OK: 175 years old and going strong

Most Recognized Word on the Planet:  OK or O.K. or Okay

March 23, 2014.  This week is the 175th anniversary of one of the great moments in the English Language:  the old Boston Post newspaper printing the phrase ‘oll korrect’, in a bit of humorous wordplay back in 1839.

Earlier this afternoon, we performed a simple Google search for the word; the search returned some 1,200,000,000 references to OK.   Not bad for a word no one is quite sure how to spell.

OK is now widely heard wherever one sets foot on the planet.

U.S. President Martin Van Buren (A.D. 1837–1841) was born in Old Kinderhook, New York. His nickname, Old Kinderhook, was incorporated into his re-election campaign slogan in 1840 (“Old Kinderhook is O.K.”).  O.K. Democratic Clubs sprung up around the young nation. Van Buren was a founding member of the Democratic Party. (He was overwhelmingly defeated by the Whigs in his re-election attempt.)

Alternative derivations, since disproven, suggested that OK was from the Greek phrase ola kala for ‘all is well’ used in the shipping industry. Another, actually favored by president Woodrow Wilson, was that OK was derived from the Native American language of the Choctaw ‘okeh’.

However, what is well-documented is that the U.S. Presidential Election of 1840 catalyzed OK’s already growing usage and subsequent global expansion during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.  After World War II, US hegemony cemented its global propagation.

As English became the world’s first, true global language with some 1.83 billion speakers, dominance of the software of the Microsoft Corporation further embedded it everyday use on the Internet.  Some 80% of its computer programs that are ‘localized’ into native languages use the English word OK to assert completion or assent.

For good measure, the successful completion of a server response on the World Wide Web (of which there are billions every second) is defined as OK.

Now with the proliferation of social media, the word itself has further evolved with its shortening to the single letter, k.

OK?




Top Word of 2013: ’404′ followed by fail!, hashtag, @pontifex, and The Optic

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Toxic Politics is the Top Phrase, and Pope Francis the Top Name

Documenting 2013 by English-language word usage

Global Language Monitor’s 14th Annual Survey of Global English

Number of Words in the English Language:  1,025,109.8 (January 1, 2014 estimate)

OK is most understood word in the world, again.

AUSTIN, Texas  November 6, 2013  – The Global Language Monitor has announced that ‘404’ is the Top Word, ‘Toxic Politics’ the Top Phrase  and Pope Francis the Top Name of 2013 in its 14th annual global survey of the English language.  404 was followed by fail, hashtag, @pontifex, and the Optic.  Rounding out the top ten were surveillance, drones, deficit, sequestration, and emancipate.  404 is the near-universal numeric code for failure on the global Internet, augmenting its original use as ‘page not found’.  The single word fail is often used together with 404 to signify complete failure of an effort, project, or endeavor.

“404 has gained enormous attention the world over this year as systems in place since World War II, which many see as the beginning of the contemporary era, are in distress or even failure.” said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of the Global Language Monitor.  

“The recent ObamaCare launch debacle in the US is only a representative example of a much wider system fail, from the political deadlock in the US Government, to the decline of the dollar, to the global web of intrigue and surveillance by the NSA, to the uncertainty regarding the European Union, and the on-going integration of China and other rising powers, such as India and Brazil into the global economic system.

Our top words, phrases and names this year represent some five continents, which continues to confirm the ever-expanding nature of the English language.”

The GLM Word, Phrase, and Names of the Year lists provide a history of each year since 2000 through English-language word usage.



Girl with Big Eyes Reading

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Click here for the Rediff Slide Show

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The Top Words of 2013 follow Rank / Word / Comments

  1. 404  –  The near-universal numeric code for failure on the global Internet.
  2. Fail — The single word fail, often used as a complete sentence (Fail!) to signify failure of an effort, project, or endeavor.
  3. Hashtag  – The ‘number sign” and ‘pound sign’ reborn as the all-powerful Twitter hashtag.
  4. @Pontifex — The Hashage of the ever-more popular Pope Franciscus (Francis).
  5. The Optic — The ‘optic’ is threatening to overtake ‘the narrative’ as the Narrative overtook rational discourse. Does not bode well for an informed political discussion.
  6. Surveillance — The revelation of the unprecedented extent of spying by the NSA into lives of ordinary citizens to the leaders of the closest allies of the US.
  7. Drones  – Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) that are piloted remotely or by on-board computers used for killing scores or even hundreds of those considered enemy combatants of the US.
  8. Deficit — Looks like deficit-spending will plague Western democracies for at least the next decade.  Note to economists of all stripes:  reducing the rate of increase of deficit spending still  increases the deficit.
  9. Sequestration – Middle English sequestren, from Old French, from Latin sequestrareto hide away or isolate or to give up for safekeeping.
  10. Emancipate — Grows in importance as worldwide more women and children are enslaved in various forms of involuntary servitude. Read more

Top 50 Business Buzzwords of 2013

Global Language Monitor’s First Annual Global Survey 

Complements the Tops Words of 2013, click here.

