Global Language Monitor’s Top Words of 2012 projections from current word trends
AUSTIN, Texas December 26, 2011 – Trending 2012: Multiple End-of-World scenarios, Kate, China, CERN, the Olympics, The US Elections will dominate word creation and usage in the English language in 2012.
This is according to current word trends in global English being tracked by the Global Language Monitor. Last month, Austin, Texas-based Global Language Monitor had announced that ‘Occupy’ was the Top Word, ‘Arab Spring’ the Top Phrase and ‘Steve Jobs’ the Top Name of 2011 in its twelfth annual global survey of the English language.
The words are culled from throughout the English-speaking world, which now numbers more than 1.83 billion speakers (January 2012 estimate).
The Projected Top Words of 2012
1. Kate — There are seven billion humans on the planet but sometimes it seems that it’s all about Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, the former Kate Middleton in terms of fashion, celebrity, and the royal line.
2. Olympiad — The Greeks measured time by the four-year interval between the Games. Moderns measure it by medal counts, rights fees and billions of eyeballs.
3. Middle Kingdom – There is little indication that China’s continuing economic surge will fade from the global media spotlight –or abate.
4. Bak’tun — A cycle of 144,000 days in the Maya ‘Long Count’ Calendar. This bak’tun ends on December 21, 2012, also being called the Mayan Apocalypse. (Actually Maya ‘long-count’ calendars stretch hundreds of millions of years into the future, December 21st merely marks the beginning of a new cycle.)
5. Solar max — The peak of the 11-year sunspot cycle; in 1854 solar storms melted telegraph wires; what’s in store for our all-pervasive electronic infrastructure?
6. The Election — No Obama-mania this time around, more of an Obama-ennui for the November 6 elections.
8. Rogue nukes — Iran and North Korea will be the focus of attention here.
9. CERN — Neutrons traveling faster than light? The ‘God Particle’? The world ending in a mini-black hole? All these somehow revolve around CERN (The European Center for Nuclear Research). One CERN scientist calculated that the chance of a mini-Black Hole swallowing the Earth is less than 1 in 50,000,000. Somewhat comforting until you realize this is about ten times more likely than winning a national lottery.)
10. Global Warming — The earth has been warming since New York was covered under a mountain of ice; what makes 2012 any different?
11. Near-Earth Asteroid — Yet another year, another asteroid, another near-miss. (However, one does strike the Earth every one hundred million years or so.)
GLM employs its NarrativeTracker technologies for global Internet and social media analysis. NarrativeTracker is based on global discourse, providing a real-time, accurate picture about any topic, at any point in time.
NarrativeTracker analyzes the Internet, blogosphere, the top 75,000 print and electronic global media, as well as new social media sources as they emerge.
“The year 2012 looks to be a vibrant year for the English language with word creation again driven by events both scheduled and unanticipated. Typically there is an ‘end-of-the-world’ scenario every few years that impacts the English language. This year we will see no fewer than three, including the Maya Apocalypse and the Solar Max,” said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of GLM.
”Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, will compete with the London Olympics, the economic surge of China, various activities involving the CERN atom smasher, and the US presidential election for Top Word honors, though we always allow for word creation generated from unexpected events such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005 or the Japanese ‘triple disaster’ of 2011.”
Rank / Word / Comments
7. Deficit — Looks like deficit-spending will plague Western democracies for at least the next decade.
12. Europe — United, breaking apart, saving the Euro, abandoning the Euro, with the UK again as an ‘interested onlooker’. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.
Bonus Phrase: The successor term for ‘Arab Spring’, whatever that might be.
Occupy is the Top Word of the Year,
Arab Spring is the Top Phrase of the Year and
Steve Jobs is the Top Name of the Year
Global Language Monitor’s 12th Annual Survey of Global English
AUSTIN, Texas December 6, 2011 (Updated from November 10) — The Global Language Monitor has announced that ‘Occupy’ is the Top Word, ‘Arab Spring’ the Top Phrase and ‘Steve Jobs’ the Top Name of 2011 in its annual global survey of the English language. Occupy was followed by deficit, fracking, drone, and non-veg. Kummerspeck, haboob, 3Q, Trustafarians, and (the other) 99 rounded out the Top 10.
