The Seventh Annual Analysis by the Global Language Monitor
NEW YORK, September 12, 2014 – “All things New York” has been named the Top Fashion Buzzword for 2014, in the Global Language Monitor’s seventh annual ranking. Attitude, Reds, Underbut(t) and Visible Panty Lines (VPL) follow. Boyfriend Jeans, Side Boobs, The Kardashian Clan, Robe-style Coats, and Pastels follow.
“All Things New York”, capturing the essence of the New York fashion sense, dominates the 2014 Top Fashion Buzzword list,” said Rebecca Roman, Manhattan-based Fashion Director for GLM. “It is difficult to think of any global fashion trend that does not have a strong presence, if not its origin, in the New York City.
The Top Fashion Buzzwords of 2014 follow:
Rank, Buzzword, Comment
- “All things New York” — In 2014 New York stands astride the world of fashion.
- Attitude — It’s not just what you wear but how you wear it.
- Reds — Big , bold, and bright.
- Underbut(t) — Yes, we said ‘underbut(t).
- VPL (Visible Panty Lines) — For decades, the idea was to eliminate VPL; VPLs are now in style.
- Boyfriend Jeans — Popular but not always fashionable.
- Side Boobs — Same as above.
- The Kardashian Clan — Same as above.
- Robe-style Coats — More bedroom-style in the streets.
- Pastels — Appropriate now for all seasons.
- Funky Eye Makeup — You know it when you see it.
- Earthy Tones — Mixing various earth tones together.
- Sneakers — Still popular in all shapes and sizes.
- Transparents — Updated Peek-a-boo look.
- Sweaters — Particularly Wool, particularly big.
Methodology: GLM’s various word analyses are longitudinal in nature covering a number of years that varies with the particular analysis. The rankings are based upon actual word usage throughout the English-speaking world, which now numbers more than 1.83 billion people. GLM analyses billions of web pages, millions of blogs, 300,000 print and electronic news organizations, and new social media sites as they emerge. To qualify for GLM’s lists, the words, names, and phrases must be found globally, have a minimum of 25,000 citations. and the requisite ‘depth’ and ‘breadth’ of usage. Depth is here defined as appearing in various forms of media; breadth that they must appear world-over, not limited to a particular profession or social group or geography.
Top Fashion Buzzwords of previous years include:
- London (2013)
- the Princess Effect (2012)
- Kate Middleton (2011)
- Lady Gaga (2010), and
- Chiconomics (2009)
Each year, the Global Language Monitor ranks the Top Global Fashion Capitals. In 2013 New York topped Paris and London followed by Los Angeles (!?), Barcelona, Rome, Berlin,
Shut out at the Emmys, True Detective’s “Time is a flat circle” Wins Top Television Words of the Year Award
11th Annual Analysis by the Global Language Monitor
AUSTIN, Texas, Labor Day Weekend, 2014 — “Time is a flat circle” from True Detective’s Rust Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) are The Top Word(s) from Television that influenced the English language from the 2013-2014 season. The Top Telewords Awards are announced in conjunction with the Prime Time Emmy awards at the beginning of the Fall television season in the US. The Prime Time Emmy Awards were broadcast from the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles on August 25th, on the NBC television network.
This is the Eleventh annual analysis by Austin-based Global Language Monitor (GLM).
“It is a pleasure to announce that the Top Telewords of the 2013-14 season are from the articulate, intelligent (though often dark) scripts of True Detective.” said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of GLM. “This year’s list reflects the outpouring of quality programming from all points on the globe”streaming to billions of ‘endpoints’ around the globe, be they televisions, computer screens, smart phones and/or tablets”.
Following “Time is a flat circle,” were “Bitch” from Breaking Bad,” “Sherlocked” from Sherlock, “Black List” from The Black List, ‘polar votex’ which dominated US network news through the winter, and the “Wreaking Ball” YouTube video of Miley Cyrus. Rounding out the The Top Ten were “Mortality” from Game of Thrones, “Sochi” from the Winter Olympic programming, “‘scandal” from the 2014 World Cup Brasil, and the “‘Great War” from Downton Abbey. “Georgie”, from the birth of the British Royal Heir broadcasts was this season’s Bonus Word.
This exclusive ranking is based upon GLM’s Narrative Tracking technology. NarrativeTracker analyzes the Internet, blogosphere, the top 300,000 print and electronic news media, as well as new social media sources (such as Twitter) as they emerge.