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AUSTIN, Texas  Holiday Weekend (Nov. 29 – Dec. 1, 2013) — The Global Language Monitor has announced its first annual Top 50 Global Business Buzzwords, a global survey.

Top 50 Global Business Buzzwords of 2013 represent some five continents, which continues to confirm the ever-expanding nature of the English language.”

Methodology:  GLM’s Word of the Year and Business Buzzwords of the Year rankings are based upon actual word usage throughout the English-speaking world, which now numbers more than 1.83 billion people.  To qualify for these lists, the words, names, and phrases must be found globally, have a minimum of 25,000 citations. and the requisite ‘depth’ and ‘breadth’ of usage.  Depth is here defined as appearing in various forms of media; breadth that they must appear world-over, not limited to a particular profession or social group or geography.

Top 50 Business Buzzwords
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 275,000 print and electronic global media, as well as new social media sources as they emerge.
The Top Business Buzzwords of 2013 follow Rank / Word / Comments
  1. Content — Far and away the No. 1 BizBuzz leader
  2. Social Media — Reality: Social media impacts less than 15% of the Web
  3. Sustainability – No. 1 Word in 2007; have been rising in BizBuzz every year
  4. Transparency – Remains a goal far from corporate reality
  5. Literally – Principally used in non-literal situation, eg, Literally, “an explosion of laughter”
  6. Guru – Someone moderately skilled in a subject or particular field (cf ‘rocket scientist’ or ‘brain surgeon’)
  7. Utilize (rather than use) – Please deflate the diction and utilize the word ‘use’
  8. Robust – Applies to oh-so-many products: software, tablets (computer and otherwise), coffee, perfume, mileage, and hundreds of others
  9. Ping — High tech lingo seeping into the mainstream; now it means ‘get back to you’. Originally, a tool to send message packres to a network address to measure the time & quality of the response.
  10. Big Data — Soon Human Knowledge will be doubling every second. ’Big’ does not begin to describe what’s coming at us. 
  11. Any noun used as a verb – to concept. to ballpark, and the like ….
  12. Seamless – Seldom actually seamless (Cf Obamacare website), often merely ‘seemless’ or meaningless
  13. Moving Forward — From the results of those countless ‘moving forwards’, moving sideways might be more appropriate
  14. The Cloud — Everything (and every one) now apparently ‘lives in the cloud’ though networking clouds pre-date the web by a decade or two
  15. Offline – ‘I’ll be offline’. The statement is meaningless unless one includes cell phones, tablets,smarty TVs, not to mention all atomic clocks.
  16. Bandwidth – Measurement of electronic communications devices to send and receive information with upper and lower limits
  17. New paradigm – Revolutionary new ideas that change the then-existing worldview; think Copernicus, think Newton, think Einstein, most definitely not your next product
  18. Synergy – The interaction of two efforts that result in a greater return than the sum of the two
  19. At-the-end-of-the-day — More likely the end of the quarter or fiscal year
  20. Win-Win — Much more positive than tie-tie or lose-lose
  21. Game changer – A step below a paradigm-shift but exaggeration nonetheless
  22. Pro-active – Evidently better than amateur-active
  23. Rock Star – What’s the hierarchy among Guru, Rocket Scientist, Brain Surgeon, and Rock Star?
  24. 30,000 ft level – Let’s decide if we are viewing the topic from the 30,000-, 40,000-, or 100,000 ft level. Airlines actually fly at a 35,000 ft cruise level
  25. Out-of-the-Box (experience) – OOBE is number 25 on the list of TrendTopper 
  26. Resonate – produce or be filled with a deep, full, reverberating sound, belief or emotion
  27. Monetize – The attempt to transmute Internet lead into gold.
  28. Double Down – To double an investment in an already risky proposition
  29. Deliverable – An output, product, result, or outcome; a term of great flexibility.
  30. 110% — We believe it’s time to synchronize the exertion scale. As a hiring manager how do you compare 110% from an Ivy school with an exertion level of 130% from the Big Ten? 
  31. Multi-task – Swapping in and out of tasks quickly is the key to multi-tasking not doing many things as once which actually decreases productivity (as imagined by Dave Nelson and other tech industries in the 1970s).
  32. Rocket science – One step up (or down) from a guru; equivalent to a Brain surgeon).
  33. Ballpark – Another name for a ‘guesstimate’.
  34. Flounder – In history a fish found plentifully off the coast of New England, while a ship might ‘founder’ along it’s rocky coastline. Over time the act of foundering became collated with the fish. Your grasp of the language is telegraphed by this confusion.
  35. As if it was — As if it were, please. You know, conditional voice.
  36. In the Cloud — Yes, dwelling within the Cloud merits a special mention.
  37. Net-Net – Consider a sportswriter for the Brooklyn Nets basketball team: “The net-net for the Nets was the netting of the final shot.”
  38. Value-add – P+E+VA, where Product (is P) + Enhancement (is Ε ), and Value add (is VA)
  39. Future proof – In reality an impossible feat because it assumes you are cognizant of future events , in Marketing, just another day of concepting.
  40. Glass is half-full – Since 90% of new companies (and new products) fail, it might be better to adjust this cliché to: “Is the glass 1/10th full or 90% empty?”
  41. Face time – Before it was a product, it was a meeting with a C-Level executive.
  42. Re-purpose – Finding a new use for an old ‘solution. Unfortunately anything thing can be re-purposed ,including your job (or yourself).
  43. Brain surgery – One step up (or down) from a guru; equivalent to a Rocket Scientist.
  44. Rock-and-a-hard-place – A supposedly intractable situation though it usually gets back on track
  45. Bleeding edge – Leading edge of the leading edge
  46. Quick-and-dirty – Cited tens of thousands of times; we prefer ‘quick-and-clean’
  47. Push the envelope – A phrase few actually understand; Originally a descriptor of breaking through the sound barrier by X-Series Test Pilots (e.g., X-15)
  48. Touch base – Another baseball allusion: if you don’t actually touch the base you are ‘called out’. Cf Cricket allusions, such as using ‘sticky wicket ‘ for a quandary.
  49. Herding cats – Used in high tech circles for several decades regarding controlling headstrong engineers, a seemingly improbable task.
  50. Low-hanging fruit – Easy pickin’s for the sales force; unfortunately, obsolete since 2008
Word count: 1078 Draft saved at 9:54:02 am. Last edited by GLM on February 10, 2014 at 2:54 pm

