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 2011Rank / 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.
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.
With less than two months to go until the November midterm elections, a clear winner is beginning to emerge in the race to declare the year’s biggest political buzzword.
Hey, buzzwords matter. Who could forget — no matter how much we might like to – such hits from years past as “chad,” “Swift Boat” and “lipstick” as it might be smeared on a pig or a pitbull?
On Tuesday, the website Global Language Monitor, based in Austin, which has been monitoring words on thousands of news, blogs and social network sites since 2003, announced the No. 1 political buzzword so far this year – beating out “climate change,” “Obama Muslim,” “lower taxes” and even “tea partiers” – is (drum roll please) “the narrative.”
The Narrative? “It’s been running strong since last spring,” GLM President Paul J.J. Payack told me in a telephone interview.
That confirmed my suspicion. I don’t even have a computerized algorithm like Payack does, but I, too, had begun to notice in my fanatical surfing of political media that the word “narrative” was popping up with increasing frequency.
For example, Steve and Cokie Roberts observed in a recent column, “For a growing number of Americans, President Barack Obama’s narrative no longer defines who he is.”
Columnist Maureen Dowd similarly wondered back in June how such a gifted storyteller as Obama could “lose control of his own narrative.”
E.J. Dionne, writing in The New Republic, notes Obama has decided to “confront a deeply embedded media narrative that sees a Republican triumph as all but inevitable.”
In fact, “narrative” was popping up so much in reference to Obama as he grappled with crises like the Gulf oil spill that a Washington Post reporter was inspired to lead one feature with, “Sing to me of the Obama narrative, Muse.” [Read More.]
Katrina Continues to Impact Language, Media and Politics
AUSTIN, Texas. (August 30, 2010) – Katrina had a deep and lasting impact on how America looks at catastrophes and crises in the early 21st century. And Katrina’s influence is becoming all the more pervasive as the effects of the crisis linger and the reality of the magnitude of the destruction continues to come to light. An exclusive analysis by the Global Language Monitor (GLM) using it analytical resources, underscores how some five years after the event, Katrina continues to have an out-sized impact on our cultural landscape. Last year, GLM ranked the Top Stories in the Global Media during the first decade of the 21st century. Katrina ranked No. 8.
Background: It is often said that the war in Viet Nam was the first war to be broadcast directly into American living rooms (back when people still gathered for dinner together and watched network news broadcasts). We watched in horror at the mass destruction of the Towers falling a quarter of a century later, many of us on our computer screens. But it was the unfolding of the inundation of New Orleans after the levees gave way that provided us with any number of up-close-and personal tragedies that would unfold (and float) before our disbelieving eyes.
Among the most prominent example of Katrina’s continuing cultural impact include:
Refugee vs. Evacuee – At the time GLM’s analysis found that the term for the displaced, refugees, appeared 5 times more frequently in the global media than the more neutral, evacuees. At the term, refugee was cited as racially insensitive. Never endorsed by the AP Stylebook, currently the word refugee is used in the media some fifty times more than evacuee.
“Heckova job, Brownie!” – GLM named this paraphrase of President Bush’s actual remark, “Brownie, you’re doing a heckuva job” as the most memorable phrase of 2005. The phrase, according to a Reuter’s report at the time, “became a national punch line for countless jokes and pointed comments about the administration’s handling of the Hurricane Katrina disaster”. Even now variations of the phrase are used to criticize less-than-stellar efforts, such as when New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd wrote, “Heck of a job, Barry” (her nickname for President Obama) in her Dec. 29th, 2009 column.
Apocalyptic Imagery — The Southeast Asia Tsunami that killed over 200,000 people occurred nine months before Katrina, so audiences were somewhat familiar with horrific images of exotic locales as scenes of mass destruction. However, the thought of the devastation unfolding in a major, revered US city, with the world watching the only remaining superpower, apparently unable to mobilize the necessary resources to stop the ongoing destruction and loss of life proved more than the press could handle. Immediately, the global press echoed with apocalyptic imagery. The Times in London led with: “Devastation that could send an area the size of England back to the Stone Age” and continued describing “a paranoid post-apocalyptic landscape … where corpses lie amid a scene of Biblical devastation, any semblance of modern society has gone.”