The words, phrases and concepts are tracked in relation to their frequency, contextual usage and appearance in global media outlets.
The Top Telewords of the 2013-2014 Season follow:
1. “Time is a flat circle” (True Detective) — Rust Cohle’s (Matthew McConaughey) philosophy of life
2012 — “Adorkable” from New Girl, Big Bang & Modern Family, followed by Shell Shock, Bi-polar, and Dothraki.
2011 – “SpillCam” from the Gulf Oil Spill, followed by Guido (Jersey Shore) and Reality (TV).
2010 – “Royal Wedding” of Kate Middleton and Prince William, followed by Charlie Sheen’s ‘winner,’ and Arab Spring.
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”.
About The Global Language Monitor
“We Tell the World What the Web is Thinking.” 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.
New Haven, CT August 22, 2014 — “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” and “No Justice, No Peace” are the Top Trending Phrases of 2014, according to the Global Language Monitor, which has been tracking major shifts in English language word usage since 2003. The phrases emanate from the Ferguson, MO, shooting death of the unarmed Michael Brown. Over the last ten days, protesters shouting “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” and “No Justice, No Peace” while holding up their hands in the universal position of surrender, have appeared in cities across the nation, in NFL stadiums, on university and college campuses, and other venues.
Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” and “No Justice, No Peace” have melded into any number of memes as the power of memes has demonstrated an ever larger effect on global communication”, said Paul JJ Payack, president and Chief Word Analyst for GLM.
Though both phrases have been around for decades, the events of August 9th and the following protests have been emulated around the nation (and now the world) at a rapid pace.
Some suggest that “No Justice, No Peace” phrasing was first used in relationship to the death of Michael Griffith in Howard Beach, New York in 1987. Local newspapers reported the phrase,at that time had become a “battle cry”. Earlier this year, “No justice, no peace” was heard at the George Zimmerman murder trial, held near Orlando, where Zimmerman was acquitted on all counts of the murder of Trayvon Martin. Many see a strong similarity between the two cases.
In November, 2013, Austin, Texas-based GLM announced that the Internet error code ’404′ was the Top Word of the Year of 2013.
The words are culled from throughout the English-speaking world, which now numbers more than 1.83 billion speakers (January 2014 estimate).GLM employs its TrendTracking technologies for global Internet and social media analysis. TrendTopper is based on global discourse, providing a real-time, accurate picture about any topic, at any point in time. TrendTracking Technologies analyzes the Internet, blogosphere, the top 300,000 print and electronic global media, as well as new social media sources as they emerge.
About the Global Language Monitor
Current Number of Words in the English Language is 1,027,770.5 (July 1, 2014 estimate)
AUSTIN, Texas April 16, 2014 – Emoji, Futebol, and Ghost Plane lead the Top Trending Words and Phrases of 2014, according to the current word trends in global English being tracked by the Global Language Monitor. This is a preliminary to GLM’s twelfth annual Word of the Year rankings that will be released at year-end.
New York Times, July 25, 2014
“Not only is the English language adding a new word every 98 minutes, but it is also expanding the basis of word creation. The alphabet, itself, is now expanding beyond letters to numbers + (emoticons) diacritical marks + emoji (picture words),” said Paul JJ Payack, chief word analyst, the Global Language Monitor. GLM will have an announcement about the extended alphabet, the alphaBIT, later in the year.
Go to “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” and “No Justice, No Peace” and are the Top Trending Phrases of the Year
The Top Trending Words of 2014 are listed below (Rank, Word, and Comment).
- Emoji — Smilies beware! The Emojis are now here. In 500 years people will look back on the creation of a new alphabet: Letters + numbers + (emoticons) diacritical marks + emoji (picture words).
- Futebol — Ready or not, the World Cup of Futebol, Futbol, Football, and Soccer is hurtling toward Brasil
- Climate Change — Two interesting points to add to the debate: 1) The Earth is now approaching the temps of the Medieval Warm Period circa 1100 c.e., and 2) 8,000 years ago oceans were some 100 meters lower than present level.
- Ghost Plane — Malaysian Flight 360, now has echoes of the 17th c. ‘ghost ship’, the ‘Flying Dutchman’.
- Inflation — OK, so the Universe expanded a gazillion times faster than the speed of light is now a fact. Way Cool.