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About The Global Language Monitor
Austin-Texas-based Global Language Monitor analyzes and catalogues the latest trends in word usage and word choices and their impact on the various aspects of culture, with a particular emphasis upon Global English.
For more information, call 1.512.815.8836, email info@LanguageMonitor.com, or visit www.LanguageMonitor.com.

Phony, the Optic, and Brycgwyrcende* join the battle for 2013 Top Word of the Year

Top Trending Words of 2013, Mid-year Edition

AUSTIN, Texas, August 8, 2013 – The words ‘phony’, ‘the Optic’, and ‘Brycgwyrcende’* have joined the battle for 2013 Top Word of the Year, according to the Global Language Monitor, the world leader in big data language analytics.

The Mid-year outlook for the Top Trending Words of 2013 already include words related to:   Kate’s Royal Offspring,  Near-Earth Objects including Comets, asteroids and/or meteors,  Nukes (rogue or otherwise), a fascinating Internet meme (or two), China continuing in it role as the world’s economic engine, an unknown technical buzzword that will seemingly spring out of nowhere (ala #hashtag), and various catastrophic scenarios with names containing the prefix  franken- or the suffix - pocalypse 

These words have been compiled from word trends in global English currently tracked by the Global Language Monitor.  In December 2012, Austin, Texas-based GLM announced that ‘ Apocalypse’ was the Top Word, ‘Gangnam Style’ the Top Phrase; and ‘Newtown’ and ‘Malala (Yousafzai) the Top Names of 2012 in its  annual global analysis of the English language.

“With 1.83 billion speakers and a new word created every 98 minutes or so, clever, interesting, and creative neologisms inevitably appear — and now from any point on the planet,”  said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of GLM.

To see the 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 2013 estimate).

Read more

Words of the Year 2012

Apocalypse is the Top Word

Gangnam Style is the Top Phrase

Newtown AND Malala Yousafzai are the Top Names of the Year

Global Language Monitor’s 13th Annual Survey of Global English

Number of Words in the English Language:  1,019,729.6 (January 1, 2013 estimate)

AUSTIN, Texas  December 27, 2012  – The Global Language Monitor has announced that ‘Apocalypse’ is the Top Word, ‘Gangnam Style’ is the Top Phrase  and Newtown AND Malala Yousafzai are the Top Names of 2012 in its 13th annual global survey of the English language. 

Apocalypse was followed by deficit, Olympiad, Bak’tun, and meme.  Rounding out the top ten were MOOC, the Cloud, Omnishambles, Frankenstorm, and obesogenic.

“Apocalypse  (Armageddon, and similar terms) reflects a growing fascination with various ‘end-of-the-world’ scenarios, or at least the end of life as we know it.  This year the Mayan Apocalypse was well noted, but some eight of the top words and phrases were directly related to a sense of impending doom.” said Paul JJ Payack, President of the Global Language Monitor.

“These included:  Apocalypse, Bak’tun, Frankenstorm, Global Warming/Climate Change, God Particle, Rogue Nukes, Solar Max, Near-Earth Asteroid.  Media examples include the Mayan apocalypse frenzy in Russia, the US Presidential elections  (Obamageddon, Romneygeddon),  the threatened dissolution of the common currency in Europe (Eurogeddon), to the call for the United Nations to implement an ‘Armageddon-type’ policy to address previously undetected space rocks hurtling toward Earth.