“Our selections this year, to a large extent, reflect the ongoing political and economic uncertainty that seems to be affecting much of the developed world – with notable exceptions such as the Royal wedding and the continuing rise of China ,” said Paul JJ Payack, President of the Global Language Monitor.
“Our top words, phrases and names this year come from five continents… confirmation of the ever-expanding influence of the English language.
“The words are culled from throughout the English-speaking world, which now numbers more than 1.58 billion speakers. The Global Language Monitor’s Word of the Year rankings are based upon actual word usage in the English speaking world.
“In global English, words are not bestowed upon, agreed upon, or voted upon by cultural or academic elites but, rather, words are defined from the bottom up, that is, by the people themselves — and this is true whether in the East End of London, or south-central LA, the projects in Brooklyn, the slums of Kingston, the call centers of Mumbai, the streets of Singapore, the text messages out of Shanghai, or the fashion districts of Sydney.”
GLM employs its NarrativeTracker technologies for global Internet and social media analysis. NarrativeTracker is based on global discourse, providing a real-time, accurate picture about any topic, at any point in time. NarrativeTracker analyzes the Internet, blogosphere, the top 75,000 print and electronic global media, as well as new social media sources.
BBC Magazine: The rich: Exactly what does that mean?
.2011, l’année Steve Jobs?
(Time Person of the Year?)
Nunberg also selects ‘occupy’ as the 2011 Word of the Year
The Top Words of 2011
Rank / Word / Comments
2. Deficit – Growing and possibly intractable problem for the economies of the developed world.
3. Fracking – Hydraulic fracturing is a controversial method for extracting fossil fuels from hitherto unreachable deposits.
4. Drone – The ever increasing number of remotely piloted aircraft used for reconnaissance and attack purposes.
5. Non-veg – A meal served with meat, originally from India, now catching on worldwide.
6. Kummerspeck – From the German seeing wider acceptance in the English, excess weight gained from emotional overeating (grief bacon).
7. Haboob – A name imported from the Arabic for massive sandstorms in the American Southwest.
8. 3Q – Near universal term for ‘thank you’ now earning additional status after being banned from official Chinese dictionaries. Another example of the ever- increasing mixing of numbers and letters to form words.
9. Trustafarians – Well-to-do youth (trust-funders) living a faux-Bohemian life style, now associated with the London Riots.
The Top Phrases of 2011
Rank / Phrase / Comment
1. Arab Spring – The series of uprisings, social protests, and rebellions occurring among many nations of the Arab World beginning this spring.
2. Royal Wedding – The wedding of the former Kate Middleton and heir-to-the-British-Throne, Prince William that captivated millions around the world.
3. Anger and Rage – Characterizations of the global electorate by the pundits, though closer analyses has revealed more frustration than anger and more disappointment than rage.
4. Climate Change – No. 1 phrase for the first decade of the 21st century; still resonates into its second decade.
5. The Great Recession – Though officially over, the media term most frequently used to describe the on-going global economic restructuring.
6. Tahrir Square – The scene of the ‘25th of January’ demonstrations in Cairo against Hosni Mubarak.
7. Linear No Threshold (LNT) – The methodology to calculate risk from exposure to radioactive elements from the Fukushima Daiiachi disaster.
9. ‘How’s that working out for you?’ – The New York Times credits Sarah Palin, but it predates her use of the phrase by several decades.
10. “Make no mistake about it!” – President Obama has repeated the phrase thousands of times since his 2008 election.
The Top Names of 2011
Rank / Name / Comments
2. Osama bin-Laden & Seal Team 6 – Who changed the world more? Al-Qaeda or Steve Jobs?
3. Fukushima – The epicenter of the Japanese Triple Disaster (earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown).
4. Mohamed Bouazizi – the Tunisian fruit vendor who set himself afire and became the symbol of Tunisian resistance – and the Arab Spring.
5. Chinese Paramount Leader Hu Jintao – The Rise of the Tiger being a primary cause of the Global Economic Restructuring.