The Hiroshima Analogy – Katrina hit landfall shortly after the 60th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. AP cited Mississippi governor Haley Barbour “Struggling with what he calls Hurricane Katrina’s nuclear destruction … [showing] the emotional strain of leading a state through a disaster of biblical proportions”. However, the analogy continues to be used in light of the lingering effects of a drawn-out and, some would argue, less-than-successful recovery effort. There are still 55,000 uninhabitable buildings half of which the new mayor has pledged to remove by 2014; many still lack essential services; the levees remain in questionable condition, and most importantly, some 20-to-25% of the population has failed to return.
5. Storm and Scientific Terminology — The public has a much better understanding of the specific terminology surrounding hurricanes and tropical storms. This would include:
Saffir-Simpson Scale, which predicts the destructive power of a hurricane,
Category or Hurricane Scale that measures the strength of a hurricane’s strength, from low to high (1 to 5). Katrina peaked at Category 5 but at landfall fell to Category 3.
Storm Surge, the wall of water pushed in from of a hurricane. Katrina’s was about 30 feet, the highest on record.
Levee, the massive, supposedly impermeable earthen walls, meant to hold back storm surges. New Orleans has some 350 miles of levees. An unfortunate fact about levees, once they let water in, they can actually prevent it from going out.
Naming System for Hurricanes, which has been in place for some fifty years. They names are alphabetically sorted, alternating men’s and women’s names. The list was exclusively female until 1979. Names are recycled every 6 years. Influential hurricanes have their names retired. Katrina was obviously retired.
6. The name Katrina, according to the Social Security Administration, has fallen sharply in popularity. In 2004 Katrina was the 274th most popular names for girls born in the US; in 2009 it ranked at 815.
For historical coverage of Hurricane Katrina from the Global Language Monitor, go here.
Austin, TX July 12, 2010 – The World Cup 2010 was an historical affair in many regards, the a first for the African continent; a first for the South African people and, of course, a first for Spain.
Another perhaps unintended consequence of World Cup 2010 is the acceptance of the word, vuvuzela, into the English language lexicon according to the qualifying criteria established by Austin-based Global Language Monitor.
The vuvuzela are the seemingly ubiquitous brightly colored plastic horns, said to have the potential to inflict lasting hearing loss because of the loudness and pitch of a typical vuvuzela (B flat below middle C, according to the BBC).
“Vuvuzela appears certain to achieve a place (or at least some notoriety) within the ranks of the English language. Vuvuzela has already appeared some 2450 times in a recent search of the New York Times archive,” said Paul JJ Payack, president of the Global Language Monitor. “That is quick a few citations for the ‘first draft of history; even a quick Google search yield over 6,000,000 hits on the term.”
The thresholds to cross into the English Lexicon include 25,000 citations meeting criteria for breadth of geographic dispersion along within a depth of media formats including the Internet, blogosphere and social media along with various formats of print and electronic media. Since 2003, the Global Language Monitor has been recognizing new words or neologisms once they meet these criteria.
The word vuvuzela, itself of uncertain origin. Some think it is related to the summoning horn, the kudu, for African villages. Others speculate it to be derived from an onomatopoeic Zulu word for the sound ‘vu-vu’, or a word for noise making, while many believe it to be ‘township slang’ for shower (of noise).
English gets a new word – thanks to SA
Jul 18, 2010 12:00 AM | By Sashni Pather
The World Cup was historic in a few ways: a first for the African continent, South Africa’s people and for Spain.