- Denier — An ugly new addition to the trending words list as it has become an evermore present invective with sinister overtones (fully intended).
- Mid-Term Elections — The Perpetual Campaign of the US rolls into 2014, a mere speedbump on the way to ’16.
- Crimea — Remember, Charge of the Light Brigade though highly celebrated, was an unmitigated disaster.
- Pontiff — Francis keeps upending convention and papal protocol.
- Conscious De-Coupling — Oh Gwyneth Paltrow, what hath thou wrought to the language?
- Quinquennium — Or lustrum (either way five-year periods) — preparing for decade-and-a-half terminology as 2015 looms.
- The Great War — The centennial of World War I begins four years of soulful commemorations — as the forces it unloosed ripple into (and most probably through) the 21st c.
- Blood Moon — Four total eclipses of the Moon in an 18-month span. Not yet referred to as the Lunar-aplyspe — but the year is young.
- V. V. Putin — Proving to no longer be a Pootie-Poot (etymology unknown), the nickname of George W. Bush bestowed on him.
- Chinese — All things Chinese are (still) on the rise Western Powers should be acclimated to this by now.
In November, 2013, Austin, Texas-based GLM announced that the Internet error code ‘404’ was the Top Word of the Year of 2013.
The words are culled from throughout the English-speaking world, which now numbers more than 1.83 billion speakers (January 2013 estimate).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 300,000 print and electronic global media, as well as new social media sources as they emerge.
About the Global Language Monitor
The ‘f-word’ is (unfortunately) the Top Hollyword of 2013
The Year in Film as Reflected in the English Language
11th Annual Global Survey by the Global Language Monitor
Austin, Texas, March 11, 2013. The word euphemistically described as the ‘f-word‘ has been named the Top Hollyword of the 2013 season by the Global Language Monitor, in its eleventh annual survey. Gravity came in second followed by slavery, minion, and operating system (OS). Rounding out the Top Ten were melancholia, secret identity, Lone Star, ‘sense of place’, and recurrence. Each year, GLM announces the words after the Oscars at the conclusion of the awards season. The 86th Annual Academy Awards ceremony was held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, CA, Sunday, March 2, 2014. Ellen Degeneres was the host for the second time.
“The word euphemistically described as the ‘f-word’ is our Top Hollyword of the Year. The seemingly all-persuasive word can be found in all major Western Cinema, evidenced by the majority of this year’s Best Picture Nominees.” said Paul JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst for the Global Language Monitor. “Though the word was first introduced onto the screen in an apparent effort to shock the audience, the word is now used for various parts of speech with several dozen differing senses (or definitions). In literature, the word was identified in the mid-1600s peaking in the 1730s. The word then re-emerged in the 1960s and its use has increased exponentially ever since.”
The Oscars also introduced a new class of Ambush Marketing (Inverse-ambush Marketing), where the sponsor ambushes the audience. In this case Samsung paid a reported $20 million fee for product placement during the live broadcast, when Ellen used a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 for the ‘spontaneous’ selfie of the star-studded audience was re-tweeted some 871,000 times within an hour.
The Top Hollywords of the 2013 season with commentary follow.
Rank / Word or Phrase / Commentary
- The F-Word (Wolf of Wall Street, American Hustle, etc.) — Not an endorsement but can’t ignore the preponderance of the word in contemporary film-making. Historically it was first used extensively in the late 1600s and was revived in the early 1960s.
- Gravity (Gravity) — Unarticulated protagonist of the film defined: Any two bodies in the universe attract each other with a force that is directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. Just sayin’.
- Slavery (12 Years a Slave) — There are said to be more slaves in the 21st c. than anytime in history. Many conjecture what they would have done during the earlier periods of human trafficking. They have the same opportunity today for that time is now.
- Minion (Despicable Me 2) — Literally, a servile follower or inferior. Not the aspiration of any B-School grad but much more humorous.
- Operating System (Her) — Breaking new ground here; not an Operating System as a protagonist (that would be 2001: a Space Odyssey’s HAL), but, rather, the first OS as a romantic lead.
- Melancholia (Blue Jasmine) — Kate Blanchett’s masterful rendition of what the Ancient’s considered a preponderance of ‘black bile': melancholia.
