Adorkable Top Television Word of the Year (Teleword)

… from New Girl, Big Bang & Modern Family

followed by Shell Shock, Bi-Polar, Dothraki and La Toti

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Ninth Annual Analysis by the Global Language Monitor

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Austin, Texas, USA. September 25-26, 2012. The Global Language Monitor (GLM) today announced that ‘adorkable’ from New Girl and Big Bang, and Modern Family the Top Teleword of the Year followed by ‘Bi-polar,’ ‘Dothraki’, and ‘La Toti’.  Rounding out the top ten were ‘scripted,’ ‘Kate,’ ‘fourth screen,’ ‘nerdy,’ and ‘Jubilee’. The awards are announced in conjunction with the Primetime Emmy awards at the beginning of the Fall television season in the US.  This is the ninth annual analysis by Austin-based GLM.

“This is the first time a single phrase from three outstanding comedies shared the top spot,” said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of GLM.  “This year’s list also reflects a world trying to find a new equilibrium for itself from lessons culled from its past, its present, with a touch of fantasy as it moves into the future.”

 

Read it now in TIME!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Top Telewords of the 2011-2012 season with commentary follow:

1.     Adorkable (Big Bang Theory, New Girl and Modern Family) – The word has been around for nearly ten years now and has applied mostly to men (as in Jim Parsons), but somehow Zooey Deschanel, and  Modern Family’s Rico Rodriguez II (Manny) and Ariel Winter (Alex) have all added a vibrant dimension to the term. [A portmanteau word from dork and adorable.]

2.     Shell Shock (Downton Abbey) – The trauma of shell shock both in the trenches of World War 1 and the vanishing way of life of the English Upper Class lies at the center of this early 20th c. drama. Societies, too, can experience shell shock. [Also called battle fatigue, now known as Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)].

3.     Bi-polar (Homeland) – Looking at an insane world through bi-polar eyes, Claire Danes presents an intense, intriguing portrayal of the post-Modern battlefield found in Homeland, where the enemies are neither obvious nor detectable on both side of the battle.  [Historically known as manic-depressive disorder, where people experience disruptive mood swings.

4.     Dothraki (Game of Thrones) – The twenty-three consonants and four vowels of the Dothraki language are not much easier to understand that the series multiple plotlines. [Dothraki is a made-up or 'constructed' language.  There are hundreds of these 'constructed' languages from 'Vulcan' to J.R.R. Tolkien's 'Elvish' to the 120-words of  'Toki Pona'.

5.     La Toti (Modern Family) – Family nickname of Sofía Margarita Vergara Vergara, the highest earning actress in American television for the past year ($19.1 million).  ['La Toti' loosely translated as 'the be all and end all'.]

6.     Scripted – Scripted shows now mean ‘not reality’.  Like the term guitar now needs the retronym ‘acoustic guitar’ to differentiate itself from its electronic brethren, reality TV has now become the dominate genre.

7.     Kate – Who are the 100,000 people surrounding the Duchess of Cambridge?  Those would be the Olympians and fans of the London 2012 Summer Olympics. Oh.

8.     Fourth Screen – Whatever happen to the three-screen world of tomorrow.  That would be yesterday.  Past prognosticators  evidently forgot to consult Steve Jobs about the ‘tablets’ in their future. [The three screens were those of the television, computer and smart phone.  Apple's iPad proved to be a game-changer introducing a new class of devices called 'tablets'.

9.     Jubilee – From Queen Elizabeth II’s 60th anniversary on the throne of England.  The traditional Jubilee period is fifty years, but no matter ….

10.  Dramedy (Louie) -- Is it comedy?  Is it drama?  Dunno, but it’s definitely C.K. [Shorthand for his Hungarian surname -- Székely.]  .

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.

The Top Telewords of previous years:

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”.

Olympic (Ambush) Competition Officially Under Way

Ambushers Leading Sponsors 33-17

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Billions of Dollars in Brand Equity at Stake

AUSTIN, Texas.  July 18, 2012 — Of the Top Fifty Brands affiliated with the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games only seventeen are official sponsors.  This according to the latest Brand Affiliation Index (BAI) analysis by the Global Language Monitor, the Internet media trend tracking company.  The longitudinal study began in July 2011 and tracks the top three tiers of official Olympic sponsorship, as designated by the LOGOC and the IOC.

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“Fortunately in the Olympics there is no ‘mercy rule,’ where a winner is declared in a contest to reach twenty-one, when one side scores the first 11 points,” said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of GLM.   Of the top official and ‘non-affiliated marketers’ in the current study, the first twelve fall into the non-affiliated category.”

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Some seventy-five brands are studied including the twenty-five premier official sponsors divided into three tiers:  The TOP partners, which pay approximately one hundred million pounds for the privilege,  the Official Olympic Partners, and the Official Olympic Sponsors.  Together these sponsors pay an estimated 30% of the cost of staging the games.

There are a number of other levels and forms of sponsorship including national sponsorships such as the USOC.  The real cost of being a TOP partner ranges from a $500 billion to over a trillion dollar investment to companies that sign on for sponsorships spanning several Olympiads.

For these rankings GLM measured the strength of the brand affiliation for each official Olympic sponsor against those of their primary non-affiliated competitors. Though ‘ambush marketing’ is well understood to mean an organization knowingly exploiting a brand affiliation with the Games without the benefit of official sponsorship, all perceived Olympic affiliations according to their presence in the global media, and statistically linked to the London Games, qualify for GLM’s Ambush Marketing rankings.

Ambushing by ‘Non-affiliated Marketers’ is more than Michael Phelps pitching sandwiches; it is a years-long effort to create a pseudo-sponsorship to leverage the good-well generated by having the Olympics with one’s brand.

The GLM Brand Affiliation Index for this analysis,ranged from a high of 797.90 (Royal Philips} to a low of 1.50 for VisaCard.  The higher the score, the closer the brand affiliation with the event.

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The Top Twelve (all Ambushers), along with their tiers, are Listed below:

1 Royal Philips TOP-A
2 CVC Capital OOP-A
3 ExxonMobil OOP-A
4 Manpower OOS-A
5 Schroders OOP-A
6 IBM Global TOP-A
7 E ON Energy OOP-A
8 KPMG OOS-A
9 Deutsche Telekom OOP-A
10 BASF TOP-A
11 EI DuPont TOP-A
12 Cable & Wireless OOP-A

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As you can see for the above rankings, Business-to-Business brands are being subjected to the sames ambush marketing forces as B2C marketers.  ’

Royal Philips is crushing GE by over 20:1 margin; ExxonMobil bests BP by a similar margin; and BASF and DuPont are both striding past Dow.

The Top Ten Official Sponsors ranked from No. 13 to No. 39 overall.  They are listed below, along with their tiers.

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1 BT Group OOP
2 Cadbury OOS
3 BMW OOP
4 Adidas OOP
5 Panasonic TOP
6 McDonald;s TOP
7 Coca-Cola TOP
8 UPS OOS
9 P&G TOP
10 EDF energy OOP
11 Arcelor Mittal OOS
12 Samsung TOP

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Though listed at the top official sponsor, the BT group actually ranks behind both Deutsche Telekom and Cable&Wireless.

Cadbury, McDonald’s and Coca-Cola are doing quite well for their investments in spite of the efforts to derail their sponsorships on the grounds of their contributing to a so-called ‘obesogenic’ environment.  Adidas is currently doubling Nike’s number.  P&G  continues to excel with their ‘Moms’ campaign.  Arcelor Mittal is a surprise standout for a company previously little known to the public.

GLM has been measuring the effects of Ambush marketing on the Olympic Movement for the last three Olympiads, in the process accumulating perhaps the most extensive database of its kind.   For London 2012, GLM began tracking the three tiers of official sponsors since the third quarter of 2011.  GLM also tracks the brand equity of the athletes before and during the Games. For more information, call +1.512.815.8836, email info@LanguageMonitor.com, or click on www.LanguageMonitor.com

Ambush Marketers Continue to Dominate

Olympic Ambush Marketers Continue to Dominate London 2012

Nike over Adidas; BA Trails Three Competitors; Subway and Pizza Hut Top McDonald’s


Kate Middleton ‘Brand’ Tops Coke, Adidas, and BA

Austin, Texas. Weekend May 4-6, 2012.  Ambush Marketers continue to dominate the run-up to the London Summer Games.  In fact ‘non-affiliated marketers’ took 27 of the top 50 spots measuring effective brand activation by the Global Language Monitor’s Brand Affiliation Index (BAI).

This despite the recent tightening of the rules by the IOC,  The GLM BAI rankings are not simply a matter of pride or bragging rights but rather a battle for brand equity and the consumer’s mind and the billions of dollars committed to the IOC, which are primarily used to fund the Games.

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“The Olympic movement it is not immune to the historic shifts in communications affecting all institutions worldwide,” said Paul JJ Payack, founding president of the Global Language Monitor. “The seemingly all-pervasive media ensure that the flow of information can be stopped neither by national boundaries nor institutional gatekeepers.   There is no reason to think that marketing activities are immune from such forces.  In fact, marketing has been one of the foremost purveyors of new media technology.”

For these rankings GLM measured the strength of the brand affiliation for each official Olympic sponsor against those of their primary non-affiliated competitors. Though ‘ambush marketing’ is well understood to mean an organization knowingly exploiting a brand affiliation with the Games without the benefit of official sponsorship.

All perceived Olympic affiliations according to their presence in the global media, and statistically linked to the London Games, qualify for GLM’s Ambush Marketing rankings.

The GLM Brand Affiliation Index for this analysis, ranged from a high of 524.45 to a low of 1.49.  The higher the score, the closer the brand affiliation with an event.