If the Gulf oil spill is a national tragedy, the arguments over President Obama’s response to it have descended into a national farce. When former law professors go looking for “ass to kick,” they end up looking like the eponymous hero of Kickass, a nerdy kid copying moves he’s seen in comic books. The difference is that the fictional Kickass was ennobled by failure, which, sadly, is not the kind of outcome open to the President of the United States in matters of national importance.
Obama’s mistake was to respond to the Rock’Em Sock’Em Robots of punditry. The country didn’t want Spock at the helm during environmental armageddon, they protested; the situation demanded a theatrically-appropriate response–as if the presidency was the background music to the movie of our lives, rousing in adversity, compassionate in suffering, a boom box of linguistic effects.
If style is the image of character, you cannot go from the calmest, most judicious intellectual in the room to a Schwarzenegger character in leather trousers and expect to be perceived as authentic. This is why responding to his critics was the wrong thing to do. By following their lame advice, by trying to be someone he isn’t, Obama sounded bathetic.
All of this is an object lesson in how democracy isn’t helped by the media. Just as an analysis of the Katrina response shows that it was a complex systematic failure of government and not a simple fumble by George W. Bush and “heck of a job” Brownie, the Gulf oil spill is not really in the league of a car wreck caused by distracted texting. The very intractability of the problem demands openness, an admission of complexity and a detailed description of solutions that are being pursued. And yet, according to one manufacturer of conventional wisdom, the problem was not that Obama’s White House address on the spill was too simple or vague, it was that it wasn’t simple enough. As CNN reported:
“Obama’s speech may have gone over the heads of many in his audience, according to an analysis of the 18-minute talk released Wednesday by Paul J.J. Payack, president of Global Language Monitor. Tuesday night’s speech from the Oval Office of the White House was written to a 9.8 grade level, said Payack, who gave Obama a ‘solid B.’ His Austin, Texas-based company analyzes and catalogues trends in word usage and word choice and their impact on culture.”
The president’s 19.8 words per sentence apparently “added some difficulty for his target audience.” But 19.8 words is well within the breath of television’s cutthroat culture of political sound bites, which now stands at seven seconds. Indeed, as Elvin T. Lim notes in his brilliant historical and linguistic analysis of presidential rhetoric, The Anti-Intellectual Presidency, the average presidential sentence in recent years (as defined by speeches) has ranged from 15 to 20 words, well within the assumed attention span of the presumptive television viewer.
But now, even this is apparently too difficult for most Americans to follow. It gets worse. Take the following sentence from the President’s speech, “That is why just after the rig sank, I assembled a team of our nation’s best scientists and engineers to tackle this challenge–a team led by Dr. Steven Chu, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist and our nation’s Secretary of Energy.” According to Payack, this is the kind of phrasing that makes the President seem “aloof and out of touch.” It’s too professorial, too academic and not “ordinary enough.” Perhaps the President should just have tweeted “I got smart folks fixin’ to fix the oil spill” and let everyone go back to their regular broadcast fare or communicating with each other in grunts and clicks.
Austin, Texas, March 17, 2010 — In conjunction with the SXSW Interactive conference held in its hometown, The Global Language Monitor has released the most confusing high tech buzzwords of the decade (2000-2009). Topping the list are HTTP, Flash, God Particle, Cloud Computing, and Plasma (as in plasma TV). Rounding out the Top Ten were IPOD/IPAD, Megapixel, Nano, Resonate and Virtualization.
The most confusing Acronym for the decade was SOA (Service Oriented Architecture).
“SXSW has long been a harbinger for future directions in popular culture and now the gathering has taken on the added dimension of technological innovation,” said Paul JJ Payack, president of the Global Language Monitor, “The words we use in high technology continue to become even more obtuse even as they move out of the realm of jargon and into the language at large.”
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 decade (2000-2009) with Commentary follow:
1. HTTP — HyperText Transfer Protocol is used for HTML (HyperText Markup Language) files. Not to be confused with text on too much Starbucks.
