot Political Buzzwords


List Runs Counter To Virtually Every Pundit’s Playbook

Nota Bene: The Talking Heads do not always reflect the reality of the worldwide media

San Diego, California (November 7, 2005) “Acts of God” top the Global Language Monitors PQ (Political-sensitivity Quotient) Index of the Top Political Buzzwords for the Third Quarter, including four of the Top Five:  Hurricane Katrina, Climate Change, H5N1 Bird Flu, and Global Warming.

To the surprise of many, the Washington Pundits favorites fell uniformly from the Top Political Buzzwords List tracked during the first six months of 2005.  These included:  Supreme Court (down 3 to No. 4), the Iraq Insurgency (down 5 to No. 8), Filibuster (down 7 to No. 15),  Quagmire (down 9 to No. 18) and Out of the Mainstream down 11 to No. 27).  Breaking into the Top 10 were The New York Times Scandal involving Judith Miller debuting at No. 9 and outed Valerie Plame appears on the List at No. 10.

“The list runs counter to virtually every pundits playbook,” said Paul JJ Payack, President of GLM.  “Watching the Evening News, one might expect such words as Supreme Court, Insurgency, Filibuster, Quagmire and Out of the Mainstream to dominate the List.  The lesson here might be that the Talking Heads do not always reflect the reality of the worldwide media.  The references to Katrina dwarf anything weve ever tracked, surpassing the record set by the passing of Pope John Paul II, while the horrors of both Climate Change and a looming pandemic weigh heavily on the global mind.”

The Top Politically-sensitive Words for the Third Quarter of 2005:

No. 1:  Hurricane Katrina
Comment:  The long shadow of the 05 Hurricane Season casts a pall over all things political.
Factor: Katrina breaks the all-time PQ Index record for citations previously held by the media coverage of the death of Pope John Paul II.

No. 2:  Climate Change
Comment:  The fact that New York City was under 5,000 feet of ice 10,000 years ago escapes most on both sides of the debate.
Factor:  Up some 300% from the beginning of the year.

No. 3:  H5N1 Bird/Avian Flu
Comment:  A looming global pandemic to dwarf the Bubonic Plague of the Middle Ages  (and AIDS) boggles the contemporary imagination.
Factor:  Up 500% for the year.  Hopefully, this is where it peaks.

No. 4:  Supreme Court
Comment:  Down three spots from No. 1.  Acts of God have a tendency to put the Acts of Man into proper perspective.
Factor:  Up over 800% for the year.

No. 5:  Global Warming
Comment:  Opponents of the Presidents policies prefer global warming to the supposedly more neutral climate change, though the difference is meaningless to those that study language.
Factor:  Up 400 for the year.

No. 6:  European Union (Dead)
Comment:  Though quietly spoken of all year, the French and the Dutch NO votes caused a spike here.
Factor:  Up 70% this month.

No. 7:  John Paul II
Comment:  Still casting a long shadow, longer still in his absence.
Factor:  Up another 20% from the preceding month.

No. 8:  Insurgency
Comment:  Contrary to the Media Pundits and the Polls, insurgency  is down five spots from No. 3.
Factor:  Still rising but overtaken by the natural catastrophes.

No. 9: New York Times Scandal
Comment: The Old Gray Lady takes another in a series of blows on credibility.
Factor:  Up 1300% for the year.

No. 10:  Valerie Plame
Comment:  Though up 80% for the month, Plamegate barely squeaks into the Top 10.
Factor:  Up over 500% for the year.

No. 11:  Judith Miller
Comment:  The prime reason (this month) for deep divisions in the newsroom at the Times .
Factor: Up over 100% for the month.

No. 12:  Cindy Sheehan
Comment:  The impact of the Iraq War Mom is apparently wide but not deep.
Factor: Media coverage up only 200% from her first appearance.

No. 13:  Schaivo
Comment:  She has come to stand for a far greater battle than that between her husband and family.  Factor:  Though down from No. 2, the numbers continue to rise, even after her death.