“Our top words, phrases and names this year represent some five continents, which continues to confirm the ever-expanding nature of the English language.”

 

(See more on Apocalypse and Armageddon after the Top Words List.)

The Top Words of 2012 follow Rank/ Word / Comments

  1. Apocalypse / Armageddon, and variations thereof  – The word Apocalypse has been in ascendance in the English for more than 500 years.  However,recent years has witnessed an unprecedented resurgence of the word.
  2. Deficit — Looks like deficit-spending will plague Western democracies for at least the next decade. Note to economists of stripes:  reducing the rate of increase of deficit spending actually increases the deficit.
  3. 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.
  4. Bak’tun — A cycle of  144,000 days in the Maya ‘Long Count’ Calendar. This bak’tun ends on December 21, 2012, also being called the Mayan Apocalypse.  (Actually Maya ‘long-count’ calendars stretch hundreds of millions of years into the future, December 21st merely marks the beginning of a new cycle.)
  5. Meme – Internet Memes can best be conceived as thoughts or ideas rather than words, since they can and often do encompass sounds, photos, and text.  Memes are propagated through every imaginable form of electronic communications, eventually surfacing in the traditional print and electronic media.
  6. MOOC – Massive Open Online Course; the nature of higher education is changing and MOOC is the phenomenon to watch.
  7. The Cloud — Neither the play by Aristophanes nor a forgotten title by Hitchcock, but rather where your data heads after you press <enter>.
  8. Omnishambles — From the UK and the top word of the Oxford American Dictionary team, where everything, everywhere  seems to be in a state of disarray.
  9. Frankenstorm — Superstorm’s Sandy’s colloquial name. From a meteorologist’s lips to a globally recognized neologism within a few hours.
  10. Obesogenic  – An environment that tends to encourage obesity.  Lately it has been used to describe television advertisement that promote sugary and high-calorie snacks to kids.
  11. Hen — The Swedish attempt to create a gender-neutral pronoun to replace him or her or combinations thereof:  hen.
  12. Derecho — A ‘land hurricane,’ a sudden storm with extremely strong, one-directional winds, such as the storm that swept from the Midwest into the Washington, D.C. area earlier this year.
  13. Hashtag — The ‘pound sign’ reborn as the all-powerful Twitter hash tag; what next a re-branding of the period as a ‘full stop’.
  14. Drones — Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) that are piloted remotely or by on-board computers; mostly used for military applications.
  15. Fracking — The extraction of fossil fuels by hydraulic fracturing in rock formations, and injecting fluids to force the release of hitherto inaccessible hydrocarbons.
  16. Phobes — The Loyal Opposition? How 19th c. of you.  Opponents (of either side) are now cast as fear-filled and hateful phobes or haters.
  17. Superfood — An non-scientific term used to describe foods that are calorie sparse and nutrient dense.
  18. The 47 — Presidential candidate Mitt Romney characterization of the percentage of Americans who pay no Federal taxes.
  19. YOLO — You Only Live Once meant to convey derision or astonishment.
  20. Adorkable — The rise of the Nerds!  A portmanteau word from dork and adorable.

 

 

Listen to Last Year’s (2011) Top Words of the Year

 

 

The words Apocalypse and Armageddon are intermixed in the current English language media.  New words or neologisms are created with both stems  all referring to some type of  ’end-of-the-world-type’ phenomena.  Both words stem from the final book of the New Testament, the Book of Revelation in which the final battle between good and evil (Armageddon) is revealed (apokalyptein).

Apocalyptic terms are combination or ‘portmanteau’ words linking a root word with ‘apocalypse’ such as the Snowpocalypse in the Washington, D.C. area several years ago mentioned by President Obama.  Apocalypse, itself, can be traced to the ancient Greek word apokalyptein meaning to ‘uncover, restore, reveal or disclose’ (hence the name of the final book of the New Testament. The Book of Revelation).  The words apocalypse and apocalyptic are both frequent expressions of the global media especially when used in reference to any cataclysmic event such as the South Asian Tsunami or the inundation of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina back in 2005, as GLM then noted.

Terms related to Armageddon are also  portmanteau words that ultimately can be traced to the same source.  The Greek word Harmagedōn and its Hebrew counterpart har məgiddô both refer to the ancient settlement of Megiddo.  Megiddo stood astride important Middle Eastern trade routes and was subsequently the scene of many battles in Biblical times. The word ‘Armageddon’ has come to be associated in the popular mind with any end-of-the-world scenario, such as portrayed in the movie of the same name, starring Bruce Willis, or the ‘Carmageddon’ event in Los Angeles, where one of the main freeways was shut down for a number of hours.

Methodology:  GLM’s Word of the Year rankings are based upon actual word usage throughout the English-speaking world, which now numbers more than 1.83 billion people.  To qualify for these lists, the words, names, and phrases must be found globally, have a minimum of 25,000 citations. and the requisite ‘depth’ and ‘breadth’ of usage.  Depth is here defined as appearing in various forms of media; breadth that they must appear world-over, not limited to a particular profession or social group or geography.