2. 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”.
3. 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.
4. Cloud Computing – Distributing or accessing programs and services across the Internet. (The Internet is represented as a cloud.)
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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’.
9. 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.
10. Virtualization – Around since dinosaurs walked the planet (the late ‘70s) virtualization now applies to everything from infrastructures to I/O.
11. Solution — Ever popular yet still an amorphous description of high tech packages of hardware, software and service
12. Cookie — Without cookies with their ‘persistent state’ management mechanism the web as we know it, would cease to exist.
13. Robust — No one quite knows what it means, but it’s good for your product to demonstrate robustness
14. Emoticon A smiley with an emotional component (from emotional icon). Now, what’s a smiley? :’)
15. De-duping – Shorthand for de-duplication, that is, removing redundant data from a system.
16. Green washing – Repositioning your product so that its shortfalls are now positioned as environmental benefits: Not enough power? Just re-position as energy-saving.
17. Buzzword Compliant — To include the latest buzzwords in literature about a product or service in order to make it ‘resonate’ with the customer.
18. 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.
19. 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).
20. 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.
21. Versioning – Creating new revisions (or versions) with fewer bugs and more features.
22. VoIP – Voice Over IP, itself shorthand for Voice over Internet Protocol, which in plain English means the ability to talk on the phone over the Internet.
23. Web 2.0 – Now there’s talk of Web 3.0, just when we were finally getting used to the advances web services called Web 2.0.
24. Word Clouds – Graphic representations of the words used in a text, the more frequently used, the larger the representation.
25. WORM — Not only not a computer virus anymore, let alone a slithery creature of the soil, but “a Write Once, Read Many file system used for optical disk technology
Most Confusing High Tech Acronym of the Decade
SOA – Service Oriented Architecture. Far-and-away No. 1. If it’s so easy to understand, why are hundreds of books written trying to explain exactly what it is.
Early Candidate for Most Confusing High Tech Buzzword of the 2nd Decade of the Century (Possibly a very short decade, Indeed.)
B’ak’tuns – According to the Long-Count Mayan Calendar (high tech for the late A.D.600’s) the end of a ‘Great Cycle’ of thirteen b’ak’tuns (periods of 144,000 days each) since the Mayan creation date of August 11, 3114 BC. According to popular belief, December 21st, 2012 will be the End of the World.
Austin, TX November 29, 2009 – The Global Language Monitor has announced that Twitter is the Top Word of 2009 in its annual global survey of the English language. Twittered was followed by Obama, H1N1, Stimulus, and Vampire. The near-ubiquitous suffix, 2.0, was No. 6, with Deficit, Hadron the object of study of CERN’s new atom smasher, Healthcare, and Transparency rounded out the Top 10.
“In a year dominated by world-shaking political events, a pandemic, the after effects of a financial tsunami and the death of a revered pop icon, the word Twitter stands above all the other words. Twitter represents a new form of social interaction, where all communication is reduced to 140 characters,” said Paul JJ Payack, President of The Global Language Monitor. “Being limited to strict formats did wonders for the sonnet and haiku. One wonders where this highly impractical word-limit will lead as the future unfolds.”
The Top Words are culled from throughout the English-speaking world, which now numbers more than 1.58 billion speakers.