6. Kate Middleton – She captivated the world with her elegance and style and continues to do so as the Duchess of Cambridge.
7. Muammar Gaddafi – Libyan strongman toppled in the recent insurrection.
8. President Obama – Hope and Change retreat further into the history books; the game plan is now for survival.
9. PIIGS – The nations of Portugal, Ireland, Italy Greece and Spain taken together for their untenable deficits possibly affecting the economic health of the Eurozone.
10. Yaroslavl Lokomotiv – The ill-fated elite Russian hockey team that was virtually wiped out in the crash of a three-engine Yak-42.
Top Words of the Decade
The Top Words of the Decade Global Warming, 9/11, and Obama outdistanced Bailout, Evacuee, and Derivative; Google, Surge, Chinglish, and Tsunami followed. Climate Change was top phrase; Heroes was the top name.
Previous Words of the Year include:
Top Words: No. 1 Spillcam, No. 2 Vuvuzela, No. 3 The Narrative
Top Phrases: No. 1 Anger and Rage, No. 2 Climate Change, No. 3 The Great Recession
Top Names: No. 1 Hu Jintao, paramount leader of China, No. 2 iPad, No. 3 Barack Obama
Top Words: No. 1 Twitter, No. 2 Obama-, No. 3 H1N1
Top Phrases: No. 1 King of Pop, No. 2 Obama-mania, No. 3 Climate Change
Top Names: No. 1 Obama, No. 2 Michael Jackson, No. 3 Mobama
Top Words: No. 1 Change, No. 2 Bailout, No. 3 Obama-mania
Top Phrases: No. 1 Financial Tsunami, No. 2 Global Warming, No. 3 “Yes, We Can!”
Top Names: No. 1 Barack Obama, No. 2 George W. Bush, No.3 Michael Phelps
Top Words: No. 1 Hybrid (representing all things green), No. 2: Surge
Top Phrase: Climate Change
Top Name: Al Gore
Top Word: Sustainable
Top Phrase: Stay the Course
Top Name: Dafur
Top Words: No. 1, Refugee No. 2: Tsunami No. 3: Katrina
Top Phrase: Outside the Mainstream
Top Name: (acts of ) God
Top Word: Incivility (for inCivil War)
Top Phrase: Red States/Blue States No. 2: Rush to War
Top Name: Dubya/Rove
Top Word: Embedded
Top Phrase: Shock and Awe, No. 2: Rush to War
Top Name: Saddam Hussein, No. 2 Dubya
Top Word: Misunderestimate
Top Phrase: Threat Fatigue
Top Name: W (Dubya)
Top Word: Ground Zero
Top Phrase: ‘Lets Roll’
Top Name: The Heros
Top Word: Chad
Top Phrase: Dot.com
Top Name: W (Dubya)
About The Global Language Monitor
Austin-Texas-based Global Language Monitor analyzes and catalogues the latest trends in word usage and word choices and their impact on the various aspects of culture, with a particular emphasis upon Global English.
For more information, call 1.512.815.8836, email info@LanguageMonitor.com, or visit www.LanguageMonitor.com.
Eighth Annual Analysis of the Top Words from Television by the Global Language Monitor
Austin, Texas, September 20, 2011. The Global Language Monitor today announced that the ‘Royal Wedding’ of Kate Middleton and Prince William is the Top Television Word (or phrase) of the 2011 season. ‘Royal Wedding’ topped Charlie Sheen’s self-descriptive ‘Winner’ for the Top Spot. ‘Arab Spring’, ‘X-Factor’, and ‘Oprah’ rounded out the Top Five. ‘Fukashima,’ ’9/11′, ‘Obama-vision’, ’Chicago-style pols’ and ‘Zombies’ completed the Top Ten. Surprisingly the drama surrounding the killing of Osama bin Laden by Navy Seal Team 6 did not break into the No. 10.
“This apparently is shaping up to be the Year of Kate (Middleton). She has come to dominate the small screen through her engagement, her fashion choices and most of all her Royal Wedding,” said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of the Global Language Monitor. “Aside from the princess, this is the first time that ‘news’ has dominated the Top TeleWords of any given year. There are those who maintain that the pace of events is accelerating — and it does appear that social media is playing an ever-expanding role in that process.”