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 275,000 print and electronic global media, as well as new social media sources as they emerge.

 

The Top Phrases of 2012

Rank / Phrase / Comment

  1. Gangnam Style:  A South Korean YouTube video watched 1,000,000,000 times around the world cannot be ignored because it might be considered frivolous.
  2. Global Warming/Climate Change – No. 1 phrases for the first decade of the 21st century; still resonate well into its second decade.
  3. Fiscal Cliff –  Sharp automatic tax increases and spending cuts to U.S. Federal programs that go into effect with the new year — if the Budget Control Act of 2011 is not addressed.
  4. The deficit—the difference between what the government takes in and what it spends—is projected to be reduced by roughly half in 2013
  5. God Particle — The ever-elusive Higgs Boson, the search for which, according to CERN, carries a 1 in 50,000,000 of creating a mini Black Hole that just might swallow the Earth.  Oops.
  6. Rogue nukes —  Iran and North Korea are the focus of attention again.
  7. Near-Earth Asteroid —  Yet another year, another asteroid, another near-miss; this one slipping between the orbits of the Earth and the Moon.
  8. Binders Full of Women — Any unfortunate misstatement or turn of phrase, especially when viewed by some 50 million in a US Presidential Debate becomes immediately meme-worthy.
  9. Arab Spring — Still no Successor term as the Arab Spring morphs into something far more ominous.
  10. 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?
  11. Big Data  – No 1 on the 2012′s  Tech List, ushering in a global transformation in how data is processed, analyzed, and turned into solutions.
  12. Ethical/Sustainable Fashion– A global movement that includes designs from indigenous communities and emerging peoples.
  13. Toxic Politics — See 2012 US Presidential Campaign.
  14. Citius, Altius, Fortius — (Faster, Higher, Stronger) The Olympic Motto, in Latin not Greek, of course.
  15. War Against Women — In the US an economic and social issue; in much of the world an issue of sexual slavery, honor killings, and lack of  basic human rights.

 

The Top Names of 2012

Rank /Name / Comments

  1. Newtown and Malala Yousafzai (tie) — The Connecticut site of a horrific massacre of innocents; and the Pakistani girl shot by terrorists for promoting the right to education for  girls. 
  2. Xi Jinping — Replaces Hu Jintao, under whose administration China has seen a decade of extraordinary growth.
  3. Kate Middleton — With a baby on the way (and the publishing of photos of a most private nature), the Duchess of Cambridge maintains a high profile.
  4. President Obama – Hope and Change retreat further into the history books as Obama survives a brutal campaign.
  5. Mitt Romney — Soon to depart into the wormhole that most losing US Presidential candidates invariably find themselves.  Dukakis? Mondale? Etc.
  6. London Olympics — A triumphal return to the Olympic stage that would have astounded those present at the first Post-War Games in 1948.
  7. Higgs Boson — The long-sought particle theorized to have been present at the creation, is confirmed in CERN experiments.  (And, yes, Dr. Higgs,  has lived to see confirmation of his conjecture.)
  8. Europe (E.U. / Eurogeddon) — United, breaking apart, saving the Euro, abandoning the Euro, with the UK again as an ‘interested onlooker’.  How do you say ‘Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose’ in German.
  9. Felix Baumgartner –  Austrian Felix Baumgartner becomes the first skydiver to break the speed of sound, reaching a maximum …
  10. Senkaku Islands — No one actually cares about these rocky, inhospitable outcroppings; it’s the mineral rights under surround seas of concern here.
  11. John Roberts — Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court at the center of the upholding of the Affordable Healthcare Act (or Obamacare).
  12. Bibi (Benjamin Netanyahu) – The current Prime Minister of Israel.
  13. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — The current president of Iran, a largely ceremonial post.
  14. Christopher Stevens  – Ambassador to Libya, gunned down at the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi.
  15. Angela Merkel — The chancellor of Germany attempting to hold together the currency union and avoid the Eurogeddon.

 

Top Words of the Decade

The Top Words of the Decade  Global Warming, 9/11, and Obama outdistanced Bailout, Evacuee, and Derivative; Google, Surge, Chinglish, and Tsunami followed. Climate Change was top phrase; Heroes was the top name.