The Top Words of 2009
1. Twitter — The ability to encapsulate human thought in 140 characters
2. Obama — The word stem transforms into scores of new words like ObamaCare
3. H1N1 — The formal (and politically correct) name for Swine Flu
4. Stimulus — The $800 billion aid package meant to help mend the US economy
5. Vampire — Vampires are very much en vogue, now the symbol of unrequited love
6. 2.0 — The 2.0 suffix is attached to the next generation of everything
7. Deficit — Lessons from history are dire warnings here
8. Hadron — Ephemeral particles subject to collision in the Large Hadron Collider
9. Healthcare — The direction of which is the subject of intense debate in the US
10. Transparency — Elusive goal for which many 21st c. governments are striving
11. Outrage — In response to large bonuses handed out to ‘bailed-out’ companies
12. Bonus — The incentive pay packages that came to symbolize greed and excess
13. Unemployed — And underemployed amount to close to 20% of US workforce
14. Foreclosure — Forced eviction for not keeping up with the mortgage payments
15. Cartel — In Mexico, at the center of the battle over drug trafficking
The Top Phrases of 2009
1. King of Pop –Elvis was ‘The King;’ MJ had to settle for ‘King of Pop’
2. Obama-mania — One of the scores of words from the Obama-word stem
3. Climate Change — Considered politically neutral compared to global warming
4. Swine Flu — Popular name for the illness caused by the H1N1 virus
5. Too Large to Fail — Institutions that are deemed necessary for financial stability
6. Cloud Computing — Using the Internet for a variety of computer services
7. Public Option — The ability to buy health insurance from a government entity
8. Jai Ho! — A Hindi shout of joy or accomplishment
9. Mayan Calendar — Consists of various ‘cycles,’ one of which ends on 12/21/2012
10. God Particle — The hadron, believed to hold the secrets of the Big Bang
The Top Names of 2009
1. Barack Obama — It was Obama’s year, though MJ nearly eclipsed in the end
2. Michael Jackson — Eclipses Obama on internet though lags in traditional media
3. Mobama — Mrs. Obama, sometimes as a fashion Icon
4. Large Hadron Collider — The Trillion dollar ‘aton smasher’ buried outside Geneva
5. Neda Agha Sultan — Iranian woman killed in the post-election demonstrations
6. Nancy Pelosi –The Democratic Speaker of the US House
7. M. Ahmadinejad — The president of Iran, once again
8. Hamid Karzai — The winner of Afghanistan’s disputed election
9. Rahm Emmanuel — Bringing ‘Chicago-style politics’ to the Administration
10. Sonia Sotomayor — The first Hispanic woman on the US Supreme Court
The analysis was completed in late November using GLM’s Predictive Quantities Indicator (PQI), the proprietary algorithm that tracks words and phrases in the media and on the Internet, now including blogs and social media. The words are tracked in relation to frequency, contextual usage and appearance in global media outlets, factoring in long-term trends, short-term changes, momentum and velocity.
The Top Words of the Decade were Global Warming, 9/11, and Obama outdistance Bailout, Evacuee, and Derivative; Google, Surge, Chinglish, and Tsunami followed. “Climate Change” was top phrase; “Heroes” was top name.
Top Words: No. 1 Change, No. 2 Bailout, No. 3 ObamaMania
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
2007: Global Language Monitor
Top Word: Hybrid (representing all things green)
No. 2: Surge
Top Phrase: Climate Change
Top Name: Al Gore
2006: Global Language Monitor
Top Word: Sustainable
Top Phrase: Stay the Course
Top Name: Dafur
2005: Global Language Monitor
Top Word: Refugee
No. 2: Tsunami
No. 3: Katrina
Top Phrase: Outside the Mainstream
Top Name: (acts of ) God
2004: Global Language Monitor
Top Word: Incivility (for inCivil War)
Top Phrase: Red States/Blue States
No. 2: Rush to War
Top Name: Dubya/Rove
<a href=”http://www.yourdictionary.com/about/topten2003.html”>2003: yourDictionary (GLM Predecessor) Paul JJ Payack, founding President
</a>Top Word: Embedded
Top Phrase: Shock and Awe
No. 2: Rush to War
Top Name: Saddam Hussein
No. 2 Dubya
<a href=”http://www.yourdictionary.com/about/topten2002.html”>2002: yourDictionary (GLM Predecessor) Paul JJ Payack, founding President
</a>Top Word: Misunderestimate
Top Phrase: Threat Fatigue
Top Name: W (Dubya)
<a href=”http://archives.cnn.com/2001/US/12/26/top.ten.words/index.html”>2001: yourDictionary (GLM Predecessor) Paul JJ Payack, founding President
</a>Top Word: GroundZero
Top Phrase: ‘Lets Roll’
Top Name: The Heros
<a href=”http://archives.cnn.com/2000/books/news/12/26/new.words/”>2000: yourDictionary (GLM Predecessor) Paul JJ Payack, founding President
</a>Top Word: Chad
Top Phrase: Dot.com
Top Name: W (Dubya)
The Death of Michael Jackson, the emergence of Susan Boyle and the rise of Hulu.com follow.