The awards are annually announced at the beginning of the fall television season in the US, traditionally opened with the 63rd Annual Emmy Awards. (Sunday, September 18th, 8:00 p.m. ET). This is the eighth annual analysis by the Austin-based Global Language Monitor.
The Top Telewords of the 2011 season with commentary follow:
1. Royal Wedding (Kate) — Kate reigns once more, this time on the small screen.
2. Winner (Charlie Sheen) – Winner, Tiger blood, goddesses … Fukashima was not the only meltdown on the world stage this year.
3. Arab Spring — The rolling unrest in the Middle East to some extent fueled by social media, such as Facebook and Twitter.
4. X-factor — In algebra, X is the unknown quantity or variable. In TV lingo it stands for Simon Cowell’s empire of dozens of X-factor shows around the globe.
5. Oprah – A name without precedent (or predecessor) rising to prominence because of Winfrey’s season-long farewell tour.
6. Fukashima – The epicenter for the Japanese Triple Disaster (tsunami, earthquake and nuclear meltdown).
7. 9/11 – The recent 10th year commemoration reminds that it is one of the handful of historical events whose date will actually ‘live in infamy’.
8. Obama-vision – The president’s appearances have turned increasingly more prosaic in the third year of his presidency.
9. Chicago-style politics (The Good Wife) – Rahm Emanuel vies with the Good Wife for the better rendition of a Chicago Pol’s life.
10. Zombies (The Walking Dead) – Continue to infect the world through dozens of shows on the small screen.
The Top Telewords of previous years:
2010 – SpillCam from the Gulf Oil Spill, followed by Guido (Jersey Shore) and Reality (TV)
2009 – ObamaVision — All Obama, all the time, everywhere, followed by Financial Meltdown and the death of Michael Jackson.
2008: Beijing (from the Olympics), ObamaSpeak, followed by ‘facts are stubborn things’, ‘it is what it is,’ and Phelpsian.
2007: “Surge” from the Iraq War political and military strategy, “That’s Hot®” Paris Hilton’s popular expression that is now a registered trademark, and “D’oh!” from The Simpsons and The Simpsons Movie.
2006: ‘Truthiness’ and ‘Wikiality’ from the Colbert Show followed by ‘Katrina’, ‘Katie,’ and ‘Dr. McDreamy’.
2005: ‘Refugee’ from the coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, followed by ‘Desperation’ from Desperate Housewives and ‘Camp Cupcake’ from the on-going Martha Stewart follies.
2004: “You’re Fired!” edged “Mess O’ Potamia” followed by “Girlie Men,” “God,” and “Wardrobe Malfunction”.
Egad! What’s the ‘chad’ blocking the path to the White House?
November 13, 2000
Web posted at: 11:19 a.m. EST (1619 GMT)
ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) — The final answer to who’s going to be the next U.S. president may be determined by “chad.”
So who, or what, is chad?
A) A country in Africa?
B) The name of a saint?
C) Rob Lowe’s brother?
D) A lowly scrap of paper that may decide who will be the next leader of the free world?
All four answers are correct. Chad is also the name of a couple of major league baseball players and one half of a British pop-singing duo from the ’60s.
But if you guessed “D,” you are informed enough to understand the vote counting process in Florida.
Politicians are tossing the term “chad” around as if everyone were familiar with the word. Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore’s campaign adviser, George Mitchell, is among them.
“You can run those machine ballots through five times and you’ll get five different totals because the chads fall off with each count,” he said, explaining on “Fox News Sunday” the reason he believes ballots in Florida should be recounted by hand.
But Mitchell’s use of “chads” betrayed his own lack of familiarity with the word. “Chad is its own plural,” said Paul J.J. Payack, president and CEO of yourdictionary.com, which is based in California.