- Secret Identity (Hunger Games) — Plutarch Heavensbee’s secret identity was to the benefit of millions in the Hunger Games; in real life the secret identity of Philip Seymour Hoffman led to his untimely death.
- ‘Lone Star’ (Dallas Buyers Club) — Like Mr. McConaughey, all things Texas (to admire or disparage), the Lone Star State are hot.
- Sense of Place (American Hustle, Nebraska, August (Osage County) — The world may be ‘flat’ but the sense of place appears to getting stronger in film.
- Recurrence (About Time) — An equation that defines a sequence recursively; e.g., something occurring again and again, and so on. An old screen formula, applied gently and lovingly here.
Previous Top Hollyword Winners include:
- 2012 ‘Emancipation — (Lincoln, Django, Argo) — Webster says ‘to free from restraint, control, or the power of another’.
- 2011 ‘Silence’ – Silent movies, (the Artist), a wife’s silence (Descendants), a father’s silence (Extremely Loud), silence among the trenches of WWI (Warhorse).
- 2010 ‘Grit’ — firmness, pluck, gritty, stubborn, indomitable spirit, courageous, and brave perseverance.
- 2009 ‘Pandora’ — from Avatar
- 2008 ‘Jai Ho!” — Literally ‘Let there be Victory’ in Hindi from Slumdog Millionaire
- 2007 “Call it, Friendo” — from No Country for Old Men
- 2006 “High Five!!! It’s sexy time!” — from Borat!
- 2005 ‘Brokeback’ — from Brokeback Mountain
- 2004 ‘Pinot’ — from Sideways
- 2003 ‘Wardrobe malfunction’ — Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson from Super Bowl XXXVIII
Methodology. Austin-Texas-based Global Language Monitor analyzes and catalogues the latest trends in word usage and word choices and their impact on the various aspects of culture, with a particular emphasis upon Global English. This exclusive ranking is based upon GLM’s Narrative Tracking technology. NarrativeTracker analyzes the Internet, blogosphere, the top 250,000 print and electronic news media, as well as new social media sources (such as Twitter) as they emerge. The words, phrases and concepts are tracked in relation to their frequency, contextual usage and appearance in global media outlets.
About the Global Language Monitor
In 2003, The Global Language Monitor (GLM) was founded in Silicon Valley by Paul J.J. Payack on the understanding that new technologies and techniques were necessary for truly understanding the world of Big Data, as it is now known. GLM provides a number of innovative products and services that utilize its ‘algorithmic services’ to help worldwide customers protect, defend and nurture their branded products and entities. Products include ‘brand audits’ to assess the current status, establish baselines, and competitive benchmarks for current intellectual assets and brands.
These services are currently provided to the Fortune 500, the Higher Education market, high technology firms, the worldwide print and electronic media, and the global fashion industry, among others.
For more information, call 1.512.815.8836, email info@LanguageMonitor.com, or visit www.LanguageMonitor.com.
Toxic Politics is the Top Phrase, and Pope Francis the Top Name
Documenting 2013 by English-language word usage
Global Language Monitor’s 14th Annual Survey of Global English
Number of Words in the English Language: 1,025,109.8 (January 1, 2014 estimate)
AUSTIN, Texas November 6, 2013 — The Global Language Monitor has announced that ‘404’ is the Top Word, ‘Toxic Politics’ the Top Phrase and Pope Francis the Top Name of 2013 in its 14th annual global survey of the English language. 404 was followed by fail, hashtag, @pontifex, and the Optic. Rounding out the top ten were surveillance, drones, deficit, sequestration, and emancipate. 404 is the near-universal numeric code for failure on the global Internet, augmenting its original use as ‘page not found’. The single word fail is often used together with 404 to signify complete failure of an effort, project, or endeavor.
“404 has gained enormous attention the world over this year as systems in place since World War II, which many see as the beginning of the contemporary era, are in distress or even failure.” said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of the Global Language Monitor.
“The recent ObamaCare launch debacle in the US is only a representative example of a much wider system fail, from the political deadlock in the US Government, to the decline of the dollar, to the global web of intrigue and surveillance by the NSA, to the uncertainty regarding the European Union, and the on-going integration of China and other rising powers, such as India and Brazil into the global economic system.
Our top words, phrases and names this year represent some five continents, which continues to confirm the ever-expanding nature of the English language.”
The GLM Word, Phrase, and Names of the Year lists provide a history of each year since 2000 through English-language word usage.