The Sixth Annual Analysis by the Global Language Monitor
Austin, Texas, USA. September 24, 2009. The Global Language Monitor today announced that ObamaVision topped the global Financial Meltdown as the most profound influences on the English Language from Television in 2009. These were followed by the death of Michael Jackson, the emergence of Susan Boyle and the rise of Hulu.com. Rounding out the Top Ten were Vampires, Dar Dour, the Wizards of Waverly Place, the phrase, ‘And that’s the way it is,’ and Jiggle. This was the Sixth Annual Analysis by the Global Language Monitor.
“The three screens in the post-Modern home became even more apparent during this television season, with viewers moving seamlessly among their flat screen TV, their laptop, and their 3G phone,” said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of GLM. “This year was dominated by the advent of ObamaVision, to the newest reality show: the Global Financial Meltdown. And then Michael Jackson’s death commandeers the worldwide airways for weeks on end.”
The Top Telewords of the 2009 season with commentary follow:
ObamaVision — From the primaries to the election to the Inauguration to the middle school classroom: all Obama, all the time, everywhere.
Financial Meltdown – The most authentic of all reality shows. National economies on the brink! The Bailout! The Bonuses! What surprises can we expect from Season II?
Michael Jackson – The biggest TV funeral in history. What’s the King of Pop’s next act?
Susan Boyle – Britain’s surprise spinster singing sensation demonstrated the power of the ‘third screen’.
Hulu.com – For the first time, GLM is recognizing a website (the much hailed second screen) for broadcasting made-for-television shows over the internet.
Vampires – All over the tube: ever chaste (with human girls); ever so exotic and popular.
Dar Dour — The Iraqi TV show that spoofs the futility (and humor) found in the pitfalls (and pratfalls) in the attempt to lead an ordinary life.
Wizards (from the Wizards of Waverly Place) – Wizards that need a bit of science to maintain their powers.
“And that’s the way it is” – Walter Cronkite’s shadow over television news spans the decades.
Jiggle – Before HBO, ABC introduced ‘jiggle’ with Farah Fawcett as one of the main contributors to the concept.
The Top Telewords of previous years were:
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”.
Bailout, Climate Change, Birther, Healthcare Reform & Liberal at top
Obamamania and Politics of Change tumble as does Bush (as a Bogeyman)
Austin, Texas September 11, 2009 (Updated) – ‘Bailout’, ‘Climate Change’, ‘Birther’, ‘Health Care Reform’ and ‘Liberal’ were named the top political buzzwords since the Obama Inaugural. Rounding out the top ten were ‘recession’ (up some 1000% when linked to Obama), ‘Sarah Palin,’ the phrase ‘change you can believe in’ (down some 600% since the Inauguration), ‘AIG bonuses,’ and ‘Sotomayor,’ the new Supreme Court justice. Perhaps, even more striking is the manner in which signature buzzwords such as ‘Politics of change’ (No. 37) and ‘Obamanania’ (No. 38) have tumbled. Another finding: the tactic of painting ‘Bush’ (No. 23) and, even, Cheney (No.28) as bogeymen is rapidly losing it effectiveness.
For the study, GLM used it 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 and social media as well as accessing proprietary databases. The PQI is a weighted Index, factoring in: long-term trends, short-term changes, momentum, and velocity. The final list contains 40 words and phrases (see below).