Previous Words of the Year include:

2011:

Top Words: No. 1 Occupy, No.2 Fracking, No.3 Drone

Top Phrases:  No. 1 Arab Spring, No. 2 Royal Wedding, No.3 Anger and Rage

Top Names:  No. 1 Steve Jobs, No. 2 Osama bin-laden and Seal Team Six, No.3 Fukushima

2010:
Top Words: No. 1 Spillcam, No. 2 Vuvuzela, No. 3 The Narrative
Top Phrases: No. 1 Anger and Rage, No. 2 Climate Change, No. 3 The Great Recession
Top Names: No. 1 Hu Jintao, paramount leader of China, No. 2 iPad, No. 3 Barack Obama

2009:
Top Words: No. 1 Twitter, No. 2 Obama-, No. 3 H1N1
Top Phrases: No. 1 King of Pop, No. 2 Obama-mania, No. 3 Climate Change
Top Names: No. 1 Obama, No. 2 Michael Jackson, No. 3 Mobama

2008:
Top Words: No. 1 Change, No. 2 Bailout, No. 3 Obama-mania
Top Phrases: No. 1 Financial Tsunami, No. 2 Global Warming, No. 3 “Yes, We Can!”
Top Names: No. 1 Barack Obama, No. 2 George W. Bush, No.3 Michael Phelps

2007:

Top Words: No. 1 Hybrid (representing all things green), No. 2: Surge
Top Phrase: Climate Change
Top Name: Al Gore

2006:
Top Word: Sustainable
Top Phrase: Stay the Course
Top Name: Dafur

2005:
Top Words: No. 1, Refugee No. 2: Tsunami No. 3: Katrina
Top Phrase: Outside the Mainstream
Top Name: (acts of ) God

2004:
Top Word: Incivility (for inCivil War)
Top Phrase: Red States/Blue States No. 2: Rush to War
Top Name: Dubya/Rove

2003:
Top Word: Embedded
Top Phrase: Shock and Awe, No. 2: Rush to War
Top Name: Saddam Hussein, No. 2 Dubya

2002:

Top Word: Misunderestimate

Top Phrase: Threat Fatigue
Top Name: W (Dubya)

2001:
Top Word: Ground Zero
Top Phrase: ‘Lets Roll’
Top Name: The Heros

2000:
Top Word: Chad
Top Phrase: Dot.com
Top Name: W (Dubya)

About The Global Language Monitor

Austin-Texas-based Global Language Monitor analyzes and catalogues the latest trends in word usage and word choices and their impact on the various aspects of culture, with a particular emphasis upon Global English.

For more information, call 1.512.815.8836, email info@LanguageMonitor.com, or visit www.LanguageMonitor.com.

The Battle for the Top Word of the Year (#WOTY) …

 

 

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The war of the words continues to rage

From the TimesRepublican

December 30, 2012

By WES BURNS – (wburns@timesrepublican.com)

Shakespeare once said: What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

I know that, technically, Juliet said it. But she isn’t real; plus, I like to picture Shakespeare as the kind of guy that would loudly recite his own writing, trudging about his house at night hurling empty bottles into the fire place and generally annoying the neighbors.

But Juliet/Shakespeare/Imaginary Alcoholic Shakespeare has a point. Just how important is a name? For that matter, how important is a word? Sure, we call that delicious brown spice “cinnamon” but would our world be inexorably different if we called it some gibberish word like “torpin” or “churdally” or “blomkamp?”

You know, it might be. I don’t think I could start off my day with a hearty bowl of Blomkamp Toast Crunch.

And Shakespeare is proven wrong by breakfast cereal, once again.

Sorry to tell you, Willie Shakes, but the word is important. Very important. In fact they pass that most important of litmus tests; words are worth fighting over.

Now, I’m not talking about some hoary old clich about going to war over words; nor am I talking about some Walter Houston-esque prospector claiming your choice of words indicates a scuffle is to commence, right after long-shotting a spittoon from across the bar.

I’m talking about that most blood thirsty and ruthless of all battles: The All-Austere Blue Blood English Language Throwdown! 2012 HD Remix edition!

 

To see the Top Words of 2012, go here.

 

In one corner we have the old guard dictionary powerhouse Merriam Webster. The premiere league lexicographers at Merriam-Webster (a place I imagine smells of wig powder and silent racism) have been telling us what words are actually words and what words are “gutter speak” for 500 years. I totally fact checked that statement, you can bring it up in conversation later, free of repercussion.

In the other corner we have The American Dialect Society, which I’m pretty sure is a cover group for some kind of James Bond villain. American Dialect Society? That sounds WAY too benign to be real; these guys are hiding a laser in a mountain somewhere.

And in the um THIRD corner we have the Global Language Monitor, which I assume is some kind of super computer.

All three of these fierce warriors of the word are fighting for the same prize: The title of Word of the Year.

You see, each of these venerable groups, plus Google, put out a list around this time of year where they pick a word they feel best describes the year as a whole. With such venerable institutions such as Merriam Webster and Global Language Bot 3000 you can imagine that the words succinctly sum up the year at large.

Merriam-Webster’s word of the year for 2012? Socialism and Capitalism.

OK, so right out of the gate you guys are falling behind. You have two words for your “WORD of the year” entry and the two words you picked seem to have been randomly pulled out of a freshmen civics class. I’d imagine in a year full of natural and man-made disasters a lot of people didn’t really care about either, more so they just wanted their power back, or to not drown.

Alright, Merriam-Webster has only been at this since 2003 and I’m certain those tea-sippers look down upon the Internet with the same disdain they feel for what they still call the horseless carriage.