GLM has been tracking ambush marketing at the Olympics since the Beijing Games in 2008.  For London 2012, GLM began the three tiers of official sponsors since the third quarter of 2011.  These results are based on a study concluded on May 1,  2012.

With its Branded Individual Index (BII) GLM also tracks the brand equity of the athletes before and during the Games.

The official Olympic sponsors are divided into three tiers:  Worldwide Partners, Official Partners, and Official Supporters. GLM tracks over fifty non-affiliated companies that are direct competitors with the Official Olympic sponsors.

To schedule a confidential consultation, call +1.512.815.8836.

For these rankings, encompassing the first quarter of 2012, GLM measured the strength of the brand affiliation for each official Olympic sponsor against those of their primary non-affiliated competitors. Though ‘ambush marketing’ is well understood to mean an organization knowingly exploiting a brand affiliation with the Games without the benefit of official sponsorship.

All perceived Olympic affiliations according to their presence in the global media, and statistically linked to the London Games, qualify for GLM’s Ambush Marketing rankings.

The top findings include:

  1. McDonald’s is in a tough fight, ranking behind Subway and Pizza Hut, but beating KFC.
  2. Ambusher Nike leads Partner Adidas by a wide margin.
  3. British Airways trails ambushers Lufthansa, United and Air France in the rankings.
  4. Royal Philip outpaced ever-strong GE.
  5. P&G continues to crush ambush competitors as it did in Vancouver.
  6. Ambusher Ericsson Over Supporter Cisco by a 3:1 margin.

The Duchess Effect Meets the Summer Games

One interesting side note is that even the Summer Games are encountering the Duchess Effect.  The GLM BAI analysis showed that when linked with London  2012, Kate Middleton had a closer brand affiliation than a number of top sponsors including Coke, Adidas, BA and Panasonic, among others.

This again demonstrates the power of the ‘Kate Middleton Brand’.  A Tier 1 Olympic sponsor pays about $160 million for the privilege, plus the attendant advertising fees promoting the relationship that can cost upwards of $500 million over the four-year arrangement.  This would suggest that the Kate Middleton Brand could be valued at nearly a billion dollars or more, just in relationship to Summer Games.
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The Top Ten Official Olympic Sponsors by BAI are listed below.

1 Arcelor Mittal Supporter
2 EDF energy Partner
3 BT Group Partner
4 Thomas Cook Supporter
5 UPS Supporter
6 Lloyds TSB Partner
7 Cadbury Supporter
8 BP Partner
9 P&G IOC
10 ATOS IOC

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The Top Ten non-Olympic Affiliated Marketers by BAI are listed below.

1 Centrica AMB OP
2 Eon Energy UK AMB OP
3 Barclaycard AMB IOC
4 Schroders AMB OP
5 Royal Philips AMB IOC
6 EI DuPont AMB IOC
7 Kraft AMB SUP
8 Ericsson Comm AMB SUP
9 Subway AMB IOC
10 Lufthansa AMB OP

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The Top Twenty Combined Olympic Sponsors and Non-Affiliated Marketers Ranked by BAI.

1 Arcelor Mittal Supporter
2 EDF energy Partner
3 BT Group Partner
4 Centrica AMB OP
5 Eon Energy UK AMB OP
6 Thomas Cook Supporter
7 Barclaycard AMB IOC
8 UPS Supporter
9 Schroders AMB OP
10 Lloyds TSB Partner
11 Cadbury Supporter
12 BP Partner
13 Royal Philips AMB IOC
14 P&G IOC
15 ATOS IOC
16 EI DuPont AMB IOC
17 Kraft AMB SUP
18 Ericsson Comm AMB SUP
19 Subway AMB IOC
20 Lufthansa AMB OP

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The GLM Brand Affiliation Index for this analysis, ranged from a high of 524.45 to a low of 1.49.  The higher the score, the closer the brand affiliation with an event.

GLM has been tracking ambush marketing at the Olympics since the Beijing Games in 2008.  For London 2012, GLM began the three tiers of official sponsors since the third quarter of 2011.  These results are based on a study concluded on March 31,  2012.

With its Branded Individual Index (BII) GLM also tracks the brand equity of the athletes before and during the Games.

The official Olympic sponsors are divided into three tiers:  Worldwide Partners, Official Partners, and Official Supporters. GLM tracks over fifty non-affiliated companies that are direct competitors with the Official Olympic sponsors.

Customized GLM Ambush Marketing Rankings are released monthly up to and following London 2012.  The Ambush Marketing London 2012 report features dozens of charts representing the interrelationship of each company to the Olympic Brand, their competitors and their partners. In addition, the reports contain exclusive and individualized Narrative Tracker analyses, the most advanced trend tracking analytics available. For more information, individualized reports, or a monthly subscription, call +1.512.815.8836 or email info@LanguageMonitor.com

About Global Language Monitor:  ”We Tell You What the Web is Thinking”
Founded in Silicon Valley, Austin, Texas-based GLM collectively documents, analyzes and tracks trends worldwide, with a particular emphasis upon the English language.

GLM employs proprietary ‘algorithmic methodologies’ such as the NarrativeTracker for global Internet and social media analysis.  NarrativeTracker is based on global discourse, providing a real-time, accurate picture of what the public is saying about any topic, at any point in time.

NarrativeTracker analyzes the Internet, blogosphere, the top 175,000 print and electronic global media, as well as new media sources, as they emerge.  For more information, individualized reports, or a monthly subscription, call +1.512.815.8836 or email info@LanguageMonitor.com

Kate Middleton ‘Brand’ Tops London Olympics Sponsors in New Brand Affiliation Study

The Duchess Effect Meets the London Olympics

Kate previously helps London achieve Top Global Fashion Capital status

…  after toppling Lady Gaga for Top Fashion Buzzword

The Duchess
The Duchess

Austin, Texas. May 17, 2012 .  The Duchess Effect Meets the Summer Games, indeed.  According to the Global Language Monitor’s  London 2012 Ambush Marketing May 15 Update, even the Summer Games are encountering the Duchess Effect.  The GLM Brand Affiliation Index (BAI), when linked with London  2012, Kate Middleton had a closer brand affiliation that a number of top sponsors including Coke, Adidas, BA and Panasonic, among others.

This again demonstrates the power of the ‘Kate Middleton Brand’.  A Tier 1 Olympic sponsor pays about $160 million for the privilege, plus the attendant advertising fees promoting the relationship that can cost upwards of $500 million over the four-year arrangement.

This would suggest that the Kate Middleton Brand could be valued at nearly a billion dollars or more, just in relationship to Summer Games.

“This can be viewed as a two-edged sword for Sebastian Coe and the International Olympic Committee (IOC),” said Paul JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst for the Global Language Monitor.

“On the one hand, the Duchess of Cambridge and her husband, are Olympic Ambassadors; on the other hand the Kate Middleton ‘brand scores’ higher that nearly half the paying sponsors, such as, Coke, Adidas, and BA, among many others.”

All perceived Olympic affiliations according to their presence in the global media, and statistically linked to the London Games, qualify for GLM’s Ambush Marketing rankings.

The official Olympic sponsors are divided into three tiers: Worldwide Partners, Official Partners, and Official Supporters. GLM tracks over fifty non-affiliated companies that are direct competitors with the Official Olympic sponsors.

Earlier this year, the former Kate Middleton has already helped propel London to the Top Global Fashion Capital ranking for 2011 and was named the Top Fashion Buzzword for 2012 topping even Lady Gaga, the previous year’s winner.

The Official Olympic Mascots, Wenlock and Mandeville, fashioned from drops of steel, appear to pose little threat to Kate’s reign.

The London 2012 Mascots
The London 2012 Mascots

For these rankings, concluded on May 1, 2012, GLM measured the strength of the brand affiliation for each official Olympic sponsor against those of their primary non-affiliated competitors. Though ‘ambush marketing’ is well understood to mean an organization knowingly exploiting a brand affiliation with the Games without the benefit of official sponsorship.

GLM has been tracking the Olympics since the Athens Games in 2004 and ambush marketing since the Beijing Games in 2008.  For London 2012, GLM began tracking the three tiers of official sponsors since the third quarter of 2011.

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GLM also tracks the brand equity of the athletes before and during the Games.

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About Global Language Monitor:  ”We Tell You What the Web is Thinking”

Customized GLM Ambush Marketing Rankings are released monthly up to and following London 2012.  The Ambush Marketing London 2012 May 15 Update report features dozens of charts representing the interrelationship of each company to the Olympic Brand, their competitors and their partners. In addition, the reports contain exclusive and individualized Narrative Tracker analyses, the most advanced trend tracking analytics available. For more information, individualized reports, or a monthly subscription, call +1.512.815.8836 or email info@LanguageMonitor.com.

Olympic Ambush Marketers Continue to Dominate London 2012

Nike over Adidas; BA Trails Three Competitors; Subway and Pizza Hut Top McDonald’s


Kate Middleton ‘Brand’ Tops Coke, Adidas, and BA

Austin, Texas. Weekend May 4-6, 2012.  Ambush Marketers continue to dominate the run-up to the London Summer Games.  In fact ‘non-affiliated marketers’ took 27 of the top 50 spots measuring effective brand activation by the Global Language Monitor’s Brand Affiliation Index (BAI).

This despite the recent tightening of the rules by the IOC,  The GLM BAI rankings are not simply a matter of pride or bragging rights but rather a battle for brand equity and the consumer’s mind and the billions of dollars committed to the IOC, which are primarily used to fund the Games.

.

“The Olympic movement it is not immune to the historic shifts in communications affecting all institutions worldwide,” said Paul JJ Payack, founding president of the Global Language Monitor. “The seemingly all-pervasive media ensure that the flow of information can be stopped neither by national boundaries nor institutional gatekeepers.   There is no reason to think that marketing activities are immune from such forces.  In fact, marketing has been one of the foremost purveyors of new media technology.”