The Top Words of 2013 follow Rank / Word / Comments
- 404 — The near-universal numeric code for failure on the global Internet.
- Fail — The single word fail, often used as a complete sentence (Fail!) to signify failure of an effort, project, or endeavor.
- Hashtag — The ‘number sign” and ‘pound sign’ reborn as the all-powerful Twitter hashtag.
- @Pontifex — The Hashage of the ever-more popular Pope Franciscus (Francis).
- The Optic — The ‘optic’ is threatening to overtake ‘the narrative’ as the Narrative overtook rational discourse. Does not bode well for an informed political discussion.
- Surveillance — The revelation of the unprecedented extent of spying by the NSA into lives of ordinary citizens to the leaders of the closest allies of the US.
- Drones — Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) that are piloted remotely or by on-board computers used for killing scores or even hundreds of those considered enemy combatants of the US.
- Deficit — Looks like deficit-spending will plague Western democracies for at least the next decade. Note to economists of all stripes: reducing the rate of increase of deficit spending still increases the deficit.
- Sequestration — Middle English sequestren, from Old French, from Latin sequestrare, to hide away or isolate or to give up for safekeeping.
- Emancipate — Grows in importance as worldwide more women and children are enslaved in various forms of involuntary servitude. Read more
Top Trending Words of 2013, Mid-year Edition
AUSTIN, Texas, August 8, 2013 – The words ‘phony’, ‘the Optic’, and ‘Brycgwyrcende’* have joined the battle for 2013 Top Word of the Year, according to the Global Language Monitor, the world leader in big data language analytics.
The Mid-year outlook for the Top Trending Words of 2013 already include words related to: Kate’s Royal Offspring, Near-Earth Objects including Comets, asteroids and/or meteors, Nukes (rogue or otherwise), a fascinating Internet meme (or two), China continuing in it role as the world’s economic engine, an unknown technical buzzword that will seemingly spring out of nowhere (ala #hashtag), and various catastrophic scenarios with names containing the prefix franken- or the suffix – pocalypse
These words have been compiled from word trends in global English currently tracked by the Global Language Monitor. In December 2012, Austin, Texas-based GLM announced that ‘ Apocalypse’ was the Top Word, ‘Gangnam Style’ the Top Phrase; and ‘Newtown’ and ‘Malala (Yousafzai) the Top Names of 2012 in its annual global analysis of the English language.
“With 1.83 billion speakers and a new word created every 98 minutes or so, clever, interesting, and creative neologisms inevitably appear — and now from any point on the planet,” said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of GLM.
The words are culled from throughout the English-speaking world, which now numbers more than 1.83 billion speakers (January 2013 estimate).
Kate’s Royal Offspring, Crazy New Weather Term, and Pontiff
AUSTIN, Texas March 13, 2013 – The Spring outlook for the Top Trending Words of 2013 include words related to: Kate’s Royal Offspring, Near-Earth Objects including Comets, asteroids and/or meteors, Nukes (rogue or otherwise), a fascinating Internet meme (or two), China continuing in it role as the world’s economic engine, an unknown technical buzzword that will seemingly spring out of nowhere (ala #hashtag), and various catastrophic scenarios with names containing the prefix franken- or the suffix – pocalypse
This is according to current word trends in global English being tracked by the Global Language Monitor. In December, Austin, Texas-based GLM announced that ‘ Apocalypse’ was the Top Word, ‘Gangnam Style’ the Top Phrase; and ‘Newtown’ and Mala the Top Names of 2012 in its annual global analysis of the English language.
“The year 2013 looks to be another vibrant year for the English language with word creation again driven by events both scheduled and unanticipated,” said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of GLM. “With 1.83 billion speakers and a new word created every 98 minutes or so, clever, interesting, and creative neologisms inevitably appear — and now from any point on the planet.”
The words are culled from throughout the English-speaking world, which now numbers more than 1.83 billion speakers (January 2013 estimate).
Top Trending Words of 2013, Spring Update,
- Royal Birth — Come July, the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics will look like a garden party compared to the ensuing hubbub over the Royal Birth.
- Crazy New Weather Term — Derecho? Haboob? SuperStorm? As changes due to global warming become more pronounced, terms are emerging from the meteorologist’s jargon trove.