How about the American Dialect Society? They’ve been picking a “Word of the Year” since 1990 so they have to be well ready for action. And the American Dialect Society’s pick for “Word of the Year?”

What? They don’t announce it until the middle of January? Who waits until the next year to write the year in the review? Do they think some amazing word is going to come along on Dec. 29 and blow away the prospective title holder “Boo-Boo?”

The Global Language and Target Neutralization Robot has chosen “Apocalypse” as its “Word of the Year,” in a move that should terrify no one.

And what of the latest contender for “Word of the Year” kingmaker status, the good folks at Google? Their “Most Searched Word” cuts through the byzantine selection process of dictionary committees and killer robots and replaces it with some good old fashioned math.

The number one most searched word in 2012? Facebook. Oh, and number three is Yahoo.

People go to Google and search for Yahoo.

You know what? Global Language Murder Bot is right, Apocalypse is the Word of the Year. Which means I can already tell you the 2013 Word of the Year:  Goodbye.

Wes Burns is a Sunday columnist. The views expressed in this column are personal views of the writer and don’t necessarily reflect the views of the T-R. Contact Wes Burns at 641-753-6611 or wburns@timesrepublican.com.

 

Top Words of 2012 to be announced December 26th (Boxing Day)

The Top Words, Phrases and Names of 2012 have been announced on Wednesday, December 26, 2012.

To see the Top Words of 2012, go here.

The Global Language Monitor’s Top Words are distinguished from similar efforts because it surveys the entire linguasphere focusing on the 1.83 billion speakers of some form of the English language.

GLM tracks words from a dozen different categories from High Tech to the Cinema throughout the year and determines which have emerged as truly influenclng the global conversation, culture, and events.

GLM tracks citations on the Internet, blogosphere, in new social media as they emerge, as well as major global electronic and print media.

To schedule an interview email info@LanguageMonitor.com or call +1.512.815.8836.

Top Words of the Year (2012) by Category Already Announced

Top Trending Words for 2012 in December 2011

  1. Kate (Middleton)
  2. Olympiad
  3. Middle Kingdom
  4. Bak’tun
  5. Solar Max
  6. The Election
  7. Deficit
  8. Rogue Nukes
  9. CERN
  10. Global Warming
  11. Europe
  12. Near-Earth Asteroid
  13. Arab Spring, successor word to

 

Top Trending Words for 2012 at Mid-year (July 2011)

Rank/Word or Phrase/Position in December 2011

  1. Middle Kingdom or China (3)
  2. Europe or Eurogeddon (12)
  3. The Election (6)
  4. Kate (Middleton) (2)
  5. Deficit (7)
  6. Global Warming (10)
  7. Derecho (New)
  8. Olympiad (2)
  9. CERN (9)
  10. Rogue nukes (8)
  11. Near-Earth Asteroid (11)
  12. Arab Spring, successor word to  (13)
  13. Bak’tun (4)
  14. Solar max
  15. Hen (gender-neutral personal pronoun in Sweden) (New)
  16. Obesogenic (New)

 

Top Tech Buzzwords Everyone Uses but Don’t Understand (SXSW)

  1. Big Data
  2. The Cloud
  3. The Next Big Thing
  4. Social Discovery
  5. Web 2.0 (3.0, and so on)
  6. Solid State
  7. CERN
  8. Solar Max
  9. De-dupe
  10. 3G/4G/5G
  11. SoLoMo

 

London Olympics:  Obscure Jargon

  1. Citius, Altius, Fortius (Olympic History)
  2. Dead Rubber (Tennis)
  3. Eggbeater (Water Polo)
  4. Fletching (Archery)
  5. Flu-Flu Arrow (Archery)
  6. High Drag Projectile (Badminton)
  7. Impulsion (Equestrian)
  8. Kotinos (Olympic History)
  9. Marathon (Olympic History
  10. Nutmeg or Nuttie (Football)
  11. Pankration
  12. Pheidippidean Pheat (Olympic History)
  13. Repechage
  14. The Snatch Deadlift (Weightlifting)
  15. Victor Ludorum (Olympic History)

 

Top Politically Correct Buzzwords of 2012

  1. ‘Hon’  (Sweden)
  2. Peanut Butter Sandwich
  3. Columbus
  4. Normal (Australia)
  5. Pet Owner
  6. Skin Lightening (India)
  7. Black Peter (Zwarte Piet) (Netherlands and Belgium)
  8. Holding Down the Fort
  9. Rule of Thumb  (UK)
  10. White Males of European Descent
  11. Handicap (UK)
  12. Christmas
  13. Prayer
  14. Global English
  15. Politically Correct
  16. Phobes
  17. Speech Codes
  18. Settled Science
  19. Dutch Treat
  20. Global Warming/Climate Change

 

Top Television Words of 2011-2012 Season (Telewords) (Emmy Week)