“The top political buzzwords used since the Obama Inaugural show the sharp trajectory of his presidency,’ said Paul JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst of The Global Language Monitor. “Our analysis differs from polls in that it is not what people say they think about various topics, but rather is a measurement of what words are actually being used and in which context.”
The Top Political Buzzwords since the Inaugural listes with rank and commentary follow.
Top Political Buzzwords September 1, 2009 Comment
1. Wall Street Bailout: Still resonates at very high score, no shrinkage
2. Climate Change Remains: One of the Top 3 — for several years
3. Birther: Whatever it means, the issue looms large
4. Health Care Reform: Health Care Reform comes in at a strong No. 4
5. Liberal: This is not always a positive statement
6. Recession (linked to Obama): Obama’s link to recession up 1000% since inauguration
7. Sarah Palin: Fierce opposition to her, apparently adds to her allure
8. Change you can believe in: Down almost 60% from January peak
9. AIG (Post-bailout Bonuses): Bonuses after the Bailout still loom large in public mind
10. Sotomayor: Wise Latina gets more news than Iraq War
11. Iraq War: Fading from the public mind as Afghanistan advances
12. Socialism (linked with Obama): Painting Obama as a Socialist apparently working
13. Outrage (Linked with Obama & AIG: Outrage at AIG now linked to Obama administration
14. Public Option in HealthCare: Public Option still center of debate
15. Stimulus Package: Stimulus package still object of controversy
16. MObama (the Fashion Icon): Michelle Obama image as global fashion icon rising rapidly
17. Beer Summit with Gates & Cambridge Police: Beer Summit resonates with all things ‘racial’
18. Middle-class taxes: Concern is up about 170% since Inaugural
19. Current crisis as Depression: Citations down some 50% since January
20. Transparency: Idea of Transparency shrinking from view (down 30%)
21. Obama as a compromiser: Continues to gain traction
22. Rush Limbaugh: Rush bests the former president by only 5%
23. George Bush: Warning to Dems: Bush as Bogey man fading from view
24. Single Payer: Healthcare solution view as government intervention; Up over 800% since Obama took office
25. Death Panel: Up some 1500%, ranking only slightly ahead of Al Qaeda
26. Al qaeda: Still lurking in the public mind
27. Town Hall Meetings: Not to be easily dismissed
28. Dick Cheney: Former No. 2, now No. 28
29. Shovel Ready: Where are all the ‘shovel-ready’ jobs?
30. Global Financial Restructuring: This may take years to run its course
31. Iran election: On the periphery of American consciousness
32. Wise Latina: Short-term news bite, no lasting value
33. Financial meltdown: Down 85% since January as he the new reality sets in
34. Worst Recession: Not depression, but something different than a recession
35. Afghanistan: Troop build-up mostly a Beltway discussion
36. Wee weeing: According to Obama, Washington in late summer
37. Politics of change: Biz as usual sends this plummeting 60% from Inaugural
38. Obamamania: Yesterday’s news; down over 80% from Inaugural
39. Politics of fear: Within 1/2 of 1% of Obamamania
40. Nuclear Iran Drifting in and out of public consciousness
What’s the advantage of the PQI over the Polls?
The PQI is, perhaps, the ultimate ‘It is what it is’ measurement of consumer (and in this case Political) sentiment.
The PQI simply measures the occurrence of certain words or phrases in the print and electronic media (traditional or otherwise), on the Internet, and across the Blogosphere and social media, as well as accessing proprietary databases. It is by its very nature non-biased. When we take a statistical snapshot for the PQI there is no adjustment for ‘underrepresented’ groups, there are no assumptions about probability of turnout, the proportions of newly registered voters, traditional models, or expanded modularities. Rather, we take our measurements, check for the rate of positive or negative change in the appearance of a searched word or phrase (what we call velocity and momentum) and publish our results.