The Web site www.yourdictionary.com defines the word as follows:
|1. The confetti-like scrap punched out of cards or paper tape (also “chaff,” “computer confetti” or “keypunch droppings”).|
|2. The perforated strips on the edge of paper for sprocket feed printers after they have been separated from the printed portion (also “perf,” “perfory,” or “snaf”).|
|Etymology: Possibly from the last name of the inventor of the Chadless cardpunch, which cut U-shapes in punch cards, rather than open circles or rectangles. (The U’s formed holes when folded back.)|
“Chad” would then be a back-formation from “Chadless” misunderstood: If the Chadless keypunches don’t produce it, other keypunches must produce “chad.”
The word appears to have entered the national lexicon in the late 1940s, around the time people began to refer to “bug” as a computer glitch after a researcher blamed a moth among a group of vacuum tubes for affecting ENIAC, the primitive computer powered by thousands of such tubes, said Payack. That was also about the time when IBM began using punch cards that warned users not to fold, spindle or mutilate.
In Florida, vote-counters may have wished for a “chadometer” to measure whether a bit of chad is sufficiently dislodged to qualify it as “dangling.”
When the hand recount began in Palm Beach County, the canvassing board there said it would count a vote if any of the corners of the chad were punched.
The board then decided that they would instead use the “sunlight test” — if they could see sun through an indentation, it would count.
About a quarter of the way through the counting, however, a board member determined that the light test was flawed and told the other members to go back to the first test.
According to county spokesman Bob Nichols, there are five types of chad.
Ones that count:
• Hanging door — one corner hanging off
• Swinging door — two corners hanging off
• Tri-chad — three corners hanging off
Chads that don’t count:
• Pregnant — bulges, but not punched through
• Dimple — simple indentation
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
San Francisco. July 24, 2011 – We first saw the story, 15 Wonderful Words With No English Equivalent, on the MentalFloss outlet (a genuinely interesting site for esoterica lovers), compiled by Bill DeMain. His attribution states that “many of the words above can be found in BBC researcher Adam Jacot de Boinod’s book ‘The Meaning of Tingo and Other Extraordinary Words from Around the World.”
In the last few days we have tracked it thousands of times around the English speaking world, which now happens to encompass the globe. We are intrigued by the idea that there, indeed, might be no equivalent English words or phrases for these terms.
After all there are as of today, July 24th, 2011 the Global language Monitor calculates that there are approximately 1,010,649.7 words in the English language. (The language gains a new word every ninety-eight minutes, hence the, we admit, totally extraneous decimal point.)
So here’s the challenge to lovers of the language. Do these 15 Wonderful Words Actually Have No English Equivalent?
Send us your suggestions to: 15WonderfulWords@LanguageMonitor.com, and we will publish what our readers come up with.
Here’s the list original story:
by Bill DeMain, July 22, 2011
The Global Language Monitor estimates that there are currently 1,009,753 words in the English language. Despite this large lexicon, many nuances of human experience still leave us tongue-tied. And that’s why sometimes it’s necessary to turn to other languages to find le mot juste. Here are fifteen foreign words with no direct English equivalent.
1. Zhaghzhagh (Persian)
The chattering of teeth from the cold or from rage.
2. Yuputka (Ulwa)
A word made for walking in the woods at night, it’s the phantom sensation of something crawling on your skin.
3. Slampadato (Italian)
Addicted to the infra-red glow of tanning salons? This word describes you.
4. Luftmensch (Yiddish)
There are several Yiddish words to describe social misfits. This one is for an impractical dreamer with no business sense. Literally, air person.
5. Iktsuarpok (Inuit)
You know that feeling of anticipation when you’re waiting for someone to show up at your house and you keep going outside to see if they’re there yet? This is the word for it.
6. Cotisuelto (Caribbean Spanish)
A word that would aptly describe the prevailing fashion trend among American men under 40, it means one who wears the shirt tail outside of his trousers.
7. Pana Po’o (Hawaiian)
“Hmm, now where did I leave those keys?” he said, pana po’oing. It means to scratch your head in order to help you remember something you’ve forgotten.
8. Gumusservi (Turkish)
Meteorologists can be poets in Turkey with words like this at their disposal. It means moonlight shining on water.
9. Vybafnout (Czech)
A word tailor-made for annoying older brothers—it means to jump out and say boo.
10. Mencolek (Indonesian)
You know that old trick where you tap someone lightly on the opposite shoulder from behind to fool them? The Indonesians have a word for it.