No. 14:  Credibility (Bush/Cheney)
Comment:  Down nine spots from No. 5; series of missteps in usually disciplined media machine continues.
Factor:  Up 300% in month.

No. 15:  Filibuster
Comment:  Down seven spots from No. 8.  From the Spanish, Filibusteer.
Factor:  With all the talk of the nuclear option, the filibuster ranks among the top political terms few actually understand.

No. 16:  Likeability (Bush)
Comment:  Bush and likeability are still rising modestly despite recent missteps.
Factor:  Up about 30% for the month.

No. 17:  Throes
Comment:  Down ten spots from No. 7, Cheneys Last Throes remark still has legs.
Factor: Up about 200% in the last month.

No. 18:  Quagmire
Comment:  Down nine spots from No. 9.  Actually means quaking mire (and not quaking Miers).
Factor:  Up only 5% for the month but has a large base.

No. 19:  Tsunami
Comment: The Indian Ocean Tsunami will be remembered long after the travails of Helen Miers.
Factor: Still has millions of citations.

No. 20: Persistent Vegetative State
Comment:  You have to wonder if the persistent rise is referring to the state of the Congress.
Factor:  Up some 1600% since the beginning of the year.

Other words being tracked for the index include bubble, Hillary Clinton 2008, and Gravitas.

The PQ Index is a proprietary algorithm that tracks politically sensitive words and phrases in the print and electronic media, on the Internet and the Blogosphere.  The words and phrases are tracked in relation to their frequency, contextual usage and appearance in global media outlets.   GLM publishes the PQ Index on a quarterly basis.

.

Supreme Court-Related Buzzwords Dominate List of Top Political Buzzwords


Though Cheneys ‘Last Throes’ Bests ‘Quagmire’  as No. 1 on the List

San Diego, California (July 5, 2005) Supreme Court-related buzzwords dominated the list of Top Political Buzzwords released earlier today by the Global Language Monitor.  The Top 15 Included: The Supremes, Activist Judges, the Nuclear Option, Out-of-the Mainstream, and Filibuster, according to GLM’s Political-sensitivity Quotient Index (PQ Index) for the first half of 2005.  “The fact that the Buzzword list was compiled immediately preceding the announcement by Justice OConnor that she would resign her seat on the Court, further strengthens the argument that the impending battle over the first vacancy in 11 years will be a mighty one, indeed,” said Paul JJ Payack, President of GLM.

Vice President Cheneys use of the word throes widely taken to mean the imminent demise of the Iraq Insurgency was the fastest rising political buzzword.  Throes bested No. 2 quagmire, and No. 3 credibility atop GLM’s Political Buzzword List for 2005.  Others in the Index included:  insurgency, European Union (Dead), Schaivo, Supreme Court, activist Judges, and the nuclear option.

The PQ Index is a proprietary algorithm that tracks politically sensitive words and phrases in the media and on the Internet.  The words and phrases are tracked in relation to their frequency, contextual usage and appearance in global media outlets.   GLM publishes the PQ Index on a quarterly basis.

The Top Politically-sensitive Words for the First Half of 2005:

No. 1:  ThroesComment:  Cheneys Last Throes remark appears to fly in the face of the Administration’s tight discipline.Factor: The fastest riser in the Index by far (up nearly 500% in month).

No. 2:  Quagmire Comment:  Actually means quaking mire and as the Insurgency continues, the quagmire cry escalates.
Factor:  Up nearly 1500% for the year.

No. 3:  Credibility (Bush/Cheney)
Comment:  Series of missteps in usually disciplined media machine apparently causing a problem.
Factor:  Up 300% in month.

No. 4:  Insurgency
Comment:  By definition, you dont know the true last throes of a battle until it’s actually over.
Factor:  Up some 300% in the month.

No. 5:  European Union (Dead)
Comment:  Though quietly spoken of all year, the French and the Dutch NO votes caused a spike here.
Factor:  Up 1600% for the year.