- -alypse — Top trending suffix on the list. Engenders the creation of catastrophic-related,
- Pontiff — 1.2 Billion Catholics tweeting “The pontiff is dead (has resigned); long live the Pontiff!”
- Global Warming — Perennially a Top Five Word (when matched with Climate Change), on top of mind to millions around the planet.
- Globe Circulating Meme — Probably surpassing the Angelina Jolie Leg meme that resulted from her dramatic stance at the 2012 Oscars.
- MOOCs — Massive Online Open Courses. What’s a decent student:teacher ratio when there 170,000 students in one course
- Sustainable — Top Word of the Year in 2006 affecting the language in ever more aspects and senses.
- Franken — Top trending prefix on the list. Expanded in meaning to include any human-instigated or -influenced natural disaster.
- Comet — Replacing Near-Earth Asteroid: Yet another year, another celestial object, this comet may be the brightest in a thousand years (late ’13 rendezvous.)
- Twitflocker — Our annual stand-in The Next Big Thing in technology.
- Debt — The debt bomb inflicts ever more ‘collateral damage’ upon the Western democracies.
- Solar max — 2013 is the actual peak of the 11-year sunspot cycle; in 1854 solar storms melted telegraph wires.
- Rogue nukes — Iran and North Korea will be the focus of attention here
- Euro- — The prefix will be used for any number of terms, few (if any) favorable.
- China Rising — The Sun has not yet set on its economic expansion
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 250,000 print and electronic global media, as well as new social media sources as they emerge.
About the Global Language Monitor
From the TimesRepublican
December 30, 2012
By WES BURNS – (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Shakespeare once said: What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
I know that, technically, Juliet said it. But she isn’t real; plus, I like to picture Shakespeare as the kind of guy that would loudly recite his own writing, trudging about his house at night hurling empty bottles into the fire place and generally annoying the neighbors.
But Juliet/Shakespeare/Imaginary Alcoholic Shakespeare has a point. Just how important is a name? For that matter, how important is a word? Sure, we call that delicious brown spice “cinnamon” but would our world be inexorably different if we called it some gibberish word like “torpin” or “churdally” or “blomkamp?”
You know, it might be. I don’t think I could start off my day with a hearty bowl of Blomkamp Toast Crunch.
And Shakespeare is proven wrong by breakfast cereal, once again.
Sorry to tell you, Willie Shakes, but the word is important. Very important. In fact they pass that most important of litmus tests; words are worth fighting over.
Now, I’m not talking about some hoary old clich about going to war over words; nor am I talking about some Walter Houston-esque prospector claiming your choice of words indicates a scuffle is to commence, right after long-shotting a spittoon from across the bar.
I’m talking about that most blood thirsty and ruthless of all battles: The All-Austere Blue Blood English Language Throwdown! 2012 HD Remix edition!
In one corner we have the old guard dictionary powerhouse Merriam Webster. The premiere league lexicographers at Merriam-Webster (a place I imagine smells of wig powder and silent racism) have been telling us what words are actually words and what words are “gutter speak” for 500 years. I totally fact checked that statement, you can bring it up in conversation later, free of repercussion.
In the other corner we have The American Dialect Society, which I’m pretty sure is a cover group for some kind of James Bond villain. American Dialect Society? That sounds WAY too benign to be real; these guys are hiding a laser in a mountain somewhere.
And in the um THIRD corner we have the Global Language Monitor, which I assume is some kind of super computer.
All three of these fierce warriors of the word are fighting for the same prize: The title of Word of the Year.
You see, each of these venerable groups, plus Google, put out a list around this time of year where they pick a word they feel best describes the year as a whole. With such venerable institutions such as Merriam Webster and Global Language Bot 3000 you can imagine that the words succinctly sum up the year at large.
Merriam-Webster’s word of the year for 2012? Socialism and Capitalism.
OK, so right out of the gate you guys are falling behind. You have two words for your “WORD of the year” entry and the two words you picked seem to have been randomly pulled out of a freshmen civics class. I’d imagine in a year full of natural and man-made disasters a lot of people didn’t really care about either, more so they just wanted their power back, or to not drown.
Alright, Merriam-Webster has only been at this since 2003 and I’m certain those tea-sippers look down upon the Internet with the same disdain they feel for what they still call the horseless carriage.