11. Faamiti (Samoan)
To make a squeaking sound by sucking air past the lips in order to gain the attention of a dog or child.
12. Glas wen (Welsh)
A smile that is insincere or mocking. Literally, a blue smile.
13. Bakku-shan (Japanese)
The experience of seeing a woman who appears pretty from behind but not from the front.
14. Boketto (Japanese)
It’s nice to know that the Japanese think enough of the act of gazing vacantly into the distance without thinking to give it a name.
15. Kummerspeck (German)
Excess weight gained from emotional overeating. Literally, grief bacon.
Remember to send us your suggestions for English-language equivalents to: 15WonderfulWords@LanguageMonitor.com or info@LanguageMonitor.com.
As Summer Blockbuster Season Peaks, a Look Back at the Top Hollywords from 2010
8th Annual Global Survey by the Global Language Monitor
Austin, Texas. July 12, 2011. As summer blockbuster season peaks, a look back at the top words from the movies that influenced the English language from 2010.
For the first time a single word representative of a number of the year’s blockbusters, Grit, tops the list of Hollywords as named by the Global Language Monitor. Grit topped arrogance, abdicate, stammer, and madness. Dream-stealers, nerds, Borogoves, shard, and 3-D rounded out the top ten.
“For the first time a single word was representative of a number of the year’s Oscar winning films,” said Paul JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst for the Global Language Monitor, “According to Webster’s the term, grit, has the following senses that applied to these films: firmness, pluck, gritty (as in soot-covered), stubborn, indomitable spirit, courageous, and brave perseverance.”
The Top Hollywords of the 2010 season with the largest impact on the English language with commentary follow.
1. The word grit has been defined in a number of ways by Webster that reflects many of the virtues of this year’s nominees.
- Grit is, of course, from the title of Best Picture nominee True Grit, as exemplified by the character’s played by Jeff Bridges (firmness) and Hailee Steinfeld (pluck).
- The action of The Fighter took place against the backdrop of one of the nation’s fabled gritty cities: Lowell, Massachusetts into which Mark Wahlberg, Melissa Leo and Christian Bale expertly blended.
- 127 Hours portrayed the stubborn courage of a man driven to desperate acts to ensure his survival.
- The accidental and courageous king and his indomitable tutor as portrayed by Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush in The King’s Speech.
- Woody’s brave perseverance to keep his fellow toys together in Toy Story 3.
2. Arrogance – Deftly depicted in both The Social Network and Inside Job.
3. Abdicate – Another generation learns of cowardice in high places, again; this time it’s found in the British Royal Family as depicted in The King’s Speech.
4. Stammer and/or Stutter – If you paid close attention you might actually notice the difference between a stammer and a stutter in Colin Firth’s dialogue.
5. Madness – We are told there is no such thing as ‘madness’ in the 21st century, but whatever we may call it, in the Black Swan Natalie Portman’s creates a dramatic portrait of the descent into it.
6. Dream-Stealers – (and dream shapers and sowers). Evidently, new career options for the 21st century endless-recession economy introduced to us by Leonardo DiCaprio and his film Inception. The timid need not apply.
7. Nerd – Once more, we are fascinated by the rise of the nerd in The Social Network … though most nerds never overcome their nerdness, and only the most rare of exceptions is able to cash in on it.
8. Borogoves – Alice in Wonderland sheds a bit of light on the ‘borogoves’. As you know, they were all ‘mimsy’ in Charles Lutwidge Dodgson’s nonsense poem, Jabberwocky.
9. Shard – Though widely confused with the word ‘shred’ as in a ‘shred of truth’, Harry Potter finds a mirror shard, in which he catches a glimpse of a blue eye and keeps it for later use. From Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1.
10. 3D CGI – (Three-dimensional, Computer-generated imagery) Five of the top ten grossing films of 2010 were CGI-based 3D, accumulating some $1.3B domestically: Toy Story 3, Despicable Me, Shrek Forever After, How to Train Your Dragon, and Tangled. Whether this is a transformative trend or a passing fad has yet to be determined.