No. 6:  Schaivo
Comment:  She has come to stand for a far greater battle than that between her husband and her family.
Factor:  The numbers continue to rise, even after her death.

No. 7:  Supreme Court
Comment:  The stakes are particularly high this year and the numbers show it.
Factor:  Up over 800% for the year.

No. 8:  Likeability (Bush)
Comment:  According to the PQI, Bush and likeability are still rising despite recent problems.
Factor:  Up about 250% as supporters apparently rally round their W.

No. 9:  Incurious
Comment:  Bush seems impervious to the incurious charge though the numbers rise modestly.
Factor:  Charge remains as a low hum in the background.

No. 10:  Activist Judges
Comment:  How come we never here alarming reports about inActivist judges?
Factor:  Up over 900% for the year

No. 11:  Nuclear Option
Comment:  Its been cited in the media over 100,000 times; can someone please explain it to the public?
Factor:   Up 1800% for the year.

No. 12:  John Paul II
Comment:  Still casting a long shadow, longer still in his absence.
Factor:  Up another 200% in the preceding month.

No. 13:  Persistent Vegetative State
Comment:  You have to wonder if the sudden rise in the last month is referring to the state of the Congress.
Factor:  Up 200% in the last month.

No. 14:  Out of the Mainstream
Comment:  There should be a rule:  If 50% of the public supports an issue, pols cant make an  out of the mainstream argument.
Factor:  Up 200% for the month.

No. 15:  Filibuster
Comment:  From the Spanish, Filibusteer.
Factor:  With all the talk of the nuclear option, the filibuster ranks among the top political terms few actually understand.

Other words being tracked for the index include bubble, the Indian Ocean tsunami, and Hillary Clinton. 

 

 

 

 

Top Political Buzzwords Thus Far:

Surge, Obama, youTube, Cleavage and Pardon signal raucous presidential campaign

 

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


Change, Climate Change & Bailout Top Political Buzzwords News

 

Change, Climate Change & Bailout Top Political Buzzwords with 3 Weeks Remaining

 

 

Key Findings:

 

1.  ’Gender’ trumps ‘Race’

2.  Experience is issue with Obama

3.  Obama Muslim rumors persist

 

Austin, TX, USA October 13, 2008 – In an analysis completed just weeks before the US Presidential Elections, the Global Language Monitor has announced that Change, Climate Change & Bailout stood atop the Top Political Buzzwords List released earlier today.

It also found that ‘Gender’ now trumps ‘Race’, while questions about ‘experience’ remain an issue for both parties with Obama receiving 2.4 times more citations than Palin.  The analysis also determined that frequently discounted Obama Muslim-related rumors continue to persist, actually moving up on the chart. 

As this election cycle swings into its final phase, once again we are the seeing that the latest headlines are not always indicative of what is actually happening in the global print and electronic media, on the Internet and throughout the Blogosphere.  As in 2004, those paying too much attention to the ’24 Hour News Cycle’ are apt to miss the larger trends that will play a decisive role in the outcome of this election”, said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of the Global Language Monitor.

The complete list of Top Political Buzzwords, with ranking and commentary follow.