For these rankings GLM measured the strength of the brand affiliation for each official Olympic sponsor against those of their primary non-affiliated competitors. Though ‘ambush marketing’ is well understood to mean an organization knowingly exploiting a brand affiliation with the Games without the benefit of official sponsorship.

All perceived Olympic affiliations according to their presence in the global media, and statistically linked to the London Games, qualify for GLM’s Ambush Marketing rankings.

The GLM Brand Affiliation Index for this analysis, ranged from a high of 524.45 to a low of 1.49.  The higher the score, the closer the brand affiliation with an event.

GLM has been tracking ambush marketing at the Olympics since the Beijing Games in 2008.  For London 2012, GLM began the three tiers of official sponsors since the third quarter of 2011.  These results are based on a study concluded on May 1,  2012.

With its Branded Individual Index (BII) GLM also tracks the brand equity of the athletes before and during the Games.

The official Olympic sponsors are divided into three tiers:  Worldwide Partners, Official Partners, and Official Supporters. GLM tracks over fifty non-affiliated companies that are direct competitors with the Official Olympic sponsors.

To schedule a confidential consultation, call +1.512.815.8836.

For these rankings, encompassing the first quarter of 2012, GLM measured the strength of the brand affiliation for each official Olympic sponsor against those of their primary non-affiliated competitors. Though ‘ambush marketing’ is well understood to mean an organization knowingly exploiting a brand affiliation with the Games without the benefit of official sponsorship.

All perceived Olympic affiliations according to their presence in the global media, and statistically linked to the London Games, qualify for GLM’s Ambush Marketing rankings.

The top findings include:

  1. McDonald’s is in a tough fight, ranking behind Subway and Pizza Hut, but beating KFC.
  2. Ambusher Nike leads Partner Adidas by a wide margin.
  3. British Airways trails ambushers Lufthansa, United and Air France in the rankings.
  4. Royal Philip outpaced ever-strong GE.
  5. P&G continues to crush ambush competitors as it did in Vancouver.
  6. Ambusher Ericsson Over Supporter Cisco by a 3:1 margin.

The Duchess Effect Meets the Summer Games

One interesting side note is that even the Summer Games are encountering the Duchess Effect.  The GLM BAI analysis showed that when linked with London  2012, Kate Middleton had a closer brand affiliation than a number of top sponsors including Coke, Adidas, BA and Panasonic, among others.

This again demonstrates the power of the ‘Kate Middleton Brand’.  A Tier 1 Olympic sponsor pays about $160 million for the privilege, plus the attendant advertising fees promoting the relationship that can cost upwards of $500 million over the four-year arrangement.  This would suggest that the Kate Middleton Brand could be valued at nearly a billion dollars or more, just in relationship to Summer Games.
..

The Top Ten Official Olympic Sponsors by BAI are listed below.

1 Arcelor Mittal Supporter
2 EDF energy Partner
3 BT Group Partner
4 Thomas Cook Supporter
5 UPS Supporter
6 Lloyds TSB Partner
7 Cadbury Supporter
8 BP Partner
9 P&G IOC
10 ATOS IOC

..

The Top Ten non-Olympic Affiliated Marketers by BAI are listed below.

1 Centrica AMB OP
2 Eon Energy UK AMB OP
3 Barclaycard AMB IOC
4 Schroders AMB OP
5 Royal Philips AMB IOC
6 EI DuPont AMB IOC
7 Kraft AMB SUP
8 Ericsson Comm AMB SUP
9 Subway AMB IOC
10 Lufthansa AMB OP

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The Top Twenty Combined Olympic Sponsors and Non-Affiliated Marketers Ranked by BAI.

1 Arcelor Mittal Supporter
2 EDF energy Partner
3 BT Group Partner
4 Centrica AMB OP
5 Eon Energy UK AMB OP
6 Thomas Cook Supporter
7 Barclaycard AMB IOC
8 UPS Supporter
9 Schroders AMB OP
10 Lloyds TSB Partner
11 Cadbury Supporter
12 BP Partner
13 Royal Philips AMB IOC
14 P&G IOC
15 ATOS IOC
16 EI DuPont AMB IOC
17 Kraft AMB SUP
18 Ericsson Comm AMB SUP
19 Subway AMB IOC
20 Lufthansa AMB OP

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The GLM Brand Affiliation Index for this analysis, ranged from a high of 524.45 to a low of 1.49.  The higher the score, the closer the brand affiliation with an event.

GLM has been tracking ambush marketing at the Olympics since the Beijing Games in 2008.  For London 2012, GLM began the three tiers of official sponsors since the third quarter of 2011.  These results are based on a study concluded on March 31,  2012.

With its Branded Individual Index (BII) GLM also tracks the brand equity of the athletes before and during the Games.

The official Olympic sponsors are divided into three tiers:  Worldwide Partners, Official Partners, and Official Supporters. GLM tracks over fifty non-affiliated companies that are direct competitors with the Official Olympic sponsors.

Customized GLM Ambush Marketing Rankings are released monthly up to and following London 2012.  The Ambush Marketing London 2012 report features dozens of charts representing the interrelationship of each company to the Olympic Brand, their competitors and their partners. In addition, the reports contain exclusive and individualized Narrative Tracker analyses, the most advanced trend tracking analytics available. For more information, individualized reports, or a monthly subscription, call +1.512.815.8836 or email info@LanguageMonitor.com

About Global Language Monitor:  ”We Tell You What the Web is Thinking”
Founded in Silicon Valley, Austin, Texas-based GLM collectively documents, analyzes and tracks trends worldwide, with a particular emphasis upon the English language.

GLM employs proprietary ‘algorithmic methodologies’ such as the NarrativeTracker for global Internet and social media analysis.  NarrativeTracker is based on global discourse, providing a real-time, accurate picture of what the public is saying about any topic, at any point in time.

NarrativeTracker analyzes the Internet, blogosphere, the top 175,000 print and electronic global media, as well as new media sources, as they emerge.  For more information, individualized reports, or a monthly subscription, call +1.512.815.8836 or email info@LanguageMonitor.com


Angelina Jolie Leg Meme Now Largest Ever Measured

Angelina Jolie Meme Measures ‘Super-Colossal’ on GLM Scale
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Ignition
Ignition

Austin, Texas, March 5, 2012. (Update) The Internet Meme ignited when Angelina Jolie took a dramatic stance revealing her famously long (and notoriously thin) right leg at last week’s Oscar ceremony was the largest I-Meme ever recorded as measured by the  Global Language Monitor.  The ‘Jolie Leg’ meme registered  at Level 4 (out of 5) on the GLM Internet Meme Intensity Index  (IMII).

“Internet Memes can best be conceived as thoughts or ideas rather than words, since they can and often do encompass sounds, photos, and text.   They are propagated through every imaginable form of electronic communications, eventually surfacing in the traditional print and electronic media.  They are  propagated globally in a matter of minutes or hours, or days,” said Paul JJ Payack, GLM’s president and chief word analyst.
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The ‘Jolie Leg’ meme differs from the ‘Lin-sanity’ frenzy, because Lin-sanity is sustained though the invention of clever neologisms involving his name, and not necessarily the other attributes of a fully formed I-Meme.
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The life cycle of an I-Meme typically  follows four stages:
  • Ignition
  • Verification
  • Launch
  • Propagation
Verification
Verification
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The Jolie-Leg meme was ignited with Jolie taking her theatrical stance.
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It was then verified (did she really do what I think she did?) shortly thereafter when Descendants’ Oscar-winning writer, Jim Rush executed a remarkable facsimile of the Jolie pose.
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The I-Meme was launched with the appearance of thousands of rapidly evolving images, exemplified by Lady Liberty baring her leg in New York Harbor.
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It then began its rapid and continuing propagation into popular culture.
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GLM measured the intensity of the new Internet Meme at Level Four on its five-level Internet-Meme Intensity Index (IMII).
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Launch
Launch

We find it Ironic that ‘Silence’ was the Top HollyWord of 2011 according the ninth annual analysis by the Global Language Monitor.

Yet Angelina Jolie’s dramatic leg pose generated the massive Internet Meme, was anything but silent.
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For information on GLM’s Internet Meme Tracking Services and the Internet Meme Intensity Index, call 1.512.815.8836

Trending Top Words of 2012: End-of-World stories, Kate, China, CERN, the Olympics

Global Language Monitor’s Top Words of 2012 projections from current word trends

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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.

To see the final list Top Words of 2012, go here.

 

The words are culled from throughout the English-speaking world, which now numbers more than 1.83 billion speakers (January 2012 estimate).
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The Projected Top Words of 2012
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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.
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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.
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3.  Middle Kingdom – There is little indication that China’s continuing economic surge will fade from the global media spotlight –or abate.
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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.)
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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?
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6.  The Election —  No Obama-mania this time around, more of an Obama-ennui for the November 6 elections.
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8.  Rogue nukes —  Iran and North Korea will be the focus of attention here.
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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.)
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10.  Global Warming — The earth has been warming since New York was covered under a mountain of ice; what makes 2012 any different?
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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.)
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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.

Tebowing Accepted into English Language

Tebowing Accepted into English Language

Six-week rise of the Global Phenomenon

Austin, Texas December 12, 2011  (Dec. 16 update)– Tebowing, the act of  ’taking a knee’  in prayerful reflection in the midst of an athletic activity, has been acknowledged as an English language word according to the Global Language Monitor.