The Global Language Monitor uses a proprietary algorithm, the Predictive Quantities Indicator (PQI) to track the frequency of words and phrases in the global print and electronic media, on the Internet, throughout the Blogosphere, as well as accessing proprietary databases. The PQI is a weighted Index, factoring in: long-term trends, short-term changes, momentum, and velocity.
Previous Top HollyWord Winners include:
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!!! Its sexy time!’ from Borat!
2005 ‘Brokeback’ from Brokeback Mountain
2004 “Pinot” from Sideways
2003 ‘Wardrobe malfunction’ from Super Bowl XXXVIII
GLM Comment : We think not. But perhaps an unexpected ability to fashion an English Sentence.
One week ago today, the MoJo DC bureau was consumed by the arrival of Sarah Palin’s emails covering the first half of her half-term as Alaska’s governor. As David Corn detailed, there were plenty of interesting discoveries—a less than chilly attitude toward climate change, for instance, and a sometimes obsessive attitude toward media critics (marginal and otherwise).
While we were poring over the documents, though, Michael McLaughlin of AOL’s Weird News was taking a different approach:
AOL Weird News brought samples to two writing analysts who independently evaluated 24,000 pages of the former governor’s emails. They came back in agreement that Palin composed her messages at an [8.5] level, an excellent score for a chief executive, they said…
“She’s very concise. She gives clear orders. Her sentences and punctuations are logical,” Payack said. “She has much more of a disciplined mind than she’s given credit for.”
Although it’s like comparing apples to oranges, Payack said that famous speeches like Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address was a 9.1 and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” oration rated a 8.8 on the scale.
Having read several thousand pages of the Palin emails, I think apples and oranges might be a bit of an understatement here. But there’s also a bit of truth there: Palin’s written communications are noticeably more coherent than her efforts to explain herself verbally (witness: Paul Revere-gate).
Sarah Palin’s Emails Written At 8th Grade Level — Better Than Some CEOs
The huge cache of Sarah Palin’s emails released Friday offered not only a chance to see what she was writing about during her uncompleted term as Alaska’s governor, but also an opportunity to see how well she writes.
AOL Weird News brought samples to two writing analysts who independently evaluated 24,000 pages of the former governor’s emails. They came back in agreement that Palin composed her messages at an eighth-grade level, an excellent score for a chief executive, they said.
“I’m a centrist Democrat, and would have loved to support my hunch that Ms. Palin is illiterate,” said2tor Chief Executive Officer John Katzman.
“However, the emails say something else. Ms. Palin writes emails on her Blackberry at a grade level of 8.5.
“If she were a student and showing me her work, I’d say ‘It’s fine, clear writing,’” he said, admitting that emails he wrote scored lower than Palin’s on the widely used Flesch-Kincaid readability test.
“She came in as a solid communicator,” said Paul J.J. Payack, president of the Global Language Monitor. The emails registered as an 8.2 on his version of the test. “That’s typical for a corporate executive.”
An example of Palin’s strongest writing came on Jul. 17, 2007 in an email to Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell about the controversial Gravina Island Bridge, infamously called the “Bridge to Nowhere.”
“We cant afford it, the Feds won’t pay for it, the general populace isn’t placing it as a high priority … can you diplomatically express that?! Of course we want infrastructure — and this is NOT a “bridge to nowhere” (that is so offensive), but as it stands today with the highest-cost bridge design selected by the Ketchikan community, we need to find a lower-cost alternative [if] a bridge will be built.”
“She’s very concise. She gives clear orders. Her sentences and punctuations are logical,” Payack said. “She has much more of a disciplined mind than she’s given credit for.” [Read More.]
Study also compares Michelle Obama with the Royals
NarrativeTracker analysis of Internet, social and traditional media
AUSTIN, Texas. April 18, 2011. With less than two weeks left before the Royal Wedding on April 29th, Kate Middleton is already posting Diana-type numbers in terms of news worthiness and celebrity status on the Top Global Media sites as well as on the Internet and Social Media according to The Global Language Monitor. Previously GLM had found the soon-to-be Princess Catherine the Top Fashion Buzzword of the 2011 season, replacing the eccentric Lady Gaga.