  PQI Oct 7, 2008 Comment
Rank  
1 Change No 1 for the entire election Cycle; good bet for Word of the Year
2 Climate Change Bigger than ‘Bailout’ bigger than ‘Recession’
3 Bailout Not even on the radar 90 days ago
4 Recession World economy imploding but still not officially a ‘recession’
5 Experience Obama’s experience questioned 2.4 X more than that of Palin
6 Gasoline Though prices are dropping, still No. 5
7 Subprime How we got into this mess in the first place
8 Obama Muslim Connection A persistent topic in Cyberspace; up 7 spots
9 Gender Up 12 spots; more of an issue than ‘race’
10 Surge One of the Top Words from ‘07 moving up ‘ 08 chart
11 Obama smoking Surpirse here; more recognition than one might anticipate
12 “That one” Has spurred the Obama base with ‘I’m for That One’ slogans
13 Lipstick Any talk of Lipstick seems to spur McCain-Palin base
14 Al Qaeda Always lurking beneath the surface
15 Price of oil A weaker issue as price declines
16 Race Falls from No. 4 in earlier survey as gender gains
17 Internet fundraising Loses some luster as it becomes normal (down 8 spots)
18 Raise taxes Causes more concern than ‘Cut taxes’ at No. 24
19 Jeremiah Wright Dr. Wright remains on the radar though falling from No. 2
20 “Just Words” Hillary’s comment on Obama still echos through the media
21 Washington Talking Heads Still in the Top Twenty, falling from No. 16.
22 Hockey Mom Causes headlines but not a top issue
23 Nuclear Iran Jumps into the Top 25 as issue persists
24 Palin Swimsuit Thankfully falls behind ‘Nuclear Iran’ as issue
25 Rezko Obama’s relationship with Tony Rezko breaks into Top 25
25 Cut taxes Not so much of a hot button as ‘Raise Taxes’ at No. 17

 

For more on the Myth of the Twenty-four Hours News Cycle

 

 

The Top Political Buzzwords for the 2006 Midterm Elections included:  Throes, Quagmire,

Credibility, Global Warming, and Insurgency.

 

The Top Political Buzzwords from the 2004 Presidential Campaign included:  Swift Boats,

Flip Flop, Quagmire, Fahrenheit 911, Misleader, and Liar!

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


2004 Presidential Election Impacted the Way Americans Speak

How the 2004 Presidential Election Impacted the Way Americans Speak

 

Danville, California (November 11, 2004) MetaNewsWire The recently concluded Presidential Election of 2004 has significantly impacted the manner in which Americans communicate with each other and not always in a positive way. For the eight months leading up to the Election, the Global Language Monitor (GLM) has tracked the way Americans communicate with each other about politics. To do this, GLM created its exclusive PQ Index (Political-sensitivity Quotient), a proprietary algorithm that tracks politically sensitive words and phrases in the print, electronic media and the Internet. Some forty words and phrases were analyzed for the Post-Election Survey, including flip flop/flopping, quagmire, Fahrenheit 911, liar!, and misleader.

The PQ Index is perhaps the most in-depth, algorithmic analysis of political word usage ever attempted during a US Presidential campaign. After meeting certain threshold criteria, the index measured how frequently the words and phrases were used in their given political contexts. Then were then tracked on a bi-weekly basis, with greater weight provided for appearances in the major media. Additionally, greater weight was assigned to changes in frequency of appearance the closer the survey came to the election, itself.

Perhaps the one point of agreement by both Republicans and Democrats in the immediate aftermath of the campaign was that moral values played a vastly more important role than had hitherto been estimated. This was re-enforced by the exit polls conducted by Edison Media Research with Mitofsky International for the National Election Pool, which distributed their information to the media through the Associated Press.

The PQ Index picked up this trend months earlier, when issues related to moral values would surface and then, actually, gain in strength as the campaign progressed. By the end of the campaign, these moral values-related words and phrases dominated the pre-Election PQ Index (Political-sensitivity Quotient) of Hot Political Buzzwords released on November 1. Specifically, thirteen or more of the top 20 words and phrases that dominated the media in the run-up to the election, can be classified as directly related to the moral values.

Both the major parties and the mainstream media appear to be surprised at the primacy of the moral values issue atop the exit-poll surveys, though they have used the terms tracked in the PQ Index some hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of times in the preceding month. What led to this miss was that fact that the moral values question was narrowly interpreted to mean the gay marriage and the Mary Cheney incident. (Both Kerry and Edwards cited the sexuality of the vice presidents daughter, Mary Cheney in their debates, a move widely viewed in the subsequent polls as gratuitous.)

In fact, the idea of moral values includes media bias, flip flopping for political gain, the question of a just or unjust war, the disrespecting of a wartime president (as in Fahrenheit 911), tagging the Chief Executive as a Liar or misleader and the rise of the uncivil war in political discourse / dis-coarse. In fact, The Top Five terms in the November PQ Index can all be viewed as related to moral values, as can be seven of the Top Ten — and 13 of the Top Twenty.