<a href="http://www.myfoxaustin.com/dpp/video/Tebowing-Enters-English-Language-20111215-ktbcw#axzz1gfYD5LEK" target="_self">Tebowing Enters English Video</a> </p>
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Tebowing Enters English Video 

The rapid rise of use of the word  has seldom been equaled, mirroring, for example, the rate of  adoption of the word Obamamania in early 2008.  The first mention of the word can be traced to the dramatic overtime victory of the Denver Broncos football team over the Miami Dolphins on October 23, 2011.  During the victory celebration, Tim Tebow ‘took a knee’ and was photographed in a moment of prayerful reflection.  Tebow is the 2007 Heisman trophy winner who  led the University of Florida to the 2008 BCS National Championship.

Though there is no official agency for accepting new words (or neologisms) into the English lexicon such as France’s Académie française, since 2003 the Global Language Monitor has been recognizing new words once they meet the criteria of a minimum number of citations across the breadth of the English-speaking world, with the requisite depth of usage on the Internet, in social media and in the top 75,000 global print and electronic media.

“Sports have become significant generators of new cultural trends and memes that transcend the athletic arena”,  said Paul JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst of the Global Language Monitor.  ”The ESPN sports broadcasting network has widely championed the word.  Jared Kleinstein’s tebowing.com website, devoted to people posing in the ‘tebowing position’, has been wildly popular.  The New York Times has recently carried an editorial on the subject and the Chinese search engine, Baidu.com, already has hundreds of citations for tebowing.” (See  ’Tebowing Goes Global’ in The Daily Beast.)

The Urban Dictionary defines ‘tebowing’ as ”To get down on a knee and start praying, even if everyone else around you is doing something completely different’.

The English language currently has some 1.58 billion speakers around the globe.

GLM released its Top Words, Phrases and Names of the Year lists on November 10th. Occupy is the Top Word of the Year, Arab Spring the Top Phrase of the Year, and Steve Jobs the Top Name of the Year.

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.

Princess Kate Strikes Again — ‘Royal Wedding’ Top Television Word of the Year

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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”.

Time Newsfeed: Top TV Words, Buffett Tax, Moustache Vocab, Etc.

Time Newsfeed:  TV talk: royal wedding

According to the Global Language Monitorroyal wedding was the “top TV word” of the year. The second-place finisher was winner (courtesy of Charlie Sheen’s uber-public meltdown), and the third was Arab Spring, referring to the uprisings and revolutions that have taken place throughout the Arab world in recent months. At least something substantive made it onto the podium (particularly given that the fourth place finisher was X-Factor, as in the Simon Cowell show, and the fifth was—god love ‘er—Oprah).

Each word counts: The Global Language Monitor also produces an estimate of words in the English language. The number they came up with this year was 1,010,649.7 (the 7/10 of a word presumably counting a phrase a drunk person almost coined). Incidentally, according to their estimate, the number of words in our language is roughly 14% the amount of dollars Warren Buffett paid in federal taxes last year. Mega-rich, indeed.
Read more: http://newsfeed.time.com/2011/09/21/wednesday-words-the-buffett-tax-moustache-vocab-and-more/#ixzz1YchByMgg

“Enough grit and arrogance to drive you mad …”

By Barry Ronge, The Times (Jo-burg, ZA).  July 24, 2011 –

We probably have enough words in our dictionaries to say anything that is worth saying, but things change and new words are created and, occasionally, older words slip back into fashion.

“The Global Language Monitor”, run by Paul JJ Payack, tracks the rise and fall of trend-words and phrases. Most of these fade rapidly when the fad that created them loses it’s social currency.

Have you recently heard anyone talking about Generation X? Probably not, because that social group has morphed into the social network, where they can “google” things, find friends on Facebook or start “poking” people on the internet.

These buzz words define the mood and style of the time, just as fashion houses and leisure industries do. Buzz words such as “disco mania”, “big hair”, “glitzy” and “high rollers” defined the excessive 1980s, just as “dropping out” and “peaceniks” are nostalgic souvenirs of the hippies and their flower-power revolution.

Mr Payack’s researchers collect these words and it goes without saying that the movies feature prominently. When a great title or a line of dialogue finds a life of its own, it becomes a pop-culture icon for the era.

For example, it has been 40 years since Clint Eastwood said: “Make my day!” and 39 years since Marlon Brando said: “Make him an offer he can’t refuse” – but both phrases are still current.

Payack’s team also came up with the term “wardrobe malfunction” when Janet Jackson gained unexpected exposure at the 2004 Super Bowl. The phrase was revived when Lady Gaga flashed a nipple in Sydney, Australia. It’s amazing how her elaborate costume seemed to vanish when a little pink nipple popped out and made a far bigger statement than the dress itself.

Now Payack’s team reveal their “8th Annual Global Survey of HollyWords of 2010″, a list of the current words and phrases that resonated through the movie scene.

The most frequently-used “HollyWord” of last year is “grit”, obviously related to the success of the re-make of True Grit. The film picked up a raft of nominations but ended up with just one award. Nonetheless, Payack’s team found “grit” cropping up in many reviews and features.

Webster’s Dictionary defines “grit” as “pluck, courage, perseverance and an indomitable spirit”.

The words “grit” and “gritty” featured prominently in hundreds of reviews and interviews about True Grit, in which Jeff Bridges and Hailee Steinfeld displayed enormous toughness and tenacity. They brought “grit” back into currency.

“Grit” also migrated into reviews and discussions of The Fighter, a boxing drama based in a working-class area that was constantly described as “gritty”, as was James Franco’s harrowing mountaineering ordeal in 127 Hours. The Oscar-winner The King’s Speech looked beyond the pomp and circumstance and found remarkable “grit” in a king of England. Even Toy Story 3, a tale of abandoned toys trying to avoid being turned into garbage, were praised for their “grit”, courage and loyalty.   [Read More.]

Top HollyWORDS: Grit tops Arrogance, Abdicate, Stammer, and Madness

As Summer Blockbuster Season Peaks, a Look Back at the Top Hollywords from 2010

 

8th Annual Global Survey by the Global Language Monitor

Austin, Texas.   July 12, 2011.   As summer blockbuster season peaks, a look back at the top words from the movies that influenced the English language from 2010.

For the first time a single word representative of a number of the year’s blockbusters, Grit, tops the list of Hollywords  as named by the Global Language Monitor.   Grit topped arrogance, abdicate, stammer, and madness.  Dream-stealers, nerds, Borogoves, shard, and 3-D rounded out the top ten.

“For the first time a single word was representative of a number of the year’s Oscar winning films,” said Paul JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst for the Global Language Monitor, “According to Webster’s the term, grit, has the following senses that applied to these films:  firmness, pluck, gritty (as in soot-covered), stubborn, indomitable spirit, courageous, and brave perseverance.”

The Top Hollywords of the 2010 season with the largest impact on the English language with commentary follow.

1.       The word grit has been defined in a number of ways by Webster that reflects many of the virtues of this year’s nominees.

  • Grit is, of course, from the title of Best Picture nominee True Grit, as exemplified by the character’s played by Jeff Bridges (firmness) and Hailee Steinfeld (pluck).
  • The action of The Fighter took place against the backdrop of one of the nation’s fabled gritty cities:  Lowell, Massachusetts into which Mark Wahlberg, Melissa Leo and Christian Bale expertly blended.
  • 127 Hours portrayed the stubborn courage of a man driven to desperate acts to ensure his survival.
  • The accidental and courageous king and his indomitable tutor as portrayed by Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush in The King’s Speech.
  • Woody’s brave perseverance to keep his fellow toys together in Toy Story 3.

2.  Arrogance – Deftly depicted in both The Social Network and Inside Job.

3.  Abdicate – Another generation learns of cowardice in high places, again; this time it’s found in the British Royal Family as depicted in The King’s Speech.

4.  Stammer and/or Stutter  –  If you paid close attention you might actually notice the difference between a stammer and a stutter in Colin Firth’s dialogue.

5.  Madness – We are told there is no such thing as ‘madness’ in the 21st century, but whatever we may call it, in the Black Swan Natalie Portman’s creates a dramatic portrait of the descent into it.

6.  Dream-Stealers – (and dream shapers and sowers).  Evidently, new career options for the 21st century endless-recession economy introduced to us by Leonardo DiCaprio and his film Inception.  The timid need not apply.

7.  Nerd – Once more, we are fascinated by the rise of the nerd in The Social Network … though most nerds never overcome their nerdness, and only the most  rare of exceptions is able to cash in on it.

8.  Borogoves – Alice in Wonderland sheds a bit of light on the ‘borogoves’.   As you know, they were all ‘mimsy’ in Charles Lutwidge Dodgson’s nonsense poem, Jabberwocky.


9.  Shard – Though widely confused with the word ‘shred’ as in a ‘shred of truth’, Harry Potter  finds  a mirror shard, in which he catches a glimpse of  a blue eye and keeps it for later use.  From Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1.

10.  3D CGI – (Three-dimensional, Computer-generated imagery) Five of the top ten grossing films of 2010 were CGI-based 3D, accumulating some $1.3B domestically:          Toy Story 3, Despicable Me, Shrek Forever After, How to Train Your Dragon, and Tangled. Whether this is a transformative trend or a passing fad has yet to be determined.

The Global Language Monitor uses a proprietary algorithm, the Predictive Quantities Indicator (PQI) to track the frequency of words and phrases in the global print and electronic media, on the Internet, throughout the Blogosphere, as well as accessing proprietary databases.  The PQI is a weighted Index, factoring in:  long-term trends, short-term changes, momentum, and velocity.

Previous Top HollyWord Winners include:

2009       ‘Pandora’ from Avatar

2008       ‘Jai Ho!’ Literally ‘Let there be Victory’ in Hindi from Slumdog Millionaire

2007     “Call it, Friendo,” from No Country for Old Men

2006       ‘High Five!!! Its sexy time!’ from Borat!