The GLM study compared the citations of Kate Middleton with those of Princess Diana, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince Harry, and Camilla Parker Bowles. Michelle Obama as First Lady of the United States was included as a relevant American comparison. For the Top Global Media, the citations were measured over the last three months as well as all the archives available.
“Kate Middleton is set to eclipse Princess Di as the media star of the Royal Family,” said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of the Global Language Monitor. “In fact, Kate could surpass all Internet, Social Media, and Global Print and Electronic Media citations by the time the Royal Wedding-related stories are compiled.”
Two weeks before the Royal Wedding, Middleton’s Internet and Social Media citations, surpass all members of the Royal Family. Prince William comes in as a close second followed by Princess Diana, who died in a Paris car crash in 1997.
For Internet news citations, Middleton follows only Prince William and Prince Charles. For comparison, First Lady Michelle Obama, since she first came to notice in 2004, would rank No. 3 in Internet and Social Media citations, just ahead of Princess Diana and would rank No 4, again slightly ahead of Princess Diana in Internet news.
In the traditional Global Print and Electronic Media, Prince William and his bride-to-be, both double references to Queen Elizabeth and quadruple those to Prince Charles who would also follow Michelle Obama.
Note: Princess Di is cited in hundred of thousands of news stories even though she died before Google, social media, and smartphones existed. Even without the current media environment where the Internet, social media and the traditional media feed upon themselves as some sort cyber echo chamber, the study demonstrates the enduring legacy of Princess — some fourteen years after her death.
GLM used NarrativeTracker Technology in this study.
NarrativeTracker is based on the global discourse, providing a real-time, accurate picture of what any audience is saying about any topic, at any point in time. NarrativeTracker analyzes the Internet, the top global print and electronic media, as well as new social media sources (such as Twitter).
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AUSTIN, Texas December 8, 2010 (Updated) – The Global Language Monitor has announced the Top Words of 2011, yes 2011.
“Typically, we gather our top words throughout the year and rank them according to the number of citations, the size and depth of their linguistic footprint and momentum. To project possible top words for 2011, we analyzed the categories that we monitor and then choose words from each representative of various word trends,” said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of GLM. “Over the last ten years, we’ve frequently been asked the question, so this year we are providing our projections.”
The words are culled from throughout the English-speaking world, which now numbers more than 1.58 billion speakers.
Projected Top Words of 2011 Rank / Word / Comments
- Twenty-Eleven – The English-speaking world has finally agreed on a common designation for the year: Twenty-eleven far outstrips ‘two thousand eleven’ in the spoken language. This is welcome relief from the decade-long confusion over how to pronounce 2001, 2001, 2003, etc.
- Obama-mess – David Letterman’s neologism for 2010 also works for 2011. This word is neutral. If Obama regain his magic, he escaped his Obama-mess; if his rating sinks further he continues to be engulfed by it.
- Great Recession – Even the best case scenario has the economy digging out of this hole for the foreseeable future,
- Palinism – Because the media needs an heir to Bushisms and Sarah Palin is the candidate of choice here.
- TwitFlocker – Can’t say what the name of the next Twitter or Facebook will be, so we’ll use TwitFlocker as the place holder. (What is TwitFlocker? Join the Discussion Here.)
- 3.0 – 2.0 has settled into the vocabulary in a thousand differing forms — Obama 2.0, Web 2.0, Lindsey Lohan 2.0, so we project 3.0 being used to ‘one-up’ the 2.0 trend.
- 9/11 – Next September is the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on US soil, so there is sure to be a great resurgence in use of the phrase.
- Climate Change (or global warming) – Both of these phrases have been in the Top Ten for the last decade, so we see no reason the English-speaking public will abandon either or both of the phrases.
- China/Chinese – The emergence of China is the Top Story of the Decade and there is little indication that is emergence on the world stage will continue in the media.
- Hobbit and/or Parseltongue – The blockbuster movies of 2011 will be sure to include Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 and the Hobbit (though the Hobbit premiers on Dec. 31) are sure to spin out some word or phrase that will remain memorable to the Earthly-audience.
For methodology, see Top Words of 2010 announcement.