Another factor has been the rampant incivility be found in the political discourse in American politics which has reached unprecedented heights or, rather, lows. It can be argued that not since the Civil War era, when President Lincoln was frequently depicted by adversaries as a gangly, gaping baboon, has the discourse sunken to such a profane level. In fact, such is the decline in the political discourse during this campaign that future historians might actually wonder if the battle being fought was between the “Blue States” and the “Red States” rather than between the forces of Terrorism and The West.

This phenomenon is also related to the “Myth of the 24-Hour News Cycle,” where it is argued that once a politically-sensitive buzzword is launched into todays media world, it seems to persist for an indeterminate period, building a kind of media momentum and extending the news cycle rather than shrinking it. This persistence seems at odds with the general perception of the media being fixated on the 24 hours news cycle.

Some of the key words and phrases that have gained visibility during the 2004 Presidential Election follow.

Colossal Error: Kerrys judgment on Bushs Iraq policy. Evidently following California Olive Growers Association Guidelines for measuring the size of olives — Large, Extra Large, Jumbo, Gigantic, Colossal and Super Colossal. This leaves wiggle room for a ‘super-colossal error’.

Flip Flop/Flopping: Formerly referred to gymnastic routines, pancakes, and dolphin acts (Flipper); now a mainstream political term.

Girlie Men: His Honor, the Governator’s, characterization of political opponents.

Global Test: Kerrys description of the bar he would set before committing the US to pre-emptive strikes

Incuriosity: The campaign season with the President being labeled as Incurious George.

Jobless Recovery: A catch=phrase belied by the creation of 2.1 million new jobs in 2004.

Liars!: Signifies the virulence of the name-calling between opponent supporters. Bush wins the ‘Liar Poll with a 2:1 lead over Kerry.

Liberal: Now looked upon as a pejorative; for future reference, please use progressive.

Mary Cheney: For better or for worse, now a household name used in more than 100,000 media citations in the preceding six weeks..

Media Bias: A contentious issue, especially when used in conjunction with the Dan Rather “60 Minutes” imbroglio.

Misleader: MoveOn.org started this all by calling the sitting president a ‘misleader’.

Moral Values: Currently in more than 4,000 media stories; widely varies in interpretation.

Political Incivility: A catch-all category for various rude directives — Cheney, Heinz-Kerry, et al. combined here.

Quagmire: A fading, Viet Nam-era term rescued from obscurity.

Red States/Blue States: Before November 2, 2004, a relatively unknown term, a shorthand used by political pundits, describing Republican-leaning states vs. Democrat-leaning states.

Rush-to-War: The short-hand by Administration opponents for the run-up to the Iraq war.

Swift Boats: Might have torpedoed Kerrys presidential aspirations. Actually, Fast Patrol Craft (PCF), small, shallow draft-water vessels operated by the United States Navy for counterinsurgency (COIN) operations during the Vietnam War.

Two Americas: John Edwards frequent of America as divided between rich and poor, the jobless and the employed, liberals (err, progressives) and conservatives.

– Paul JJ Payack

 

Myth of 24-hour News Cycle:

 

  • Directly Impacts

  • (and Undermines) the 2004 Presidential Campaign

 

October Surprise Short-lived Compared to August Surprise

 Danville, California (October 19, 2004) Though it is commonly assumed that the media is now on a 24-hour news cycle, the opposite appears to be true, according to an exclusive analysis of The Global Language Monitor’s PQ Index (Political-sensitivity Quotient). Though the day-to-day headlines of the 2004 Presidential Campaign are relatively transient, the ideas encapsulated in the political buzzwords that GLM tracks take several months to cycle through the electronic and print media, the internet, and cyberspace, particularly the blogosphere.

Once a ‘politically-sensitive’ buzzword is launched into today’s media world, it seems to persist for an indeterminate period, building a kind of ‘media momentum’ and extending the news cycle rather than shrinking it. This persistence seems at odds with the general perception of the media being fixated on the ’24 hours news cycle’.