How about the American Dialect Society? They’ve been picking a “Word of the Year” since 1990 so they have to be well ready for action. And the American Dialect Society’s pick for “Word of the Year?”
What? They don’t announce it until the middle of January? Who waits until the next year to write the year in the review? Do they think some amazing word is going to come along on Dec. 29 and blow away the prospective title holder “Boo-Boo?”
The Global Language and Target Neutralization Robot has chosen “Apocalypse” as its “Word of the Year,” in a move that should terrify no one.
And what of the latest contender for “Word of the Year” kingmaker status, the good folks at Google? Their “Most Searched Word” cuts through the byzantine selection process of dictionary committees and killer robots and replaces it with some good old fashioned math.
The number one most searched word in 2012? Facebook. Oh, and number three is Yahoo.
People go to Google and search for Yahoo.
You know what? Global Language Murder Bot is right, Apocalypse is the Word of the Year. Which means I can already tell you the 2013 Word of the Year: Goodbye.
Wes Burns is a Sunday columnist. The views expressed in this column are personal views of the writer and don’t necessarily reflect the views of the T-R. Contact Wes Burns at 641-753-6611 or email@example.com.
Obesogenic, Derecho (and gender-neutral ‘hen’) take on Apocalypse, Kate and Debt
Number of Words in the English Language: 1,016,672 (July 6 estimate)
AUSTIN, Texas July 10 – Trending 2012 Update: Obesogenic, Derecho (and the gender neutral ‘hen’) are taking on the Mayan Apocalypse, Kate, and Debt as candidates for the Top Word of the Year according to a mid-year update by the Global Language Monitor. Each year, GLM produces the top trending words for the following year just before the new year begins. In 2011, it announced 12 possible candidates; mid-way through the year the three new terms have been added to the list.
- Obesogenic — An environment that tends to encourage obesity. Lately it has been used to describe television advertisement that promote sugary and high-calorie snacks to kids.
- Derecho — A ‘land hurricane,’ a sudden storm with extremely strong one-directional winds, such as occurred in the Eastern states earlier this month.
- Hen — The Swedish attempt to create a gender-neutral pronoun to replace him or her or combinations therefore: hen.
“The new words are taken from an intensifying debate on obesity as a major societal health crisis, a ‘land Hurricane’ that some link to global warming. and a move sometimes viewed as political correctness to end gender distinction among pronouns,” said Paul JJ Payack, the president and chief word analyst of the Global Language Monitor. “At 2012’s mid-point, there has been considerable movement among the top trending words, and that trend will no doubt continue as it has during the entire life of our 1400-year old language.”
The words are culled from throughout the English-speaking world, which now numbers more than 1.83 billion speakers (January 2012 estimate).
The Trending Top Words of 2012 in revised order:
Rank/ Previous Rank/ Word / Comments
1. China (3) — Middle Kingdom – There is little indication that China’s continuing economic surge will fade from the global media spotlight –or abate.
2. Europe (12) — 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.
3. The Election (6) — No Obama-mania this time around, more of an Obama-ennui for the November 6 elections.
4. Kate (2) — 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. (And most definitely not Katie, the future ex-Mrs. Tom Cruise.)
5. Deficit (7) — Looks like deficit-spending will plague Western democracies for at least the next decade.
6. Global Warming (10)— The earth has been warming since New York was covered under a mountain of ice; what makes 2012 any different?
7. Derecho (New) — A ‘land hurricane,’ a sudden storm with extremely strong one-directional winds, such as occurred in the Eastern states earlier this month.
8. Olympiad (2) — The Greeks measured time by the four-year interval between the Games. Moderns measure it by medal counts, rights fees and billions of eyeballs.
9. CERN (9) — 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. Rogue nukes (8)— Iran and North Korea will be the focus of attention here.
11. Near-Earth Asteroid (11) — Yet another year, another asteroid, another near-miss. (However, one does strike the Earth every one hundred million years or so.)
12. Arab Spring (13) — the successor term for ‘Arab Spring’, whatever that might be.
13. Bak’tun (4) — 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.)
14. Solar max (5)— 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?
15. Hen (New) — The Swedish attempt to create a gender-neutral pronoun to replace him or her or combinations thereof: hen.
16. Obesogenic (New) — An environment that tends to encourage obesity. Lately it has been used to describe television advertisement that promote sugary and high-calorie snacks to kids.
The Top Words for 2011: ‘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.
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