2005     ‘Brokeback’ from Brokeback Mountain

2004     “Pinot” from Sideways

2003       ‘Wardrobe malfunction’ from Super Bowl XXXVIII

Bin-Laden’s Death One of Top News Stories of 21th Century


Rise of China Still Tops all Stories

Royal Wedding breaks in at No. 5; Obama top mover (+4)

AUSTIN, Texas May 6, 2011 – The Top News Stories of the 21st century have been shuffled by the historic events of the still young 2011, according to the Austin-based Global Language Monitor. The death of Osama bin-Laden, the Royal Wedding, between Prince William and the former Kate Middleton, the unprecedented series of Japanese disasters, and the series of uprisings now known as the the Arab Spring have all broken into the Top Ten.

The on-going rise of China to first-tier nation status continues as No. 1. The election of Barack Obama to the US presidency moved up to the second spot, followed by the death of bin-Laden, and the springing of the Wikileaks followed. The Royal Wedding pushed ahead of the death of Michael Jackson and also replaced Jackson as top celebrity-driven event of the century thus far. The 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Japanese Disasters, the Arab Spring and the Global Economic Restructuring rounded out the Top Ten.

The acceleration of the news cycle has been a long-observed fact, however the acceleration of the news itself can also be viewed as unprecedented,” said Paul JJ Payack, President and the Chief Word Analyst of Austin-based Global Language Monitor.“

The full list of the Top 20 News Stories of the 21st century thus far follows. The includes the story and its rank, the year the story first broke, its ranking in 1999 and its movement (if any).

Rank of Story, Year the Story Began, Last Ranking in 2009 and Movement

1. Rise of China 2000 1 (Same)

2. Election of Barack Obama 2008 6 (+4)

3. Bin-laden Killed 2011 New —

4. Wikileaks Published 2010 New —

5. Royal Wedding British 2011 New —

6. Death of Michael Jackson 2009 5 (-1)

7. 9/11 Terrorist Attacks 2001 3 (-4)

8. Japanese Disasters 2011 2011 New —

9. Arab Spring 2011 New —

10. Global Economic Restructuring 2008 7 (-3)

11. War on Terror 2001 4 (-7)

12. Iraq War 2003 2 (-10)

13. Hurricane Katrina 2005 8 (-5)

14. Social Media as Strategic Weapon 2011 New —

15. South Asian Tsunami 2004 12 (-3)

16. Osama bin-Laden Search 2001 15 (-1)

17. iPad Launch 2010 New —

18. Death of Pope John Paul II 2005 14 (-4)

19. War against Taliban 2002 13 (-6)

20. War in Afghanistan 2002 9 (-11)

GLM employed it NarrativeTracker Technology in analyzing the data. NarrativeTracker first focused on the number of citations found the Internet, blogosphere, and social media sites. The second focused on the top 75,000 print and electronic media sites. Finally, the two analyses were normalized.

Kate Middleton’s Social Media Star to Eclipse Princess Diana

Study also compares Michelle Obama with the Royals

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NarrativeTracker analysis of Internet, social and traditional media

AUSTIN, Texas. April 18, 2011. With less than two weeks left before the Royal Wedding on April 29th, Kate Middleton is already posting Diana-type numbers in terms of news worthiness and celebrity status on the Top Global Media sites as well as on the Internet and Social Media according to The Global Language Monitor. Previously GLM had found the soon-to-be Princess Catherine the Top Fashion Buzzword of the 2011 season, replacing the eccentric Lady Gaga.

The GLM study compared the citations of Kate Middleton with those of Princess Diana, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince Harry, and Camilla Parker Bowles. Michelle Obama as First Lady of the United States was included as a relevant American comparison. For the Top Global Media, the citations were measured over the last three months as well as all the archives available.

“Kate Middleton is set to eclipse Princess Di as the media star of the Royal Family,” said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of the Global Language Monitor. “In fact, Kate could surpass all Internet, Social Media, and Global Print and Electronic Media citations by the time the Royal Wedding-related stories are compiled.”

Two weeks before the Royal Wedding, Middleton’s Internet and Social Media citations, surpass all members of the Royal Family. Prince William comes in as a close second followed by Princess Diana, who died in a Paris car crash in 1997.

For Internet news citations, Middleton follows only Prince William and Prince Charles. For comparison, First Lady Michelle Obama, since she first came to notice in 2004, would rank No. 3 in Internet and Social Media citations, just ahead of Princess Diana and would rank No 4, again slightly ahead of Princess Diana in Internet news.

In the traditional Global Print and Electronic Media, Prince William and his bride-to-be, both double references to Queen Elizabeth and quadruple those to Prince Charles who would also follow Michelle Obama.

Note: Princess Di is cited in hundred of thousands of news stories even though she died before Google, social media, and smartphones existed. Even without the current media environment where the Internet, social media and the traditional media feed upon themselves as some sort cyber echo chamber, the study demonstrates the enduring legacy of Princess — some fourteen years after her death.

GLM used NarrativeTracker Technology in this study.

NarrativeTracker is based on the global discourse, providing a real-time, accurate picture of what any audience is saying about any topic, at any point in time. NarrativeTracker analyzes the Internet, the top global print and electronic media, as well as new social media sources (such as Twitter).

Media for detailed statistics, or call 1.512.815.8836.

Make No Mistake: Obama’s Favorite Buzzwords

You Don’t Say

This article has been shared from The Daily iPad app

 

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‘Make no mistake,’ Obama is a big fan of his own catchphrases

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BY ANTHONY DECEGLIE AND JENNY MERKINMONDAY, MARCH 28, 2011

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Statistics gathered by the Global Language Monitor reveal that Obama has said it 2,924 times since he was sworn into office more than two years ago.

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Other signature Obama sayings include “Here’s the deal” (1,450 times) and “Let me be clear,” (1,066 times). In a nod to the tough financial times he has faced, the president’s fifth most popular motto is “It will not be easy.”

Obama’s reheated rhetoric has recently come under fresh scrutiny. Parts of his speech warning Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi to honor the United Nations’ cease-fire pact were strikingly similar to the words spoken by President George W. Bush when he launched military strikes in Afghanistan.

“Our goal is focused. Our cause is just. And our coalition is strong,” Obama said. Bush, nearly a decade earlier: “Your mission is defined. Your objectives are clear. Your goal is just.”

Make no mistake, The Daily is hoping Obama lifts his creative game and “wins the future” (another rhetorical crutch) when it comes to this public speaking deal. Although we understand it will not be easy.

Scale of Top Sayings (Source: The Global Language Monitor, as of March 25)

#1 “Make no mistake” — 2,924 times

#2 “Win the future” — 1,861 times; 9 times in his 2011 State of the Union address

#3 “Here’s the deal” — 1,450 times

$4 “Let me be clear” — 1,066 times

#5 “It will not be easy” — 1,059 times

Danger of long-term effects Fukushima fallout little discussed in media


Prevailing view ‘harmless,’ Opposing views called ‘laced with hysteria’

AUSTIN, Texas. March 23, 2011. With radioactive elements from Japan’s Fukushima Daiiachi disaster finally reaching the continental US this week, the Global Language Monitor’s NarrativeTracker has found that the possible long-term dangers of Fukushima Daiiachi’s radioactive fallout has been little discussed in the media. In fact, there has been little or no discussion of the ongoing debate about assessing the long-term risks associated with Cesium-137 and Iodine-131, etc.

The prevailing view of the global print and electronic media is to pronounce the radioactive elements ‘harmless,’ which is in direct contract to the accepted view of the National Academy of Sciences, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and many others. In fact, the discussion that does appear, labels opposing views as ‘irrational’ or ‘laced with hysteria’, as in a recent article in the New York Times.

According the the Global Language Monitor’s NarrativeTracker there have been only two references to the controversy in the past week in the major global media, or even to the fact that the analysis of the heath impact of the escaped radiation could be far off base. An article in the Malaysian Star was the most insightful. Even on the web news side, NarrativeTracker picked up fewer that half a dozen references to the controversy in the last week.

On the Internet and in Social Media, there were some 10,000 references to the controversy, which pales in comparison to news about, say Charlie Sheen (who has hundreds of million citations). In addition, there were about three million references to the ‘harmless’ effects of the Fukushima fallout, with about 7,000,000 references to its ‘dangers’.

Therefore, the prevailing and accepted view of the National Academy of Sciences, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and, for that matter, the US Congress has been overlooked in the global media discussion. This is the view that holds sway in legislation ranging from the regulation of cigarettes, CT scans and the Hanford Reservation cleanup. In addition to the risk to human life, billions of dollars in government are at stake.

The controversy concerns Linear No Threshold (LNT) methodology to calculate risk from exposure to radioactive elements. The LNT dose-response relationship is used to describe the relationship between radiation dose and the occurrence of cancer. This dose-response model suggests that any increase in dose, no matter how small, results in an incremental increase in risk. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) accepts the LNT hypothesis as a conservative model for estimating radiation risk.

There are two competing theories here.

1.   There is no lower-level threshold to the threat from radioactive exposure. Basically this means that even a small exposure to radioactivity will increase the chance of cancer occurring in a corresponding small percentage of the population. The smaller the exposure, the smaller the risk, but the risk never falls to zero.

2.   There is a lower-level threshold to the threat from radioactive exposure. This is model that the media has adopted in claims that the fallout is ‘harmless’ while still recognizing that it is harmful in large doses. Some scientists adhere to the radiation hormesis model that radiation might even be beneficial in very low doses

The LNT model is generally accepted by most governments and scientific agencies and predicts higher risks than the threshold model. Because the current data is inconclusive, scientists disagree on which methodology should be used.

However, the fact that there has been little or no discussion of the topic in the media is cause for concern.