The PQ Index (Political-sensitivity Quotient) released monthly by The Global Language Monitor is a proprietary algorithm that tracks politically sensitive words and phrases in the media and on the Internet.

A current example: the PQ Index has been the tracking the “Swift Boats” issue for over six months as shown in Figures 1 and 2. Though it peaked in the last few weeks at No. 1 in the August Tracking Index with the release of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ads, it remains strongly entrenched in the Top Ten in the October survey. The evidence suggests that the issue will persist for some time to come; definitely through November 2nd.

Another example might be the labeling of President Bush as a Liar. This first surfaced in early spring as a result of ads launched by 527 organizations, such as MoveOn.org, in an action without precedent in the mainstream media, boldly labeling the sitting president a Liar. This was an early version of this years attack ads that would proliferate throughout the year, and was little noticed by the mainstream media at the time, except as a curiosity.

The ads, however, proved to be harbingers of what was to follow. Over the course of the next six months the label stuck, increasingly resonating especially on the Internet and in the blogosphere. This month the term sits at No. 11 on the PQ Index, down from No. 4 in August. In fact, Bush as Liar! is up some 1400% since the beginning of the year. An additional wrinkle is that Kerry, too, is now being labeled as a Liar! by his critics with nearly 40% of the references tracked by the PQ Index labeling the Democratic nominee as such.

Another example is the Dead and Done Presidents phenomenon. With the passing of Ronald Reagan in June and the much-anticipated publication of Bill Clintons autobiography the next month, these two former presidents, leapt to the top of the PQ Index in June and July respectively. In the October Index, they both still rank in the Top Twenty demonstrating the persistence of their long-shadows over the current campaign.

Fahrenheit, representing Michael Moores controversial film, Fahrenheit 451, took the top ranking in the July PQ Index, jumping some 400% from the previous month. Fahrenheit maintained its No. 1 position in August and currently ranks as No. 6 in the October Index. Mr. Moore, more than most, seems to have appreciated the new “Surprise” phenomenon, though for maximum impact he might have, in retrospect, released his film a month later, in August rather than July.

And now, in what could be a sign of mounting difficulties for the Democratic Presidential Campaign, this months top political buzzwords (including ‘Dan Rather-related Bias, ‘Liberal,’ Global Test,’ ‘Flip flop/flopping’ and Swift Boats) are creating an inhospitable climate, in many cases overshadowing the key messages of the Democratic Nominee, according to the October PQ Index.

In the October PQ Index, Swift Boats is actually getting more media hits and citations than all otherkey Kerry messages combined. These messages include; “Two Americas,” “Bush the Misleader,” “jobless recovery,” and “global outsourcing”.

With weeks remaining in the Campaign, there is a very real danger that Kerrys key messages will continue to be swamped by the “flip flop,” “Swift Boat” and “Rathergate” (and now the Mary Cheney) issues.

This is not to say that an October Surprise is not possible. Based on recent history and the uncertainty associated with al Qaeda it would be wise to expect any number of such events. However, the importance of the August Surprise with its attendant , momentum-building sustainability, should not be overlooked by current, or future, campaigns.

– Analysis by Paul JJ Payack

Political Buzz Issues Live Longer on the Net  

 

Read More:

A Sound Bite is Born: Tracking Politically Sensitive Words in These Politically Sensitive Times (San Diego CityBeat)

Incurious George — Has the President a New Title (Reuters)

Another Obscure 16th C. Word Disinterred (UK)

Incurious in China (Taiwan)

Flashback: Don’t Misunderestimate Dubya!

Misunderestimate on National Public Radio’s (NPR): Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!

ArnoldSpeak Has California Crowds Listening! (Reuters)

Chad Blocking the Road to the White House (CNN)

Presi dential Debates Score at Grade School Level

San Fransisco Chronicle on Chads and Their Aftermath

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


##################################################### #####################################################