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)
OK is most understood word in the world, again.
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
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.
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, apocalyptic terms.
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
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. Since 2003, GLM has launched a number of innovative products and services monitoring the Internet, the blogosphere, social media as well as the top print and electronic media sites.
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.
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.
Austin, Texas, March 15, 2012 — ‘Big Data’ and ‘The Cloud’ are the Most Confusing Tech Buzzwords of the Decade (thus far) according to the The Global Language Monitor. Topping the list for 2012 are: Big Data, the Cloud, The Next Big Thing, Social Discovery, Web 2.0 (3.0, and so on). Solid State, CERN, Solar Max, De-dupe, 3G/4G/5G, and SoLoMo.
Continuing as the most confusing acronym now of the century: SOA.
GLM releases its Most Confusing Tech Buzzwords list annually in conjunction with Austin’s SXSW Interactive conference, which ends March 20th.
“High tech terms have long spilled into popular culture and this is nowhere more evident that at SXSW where the digital world intersects with those of music and the movies,” said Paul JJ Payack, president of the Global Language Monitor. “To a large and growing extent, high tech buzzwords are fueling the growth of English, which now serves as the Earth’s means of global communication.”
“SXSW can best be described as a weird mash-up of Cannes, COMDEX, and Woodstock. If creative ideas don’t mix here, it’s just not going to happen.
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.
The Most Confusing High Tech Buzzwords of the of the Second Decade of the 21st century, thus far (2010, 2011 & 2012) with commentary follow:
Big Data — Big Data is the biggest buzzword. It has been called the key to new waves of productivity growth, essential to the US place in global economics, and more. Now if only we could agree on exactly what this means and how we get there. (By the way, consider yottabytes: a quadrillion gigabytes. Hint: Just think a lotta bytes.)
‘The Cloud — The Cloud, in various manifestations has been ranked No. 1 for 2008, No, 4 overall for the decade, and now as No. 2 for 2012. Still all very nebulous.
The Next Big Thing — A cliche rendered nearly meaningless by the innumerable daily claims made by VCs, entrepreneurs, college drop-outs, etc. Actually, you can count the history of next big things on your fingers, and possibly toes.
Social Discovery — Webster’s 1910 definition. “Consisting in union of mutual converse,” might be an excellent corporate strategy.
Web 2.0 (3.0, and so on) — Ranked as the 1,000,000th English-language word in 2009, it just keeps morphing along.
Solid State — As in Solid State Disks (SSDs). Remember ‘solid-state’ televisions switched from vacuum tubes (Paleozoic)? How about LED watches from the ’80s (Mesozoic)? Today, it’s all-about Solid State Disks.
CERN — You might want to understand the acronym before the Earth is swallowed up the ‘mini’ black hole it just might create . (The European Organization for Nuclear Research)
Solar Max — In the 1850s telegraph wires melted. Best not to shuck off the hype here.
De-dupe — First we dupe, then we de-dupe; Flash forward to 2014: Re-duping! Ah, the next big thing!
3G/4G/5G — One of the benefits of having an open, open standard (AKA, no standard). Anybody can claim to lead as the (Generation) ‘standard’ expands into meaningless.
SoLoMo — This is not an oh-so-trendy neighborhood like Soho or Dumbo, at least not in the sense of brick-and-mortar. This is the convergence of Social, Local, and Mobile. The Talk of the Town at SXSWi this week in Austin.
For reference, here is the first decade (2000-2009) of the 21st century.
The Most Confusing High Tech Buzzwords of the first decade (2000-2009) of the 21st century with Commentary follow:
HTTP — HyperText Transfer Protocol is used for HTML (HyperText Markup Language) files. Not to be confused with text on too much Starbucks.
Flash — As in Flash Memory. “Flash’ is easier to say than “ I brought the report on my EEPROM chip with a thin oxide layer separating a floating gate and control gate utilizing Fowler-Nordheim electron tunneling”.
God Particle – The Higgs boson, thought to account for mass. The God Particle has eluded discovery since its existence was first postulated some thirty years ago.
Cloud Computing – Distributing or accessing programs and services across the Internet. (The Internet is represented as a cloud.)
Plasma (as in plasma TV) — Refers less often to blood products than to a kind of television screen technology that uses matrix of gas plasma cells, which are charged by differing electrical voltages to create an image.
IPOD – What the Alpha Whale calls his personal pod. Actually, Apple maintains that the idea of the iPod was from the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. The origin of the word IPAD is a completely different story.
Megapixel – Either a really large picture element (pixel) or a whole mess of pixels. Actually, one million pixels (that’s a lotta pixels) OK, what’s a pixel? Computer-ese for picture element.
Nano – Widely used to describe anything small as in nanotechnology. Like the word ‘mini’ which originally referred to the red hues in Italian miniature paintings, the word nano- is ultimately derived from the ancient Greek word for ‘dwarf’.
Resonate – Not the tendency of a system to oscillate at maximum amplitude, but the ability to relate to (or resonate with) a customer’s desires.
Virtualization – Around since dinosaurs walked the planet (the late ‘70s) virtualization now applies to everything from infrastructures to I/O.
Solution — Ever popular yet still an amorphous description of high tech packages of hardware, software and service
Cookie — Without cookies with their ‘persistent state’ management mechanism the web as we know it, would cease to exist.
Robust — No one quite knows what it means, but it’s good for your product to demonstrate robustness
Emoticon A smiley with an emotional component (from emotional icon). Now, what’s a smiley? :’)
De-duping – Shorthand for de-duplication, that is, removing redundant data from a system.
Green washing – Repositioning your product so that its shortfalls are now positioned as environmental benefits: Not enough power? Just re-position as energy-saving.
Buzzword Compliant — To include the latest buzzwords in literature about a product or service in order to make it ‘resonate’ with the customer.
Petaflop — A thousand trillion (or quadrillion) floating point operations per second Often mistaken as a comment on a failed program by an animal rights’ group.
Hadron – A particle made of quarks bound together by the strong force; they are either mesons (made of one quark and one anti-quark) or baryons (made of three quarks).
Large Hadron Collider – The ‘atom smasher’ located underground outside Geneva. Primarily built to re-create the conditions of creation, 1 trillionth of a second after the Big Bang.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.