Charlie Sheen Tops Gaga, Obama, Kate Middleton & Palin in Social Media

However Ranks No. 18 in the Global Print and Electronic Media

Austin, TEXAS.  March 9, 2011.   If it seems as if the actor Charlie Sheen has been everywhere you look or listen, from your smart phone to the Internet to your favorite social media site, you are correct.  In an exclusive analysis released  earlier today, the Global Language Monitor has found that Sheen tops all Internet and social media discussions with followed by the iPad, Lady Gaga, President Obama and Sarah Palin.  Rounding out the Top Ten were David Beckham, Bill Gates, Julian Assange, Nicolas Sarkozy and Kate Middleton.

“If it seems as if Charlie Sheen is everywhere you look or listen , that is because it is true.  He is everywhere and apparently everywhen,” said Paul JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst for the Global Language Monitor.  “The growing pervasiveness of Social Media only enhances this Global Echo Chamber.  However, when you insert an editorial process in between the news and the audience Mr. Sheen tumbles to No. 18, following the major newsmakers of the time.

Check the Reuters Story

The analysis was completed on March 8.  The analysis focused on individual people and things (such as the iPad).  Broader topics, such as climate change the Mid-East Unrest were excluded from the analysis.  For this analysis, GLM analyzed the Internet, Blogosphere, and Social Media together.  The Global Print and Electronic Media were analyzed separately. That analysis is discussed below.

The Top Twenty Persons of interest on the Internet and Social media list follows.

1 Charlie Sheen
2 iPad
3 Lady Gaga
4 Barack Obama
5 Sarah Palin
6 David Beckham
7 Bill Gates
8 Julian Assange
9 Nicolas Sarkozy
10 Kate Middleton
11 Hosni Mubarak
12 Muamaar Gaddafi
13 Bill Clinton
14 Queen Elizabeth II
15 Silvio Burlusconi
16 David Cameron
17 Angela Merkel
18 Vladimir Putin
19 Hu Jintao
20 Pope Benedict XVI

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In the Top 75,000 Print and Electronic media sites Charlie Sheen ranks as No. 18, which shows what happens when you have an editorial process that helps discern which news is most significant for the reader.  For those sites the Top Stories concerned Barack Obama, Nicolas Sarkozy, Hosni Muburak, Angela Merkel and David Cameron.  Completing the Top Ten were Silvio Burlusconi, Julian Assange, Bill Clinton, Sarah Palin and lady Gaga.

The Top Twenty Persons of Interest in the Global Print and Electronic Media follows.

1 Barack Obama
2 Nicolas Sarkozy
3 Hosni Muburak
4 Angela Merkel
5 David Cameron
6 Silvio Burlusconi
7 Julian Assange
8 Bill Clinton
9 Sarah Palin
10 Lady Gaga
11 Vladimir Putin
12 Hu Jintao
13 Muamaar Gaddafi
14 iPad
15 Queen Elizabeth II
16 David Beckham
17 Kate Middleton
18 Charlie Sheen
19 Pope Benedict XVI
20 Bill Gates

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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.

About Global Language Monitor

Austin-based Global Language Monitor is the pioneer in web-based media analytics.  Founded in Silicon Valley, GLM collectively documents, analyzes and tracks trends in language usage worldwide, with a particular emphasis upon the English language.

GLM is particularly known for its Word of the Year, political analysis, college and university rankings, High Tech buzzwords, and social media analytics. One of its ‘algorithmic methodologies’ is the NarrativeTracker for Internet and social media analysis.  NarrativeTracker is based on the national discourse, providing a real-time, accurate picture of what the public is saying about any topic, at any point in time. NarrativeTracker analyzes the Internet, blogosphere, the print and electronic media, as well as new social media sources (such as Twitter).

For more information, go to www.LanguageMonitor.com, call 1.512.815.8836, or email pjjp@post.harvard.edu.

Did Watson Really Beat Humans on Jeopardy? We Think Not!

Analysis into the ‘natural language processing’ claim.

AUSTIN, TEXAS.  March 1, 2011 — An analysis by the Global Language Monitor has found that Watson, the IBM Computer specifically designed to compete on the Jeopardy television show was not the victory of a machine tackling ‘natural language processing’  that many had been led to believe but rather a “a massive marketing coup,” as described in the Boston Globe.

When Watson bested two live-wear, carbon-based lifeforms named Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, on the Jeopardy Television show a few days ago, it was widely viewed as a great advance in ‘natural language processing’.  Natural Language Processing is concerned with the interactions between computers and human (natural) languages.

As Ben Zimmer in the New York Times put it, Watson “came through with flying colors.”  And he was certainly not alone in his judgment.  There were many comparisons to the John Henry man vs. machine tale where the legendary ‘steel-driving’ railroad man challenges a steam hammer, and wins, only to collapse and die shortly thereafter.  It appeared as if the entire media went a little bit gaga (no pun intended) with stories on this great milestone in cyber (and possibly human) history.

Is this analysis true?  As Steve Colbert might put it, there is some ‘truthiness’ in the statement.  Watson did, in fact, best his human competitors, but if we are to “speaking truthiness to power,” we should ensure that we fully understand the nature of the competition.

“Comments like the above missed the mark for a very simple reason,” said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst at GLM.  ”Watson did not prove adept at processing language in a manner similar to humans.  In fact, computers have dramatically failed at this task for four decades now.  What Watson has accomplished is a far cry from ‘natural language processing’.

Rather what Watson achieved was a very close approximation of appearing as if it had acquired an acuity at understanding of the English language. This, in itself, is an accomplishment to be acknowledged.  (But as in the old joke goes about a dog talking, it’s not that it was done well but rather that it was done at all.)  After all, Watson was designed from the ground up as a ‘question-answering machine,’ as IBM readily admits.  However this, in itself, is not quite accurate because Watson was specifically built as a ‘Jeopardy game-show answering machine’ “.

One problem is that few commentators understand what it means to actually program a computer at all, let alone the ‘machine coding’ which might be construed as the most basic unit of computer ‘thought’.  Even those who are familiar with today’s coding techniques are familiar with HTML or a variation of C++ or Linux, etc.  All of these ‘languages’ are as distant from machine coding technology as they are from understanding the mathematics of the Higgs boson and why it has been described as the ‘God particle’ at CERN.  Unfortunately, there will be  no friendly, Watson-like, avatar that will announce from the CERN lab that the God Particle has been identified, when and if ever.  We might also find out about that discovery when (as has been estimated by the CERN staff) the acceptable risk the 1 out of 50,000,000 chance hits and the whole enterprise results in the destruction of the entire planet though the creation of an, admittedly small, black hole.

The field of artificial intelligence has for decades been handicapped with the idea of emulating humans; whether their thinking, their speaking, their chess-playing ability or their ability to perambulate.  To make the advances we have seen recently, computer scientists had to literally re-think (and in many cases reverse) their earlier positions.

The key, as found in recent research, is not to emulate humans; rather the key is to define ‘machine logic’ or how would a machine do it, given its capabilities and limitations.  In other words do not attempt to  see like the human eye sees but attempt to see as a machine would see.  Rather than teach a machine everything there is to know about how a human gets around, the task becomes to teach a machine the few basic rules it needs to move forward, back up and to work around obstacles.  This is much different than a baby learning how to crawl which involves cognition, motor skills, sight, volition, and the sense of feel.

In the same way most would construe natural language processing would be the ability to understand basic sentences, concepts or instructions in a straight-forward manner.  Is this what Watson accomplished.  Consider the following:

Here’s what Watson needed to handle the ‘natural language’ of Jeopardy.

  • 90 IBM Power 750 servers
  • Each of the 90 IBM Power 750 servers is equipped with eight processors
  • A total 2,880 Central Processing Units (CPUs)
  • 1 network-attached storage (NAS) cluster
  • 21.6TB of data
  • 15 full-time technical professionals, as well any number of advisors and consultants
  • 5 years of development time
  • ’1,000s’ of computer algorithms to run simultaneously
  • 1 overlying algorithm to review the results of all the others
  • 1 power robotic finger

Incidentally, the effort required a minimum of $100,000,000 funding for personnel, some $25,000,000 in equipment, as well as all the costs associated with cooling, administration, transportation, and the like.

All of this reminds us of Gary Kasparov losing the famous chess match to IBM’s Deep Blue back in 1997.  IBM was allowed to modify its program between games.  In effect, this let IBM programmers compensate for any Deep Blue weaknesses Kasparov exposed during the game.  How, in any way, could this be considered a level playing field?  Once this was discovered, Kasparov requested a rematch, but IBM had already dismantled Deep Blue.

As for those comparisons with the legendary ‘iron-driving man’, we have one piece of advice:  John Henry, call your lawyer.

Note:  Each year GLM releases the Top High Tech Words Everyone Uses But Nobody Quite Understands.  This year’s edition will be released in conjunction with SXSWi on March 13, 2011.



“Refudiating” Word Games: What would Edwin Newman Think?

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What would have the late newsman and grammar guru Edwin Newman thought about airwaves and cyberspace filled with “refudiate” and “guido?”

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By JERE HESTERSep 16, 2010
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It’s hard to refudiate that we lost one of our great TV journalists and guardians of the language with the recent death of NBC’s Edwin Newman.

In fact, it’s impossible to refudiate – because “refudiate” isn’t a word.

We imagine that Newman, who displayed a strong sense of humor in his TV commentaries, writings and appearances on David Letterman’s old morning show and “Saturday Night Live,” might have gotten a rueful chuckle out of Sarah Palin’s tweeted mash-up of “refute” and “repudiate.”

Newman, whose death at age 91 was reported Wednesday, famously asked in “Strictly Speaking,” his 1974 bestseller on the state of language, “Will America be the death of English?”

GLM Comment:  In fact the exact opposite has occurred — American English has spurred the English to a new level, from Old English, to Middle English, to Modern English to what might be deemed, in contemporary fashion, English 2.0.

Recent evidence doesn’t bode well for the mother tongue. The folks at Merriam-Webster this month named “refudiate” the Word of the Summer – and reported that the non-word spurred many searches on its online dictionary.

Meanwhile, The Global Language Monitor last week released its annual list of the popular “telewords” (which isn’t really a word itself). Placing No. 3 on the group’s “Top Words from Television” list for the 2009-2010 TV season was “guido.”

That anti-Italian slur became a catchword, thanks to the cast of “Jersey Shore” – a place, at least on MTV, where young people foolishly acting out stereotypes are celebrated and rewarded. (In other signs of the times, The Monitor’s top two entries were “BP Spillcam” and “dysfunctional.”) [Read More.]



Top TeleWords of the 2009/2010 Season

BP SpillCam, Dysfunctional Families,

and All-things Jersey

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Seventh Annual Analysis by the Global Language Monitor

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Austin, Texas, USA. September 10, 2010. The Global Language Monitor today announced that the BP Spillcam has topped dysfunctional, Guido, realityand nice as the Top Words from Television for the 2009-2010 season. Rounding out the Top Ten were rude, “drama at 10:00,” ‘Chicago-style politics,’ cross-over, and ambush marketing. The awards are annually announced at the beginning of the Fall television season in the US.  This is the seventh annual analysis by Austin-based GLM.

“The Top TeleWords of 2010 encompassed an unintended ‘up-close-and-personal’ view to an unparalleled natural disaster, resonating sitcoms detailing the contradictions, foibles (and joys) of  post-Modern life, a Super Bowl victory for the still recovering city of New Orleans, and more Guidos and Guidettes and one might encounter in a lifetime.” said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of GLM.

The Top Telewords of the 2010 season with commentary follow:

1. BP Spillcam — Provocative, engaging, riveting television delivered to all three screens (and possibly the worst PR nightmare of all time).

2. Dysfunctional – Modern Family: Would you expect otherwise from a series that sprang from the mind of Rev. Jim Ignatowski (Christopher Lloyd)?

3. Guido — Jersey Shore elevates Guidos and Guidettes into the mainstream; but one of several reality shows feeding viewers interest in all-things Jersey.

4. Reality – When Webster defined reality as ‘truth or fact, not merely a matter of amusement,’ he was obviously unaware of reality TV.

5. Nice – The word ‘nice’ is associated with Betty White over 1.1 million times on Goggle. Nice and vicious, dear.

6. Rude — Simon Cowell departs American Idol after a seven-year run; even the Queen has referred to Cowell as ‘caustic’.

7. “Drama at 10:00” – As Jay Leno said of the Late Night kerfuffle with Conan O’Brien, NBC ‘wanted it and they got it’.

8. Chicago-style politics – No we are not talking about Rahm Emanuel and the White House but rather The Good Wife.

9. Cross-over (as in crossover hit) – Nineteen-time Emmy nominee Glee’s cast album rocketed to No. 1 on the Billboard Chart.

10. Ambush Marketing – As advertisers begin to balk at the price of Olympic sponsorships, some are to ‘ambush marketing’ as was widely demonstrated during the Vancouver Winter Games.

11. Bressus: Fan-bestowed nickname for New Orleans Saints Super Bowl winning-quarterback’s nickname — the most watched Super bowl in years.

12. Asperger’s Disease – Temple Grandin’s lesser-known challenge in the eponymously titled biopic from HBO.

13. Lady Gaga –Stephani Germanotta is visible everywhere on global television over the course of the season.

14. The Pacific (War) — Most older folks are surprised to learn that the Pacific War was a different conflict than WWII.

 

The Top Telewords of previous years:

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”.



How to Describe the Disaster? (LOE)

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Air Date: Week of July 2, 2010
The BP oil disaster is a failure of technology and lexicology. The words that we use to describe the Gulf of Mexico disaster don’t begin to define the scope of the catastrophe. Is it a spill? A gusher? Host Jeff Young tracks the flow of words with Paul Payak from the Global Language Monitor.
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YOUNG: Millions – maybe billions – of words have been written about BP’s runaway oil well. Yet words still fail us—we still lack the right term for what’s happening in the Gulf. So we turn to Paul JJ Payack for guidance. He’s President of the Global Language Monitor in Austin, Texas, where he tracks changes in the language, including the words most often used to describe the oil in the Gulf.PAYACK: Overwhelmingly, overwhelmingly, the top word is oil spill, which is sort of a disappointment. Many times when you have new events in a language, the language leads the event. You can actually… there are new words that pop up in profusion.YOUNG: Uh huh.

PAYACK: And, in this case, we haven’t seen that many new words. What we’ve seen is the old way to describe an oil spill. The Exxon Valdez has a crash, spills the oil out, and that’s a spill. But this is different; this is a lot different than a spill.

YOUNG: Because a spill connotes a fixed amount that spilled from a container into where you don’t want it. That’s not what’s happening here at all.

PAYACK: In our case, we’re not talking about a spill, we’re talking about an oil field that’s estimated at 3, 4, 5 billion barrels erupting, but we still refer to it as a spill.

Read More



The Internet’s Fury Scorned

Obama Oval Office speech analysis provokes unprecedented response


Austin, Texas, July 2, 2010.  The first decade of the 21st century has witnessed a great many terrible, sad and historical events, with a few, unfortunately fleeting moments of great joy sprinkled between the dirges.  We have done our best to analyze the impact of these events on the global print and electronic media as well as on the Internet, throughout the blogosphere, and now the emerging social media.

After analyzing political speeches for a decade now, as well as all 55 Presidential Inaugural Addresses and transcripts of historical interest (including Washington’s Farewell Address, the Lincoln-Douglas Debates, FDR’s ‘Live in Infamy’ radio address, Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a Dream’ speech) you would think that we had seen and heard everything by now.

However, it wasn’t until our analysis of the President’s Gulf Spill Oval Office address, that we experienced the full force of the Internet’s fury scorned.

And this for an analysis that we considered basically non-newsworthy.

President Obama had given yet another address to the nation.  GLM used the same standardized, widely available, language tools that we used to name Obama’s Grant Park  ”Yes, we can!” victory address as one that ranked with the greatest of presidential orations.  Now these same standardized, time-tested tools are being conveniently criticized as of questionable repute.

We were told that our analysis was either ‘bashing Obama’ or ‘excusing Obama’. At the same time, we were either ‘insulting the people’ or ‘insulting the President’. Finally, it was suggested that we were rather transparently calling for the President to ‘dumb down the rhetoric’ so that one and all might understand  the superior intelligence of ‘his highness’.  Whoa!

Apparently, many readers never got over the headline, missing the actual analysis and what the numbers told us about the speech. Our concern was that our initial headline, Obama Oil Spill Speech Echoes Elite, Aloof Ethos might be considered demeaning to the President.  Wrong.  It was considered demeaning to everyone on the Left and the Right.

For general information on the readability tests used by GLM, click here.

For scientific literature about readability tests, enter Flesch or readability into the ERIC database.

We were surprised to learn that offense was, apparently,  taken in equal proportions by both the Right (Language Expert: If You Didn’t Like Obama’s Oil Spill Speech, It’s Probably Because You’re Stupid) and the Left (Obama Oil Spill Speech Criticized By CNN’s Language Analyst For Not Being Moronic Enough) of the political spectrum.   Nevertheless, we were quite amused by The ColbertReport’s send-up of our (and CNN’s) report, which somehow struck a middle chord.

It was also enlightening to see a significant proportion of this criticism to be ad hominem attacks, focusing on ourselves rather than our analysis.  (Read FAQ about GLM and Paul JJ Payack here.)

This past December, we encountered fierce criticism from the Chinese government dailies because  we named ‘The Rise of China” as the No. 1 news story of the decade.  (You can follow the narrative arc of this controversy here. )  But the criticism that accompanied the Obama Gulf Spill speech, was a good bit nastier, indeed.

Our analyses of the three preceding US Presidential elections were praised from many quarters from the New York Times to Nicholas Kristof to NPR to the worldwide media.  During the preceding ten years, few alleged political motivation, or denounced the standard language-measurement tools as inherently flawed. In fact, as long as readers basically agreed with the more predictable outcomes, there were few complaints.  Here were some of those results:  Ross Perot scored the lowest we’ve ever recorded, John F, Kennedy and Ronald Reagan were stars, both Bushes settled in the middle of the middle school years, and Obama’s ‘Yes, we can!’ speech had nearly equivalent numbers to Martin Luther King’s “I have a Dream’ speech and Lincoln’s ‘Gettysburg Address’.   So far, so good.  We did have a few outliers, such as Sarah Palin achieving quite a high score during her debate with Joe Biden, which was duly noted by New York Magazine and quite easy to explain.

Here’s what we attempted to communicate:

1.  Obama’s speech, though deserving a ‘solid B’ did not live up to his past efforts.

2.  Obama’s most well-regarded speech came in a at 7.4 grade level.  This is not talking down to the American people.  This is communicating clear and concisely to his audience.  This is Obama at his best, communicating with a deft combination of vision, passion and rhetoric.

In fact, our headline for that effort read: Obama’s “Yes, We Can” Speech Ranked with “I have a Dream,” “Tear Down this Wall,” and JFK Inaugural. Rather high praise, indeed.

Our commentary read:

Obama’s “Yes, We Can” speech delivered Tuesday night in Chicago’s Grant Park ranked favorably in tone, tenor and rhetorical flourishes with memorable political addresses of the recent past including Martin Luther King, Jr.’s   “I have a Dream” speech, “Tear Down this Wall,” by Ronald  Reagan and John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address.

“As is appropriate for a forward-looking message of hope and reconciliation, words of change and hope, as well as future-related constructions dominated the address,” said Paul JJ Payack President and Chief Word Analyst of the Global Language Monitor.  “Evidently, Obama is at his best at connecting with people at the 7th to 8th grade range, communicating directly to his audience using simple yet powerful rhetorical devices, such as the repetition of the cadenced phrase ‘Yes, we can’, which built to a powerful conclusion.”

Well-regarded, indeed (and well-deserved).

3.   GLM and our predecessor site, yourDictionary.com have analyzed every presidential inaugural since that of George Washington.  The idea was, and continues to be, to look at the presidents’ words in the total historical context of the American presidency.

In 2001, we were quoted as saying,

Our goal was to spot trends that are all to easily overlooked in the political (and all too partisan) passions of the moment” [and continued that our] analysis included patterns of word usage choices, the use of such grammatical constructions as passive voice, the length of words and sentences, the number of paragraphs, and other parameters of language to gauge the content [including] the well-regarded Flesch-Kincaid Reading Scale.

4.  The use of Industry-standard language analytics.  The Fogg Index, the Flesch Test, the Flesch-Kinkaid Reading Scale, and many others, are used in all forms of publishing from technical manuals to ensuring proper comprehension levels for textbooks used for various ages and classes.  This has been true for more than fifty years.

The reason we choose to use the standard tests and analytical tools was a simple one:  to enable the same set of measurements over any period of time.  And also that these analyses could be replicated by scholars and historians and journalists the world over.

5.  We use our proprietary tool, the Predictive Quantities Indicator or PQI to measure media analytics, narrative tracking, and TrendTopper Media Buzz, as such we do not use the PQI for this task.

By the Way, here are a few historical precedents;

  • Washington’s Farewell Address of 1796 — 12.0.
  • Lincoln-Douglas debates, 1858 — Stephen Douglas’ seven speeches averaged a 12th-grade level 11.9; Lincoln’s averaged 11.2.
  • President Franklin Roosevelt’s declaration of war in December 1941 — 11.5.
  • Nixon-Kennedy Debates, 1960 — The first nationally televised debates:  Kennedy, 9.6 ; Nixon, 9.1.
  • Carter-Ford Debates, 1976 — Carter, 10.4; Ford, 11.0.
  • Carter-Reagan debate  – Carter, 12.0; Reagan, 10.7.
  • Reagan-Mondale debates — Reagan, 9.8;  Mondale, 8.7.
  • Dukakis-Bush debates of 1988 — Dukakis, 8.9; Bush, 6.7 grade.
  • Bush-Clinton-Perot debates of 1992 — Carter, 8.5, Bush, 6.5, Perot, 6.3.
  • Bush-Gore debate of 2000 — Bush, 7.1, Gore, 8.4.
  • Cheney-Lieberman, V.P. Debate — Lieberman, 9.9; Dick Cheney, 9.1.

And for good measure, Hamlet’s ‘To Be or Not to Be Soliloquy’, Shakespeare, c. 1600, comes in at 10.6.

Now Kathleen Parker has considerably upped the ante when applied readability statistics in her premise about Barack Obama as the first ‘feminine president’ ….



How Obama lost control of the oil-spill narrative

WORD OF MOUTH:  Colleen Ross

Colleen Ross


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The usual key to staying on top in the murky world of politics is to control the narrative. And, by all linguistic accounts, Barack Obama’s control of the oil spill narrative has slipped away.

Lonely warrior. Barack Obama counting tar balls on a Louisiana beach in May 2010. (Larry Downing/Reuters)

Lonely warrior. Barack Obama counting tar balls on a Louisiana beach in May 2010. (Larry Downing/Reuters)

In his first prime-time address from the Oval Office recently, Obama attempted to take back the reins by employing warrior-like language.

In his best Churchill impression, he spoke about “the battle we’re waging against an oil spill that is assaulting our shores and our citizens,” going on to vow that “we will fight this spill with everything we’ve got for as long as it takes.”

The president then talked about creating a battle plan as well as the need to develop energy independence and to “fight for the America we want for our children.”

Click Here to Listen to Colleen Ross’ Podcasts

The president then talked about creating a battle plan as well as the need to develop energy independence and to “fight for the America we want for our children.”

In fact, Obama’s rhetoric around America’s biggest environmental disaster has intensified in recent weeks.

Accused of not being angry enough at the company that has still not managed to fully plug a gushing oil well, “No Drama” Obama, as he was once known, is using tougher language and framing the oil spill as an environmental 9/11.

He also uttered the now oft-quoted explanation of why he’s spending so much time talking to experts: So he can “know whose ass to kick.”

Oil-spill enabler

But in this unfolding drama, with a wavering protagonist, a motley crew of characters and a slick, unrelenting enemy, one is compelled to shout in frustration: “Words, words, words!”

Duelling narratives

(An unscientific, comparison)

BP: Use remotely operated underwater vehicles to try to reactivate blowout preventer.

Political narrative: Remotely control response, i.e. let Coast Guard handle it.

BP: Introduce small tube into burst pipe to slow flow.

Political narrative: Introduce oil spill commission and temporarily stop offshore drilling

BP: Drill relief wells, this is going to take awhile.

Political narrative: Drill home the need for relief/compensation (this is going to take awhile)

Therein lies the problem, says language analyst Paul Payack. Words alone mean nothing if they are not backed up by action and, as a result, Obama has lost control of what he wants to say.

“He who wins control of the narrative controls the story in terms of political capital,” says Payack. And at the moment, Obama isn’t doing so well, which could hurt his party in the November mid-term elections.

According to Payack, the most important storyline currently defining the president is “Obama as oil spill enabler.”

Read more



Keep Presidential Speeches Smart

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Medialand

Trevor Butterworth, 06.22.10

Trevor Butterworth is the editor of stats.org, an affiliate of George Mason University that looks at how numbers are used in public policy and the media. He writes a weekly column for Forbes.

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.

Read More



Language mavens exchange words over Obama’s speech

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Nearly 2,700 words with little jargon
  • People understand spoken and written word differently
  • Payack gives Obama “Solid B”

(CNN) — Language experts weighed in Thursday after poring over the nearly 2,700 words of President Obama’s Oval Office speech on the Gulf oil disaster.

“It was straightforward and easy to understand,” said Ron Yaros, assistant professor at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, referring to the explanations of the crisis and its possible solutions. He divided the speech into 1,200 “idea units,” each of which represents a point the president was trying to make.

He then looked at how many of those idea units contained jargon — unexplained terms that the average person might not recognize — and found none in the 65 idea units that explained the problem.

Of the 417 idea units that discussed what Obama planned to do, “I found only one idea unit that probably would be potentially confusing to a nonexpert. That was the term ‘relief well.’ He never explained that.”

BP is digging a relief well that is expected to intersect with the blown-out well in August. At that point, BP plans to pump heavy drilling fluid into the runaway well, ending the flow.

“If you look at the entire speech, and you look at the amount of jargon, it came out to 1.5 percent,” he said.

iReporter:Obama’s speech too fuzzy on details

But 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.

He singled out this sentence from Obama as unfortunate: “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.”


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See “The Colbert Report’s”  Send-up of GLM’s Oval Office Analysis

“A little less professorial, less academic and more ordinary,” Payack recommended. “That’s the type of phraseology that makes you [appear] aloof and out of touch.”

Yaros disagreed, supporting the quality of the president’s explanation for spelling out the efforts under way, even if they have not succeeded in ending the flow.

“He’s just trying to be transparent,” Yaros said. “We can’t cure cancer, but I’m comforted to know that the best researchers in the nation are devoted to finding a cure.”

Payack found these three sentences insensitive: “Already, this oil spill is the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced. And unlike an earthquake or a hurricane, it is not a single event that does its damage in a matter of minutes or days. The millions of gallons of oil that have spilled into the Gulf of Mexico are more like an epidemic, one that we will be fighting for months and even years.”

“You shouldn’t be saying that in Katrina-land,” said Payack, referring to the 2005 hurricane that devastated the Gulf Coast. “New Orleans lost a third of its population [to evacuees who did not return]; it’s still recovering.”

But he praised Obama’s phrase “oil began spewing” as active and graphic.

Obama’s nearly 10th-grade-level rating was the highest of any of his major speeches and well above the grade 7.4 of his 2008 “Yes, we can” victory speech, which many consider his best effort, Payack said.

“The scores indicate that this was not Obama at his best, especially when attempting to make an emotional connection to the American people,” he added.

Though the president used slightly less than four sentences per paragraph, his 19.8 words per sentence “added some difficulty for his target audience,” Payack said.

Mark Liberman, a linguist at the University of Pennsylvania, was unimpressed with Payack’s criticism of the sentence length.

“I think we can all agree that those are shockingly long professor-style sentences for a president to be using, especially in addressing the nation after a disaster,” Liberman wrote on his blog.

“Why, they were almost as long as the ones that President George W. Bush, that notorious pointy-headed intellectual, used in his 9/15/2005 speech to the nation about Hurricane Katrina, where I count 3,283 words in 140 sentences, for an average of 23.45 words per sentence! And we all remember how upset the press corps got about the professorial character of that speech!”

Yaros challenged the value of Payack’s analysis. “There’s a tremendous amount of difference between analyzing the written word and interpreting the spoken word,” said Yaros, a former science reporter who studies how to make complex topics understandable.

Payack acknowledged Thursday in a telephone interview that his analysis is indeed based on a written version of the speech, but said that does not necessarily render it invalid. “With the internet, probably as many people read the transcript as heard it,” he said. “To think it’s not read and analyzed by tens of thousands of bloggers is looking at the old model.”

Yaros countered that he doesn’t just count words and sentences, but instead measures the audience’s comprehension of news content.

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