  1. Adorkable (Big Bang Theory, New Girl and Modern Family)
  2. Shell Shock (Downton Abbey)
  3. Bi-polar (Homeland)
  4. Dothraki (Game of Thrones)
  5. La Toti (Modern Family)
  6. Scripted
  7. Kate
  8. Fourth Screen
  9.  Jubilee
  10. Dramedy (Louie)

 

 Top Words from Hollywood (Hollywords) for the 2011-2012 Season (Oscar Week)

  1. Silence
  2. Mai oui!
  3. Iconic
  4. Transformations
  5. Separateness
  6. Domestics
  7. Dramedy
  8. Bathroom Humor
  9. Why?
  10. Muppets
  11. Ides
  12. Jolie Leg Meme

 

Fashion Buzzwords of 2012 (February)

  1. The Duchess Effect
  2. Peplums
  3. Braids
  4. Pyjamas
  5. Pippa’s Bum
  6. Paisleys
  7. Gatsby
  8. Pale Colors
  9. Tangerines
  10. Novelty Denim
  11. Luxe Hides
  12. African Prints
  13. Ankle Boots
  14. Mixed florals
  15. Color blocking
  16. The 1920s
  17. The 1940s
  18. The 1950s
  19. Ethical Fashion
  20. Sustainable Fashion

 

Top Trending Words of 2012 Mid-year Update

Obesogenic, Derecho (and gender-neutral ‘hen’) take on Apocalypse, Kate and Debt

Number of Words in the English Language:  1,016,672 (July 6 estimate)


AUSTIN, Texas July 10 – Trending 2012 Update: Obesogenic, Derecho (and the gender neutral ‘hen’) are taking on the Mayan Apocalypse, Kate, and Debt as candidates for the Top Word of the Year according to a mid-year update by the Global Language Monitor. Each year, GLM produces the top trending words for the following year just before the new year begins.  In 2011, it announced 12 possible candidates; mid-way through the year  the three new terms have been added to the list.

  • Obesogenic — An environment that tends to encourage obesity.  Lately it has been used to describe television advertisement that promote sugary and high-calorie snacks to kids.
  • Derecho — A ‘land hurricane,’ a sudden storm with extremely strong one-directional winds, such as occurred in the Eastern states earlier this month.
  • Hen — The Swedish attempt to create a gender-neutral pronoun to replace him or her or combinations therefore: hen.

“The new words are taken from an intensifying debate on obesity as a major societal health crisis, a ‘land Hurricane’ that some link to global warming. and a move sometimes viewed as political correctness to end gender distinction among pronouns,”  said Paul JJ Payack, the president and chief word analyst of the Global Language Monitor.  ”At 2012′s mid-point, there has been considerable movement among the top trending words, and that trend will no doubt continue as it has during the entire life of our 1400-year old language.”

 

To see the 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).

The Trending Top Words of 2012 in revised order:

Rank/ Previous Rank/ Word / Comments

1.  China (3) — Middle Kingdom – There is little indication that China’s continuing economic surge will fade from the global media spotlight –or abate.

2. Europe (12) — United, breaking apart, saving the Euro, abandoning the Euro, with the UK again as an ‘interested onlooker’.  Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

3.  The Election (6) —  No Obama-mania this time around, more of an Obama-ennui for the November 6 elections.

4.  Kate (2) — There are seven billion humans on the planet but sometimes it seems that it’s all about Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, the former Kate Middleton in terms of fashion, celebrity, and the royal line. (And most definitely not Katie, the future ex-Mrs. Tom Cruise.)

5.  Deficit (7) — Looks like deficit-spending will plague Western democracies for at least the next decade.

6.  Global Warming (10)— The earth has been warming since New York was covered under a mountain of ice; what makes 2012 any different?

7.  Derecho (New) — A ‘land hurricane,’ a sudden storm with extremely strong one-directional winds, such as occurred in the Eastern states earlier this month.

8. Olympiad (2) — The Greeks measured time by the four-year interval between the Games.  Moderns measure it by medal counts, rights fees and billions of eyeballs.

9. CERN (9) — Neutrons traveling faster than light?  The ‘God Particle’? The world ending in a mini-black hole? All these somehow revolve around CERN (The European Center for Nuclear Research). One CERN scientist calculated that the chance of a mini-Black Hole swallowing the Earth is less than 1 in 50,000,000.  Somewhat comforting until you realize this is about ten times more likely than winning a national lottery.)

10.  Rogue nukes (8)—  Iran and North Korea will be the focus of attention here.

11.  Near-Earth Asteroid (11) —  Yet another year, another asteroid, another near-miss. (However, one does strike the Earth every one hundred million years or so.)

12.  Arab Spring (13) — the successor term for ‘Arab Spring’, whatever that might be.

13.  Bak’tun (4) — A cycle of  144,000 days in the Maya ‘Long Count’ Calendar. This bak’tun ends on December 21, 2012, also being called the Mayan Apocalypse.  (Actually Maya ‘long-count’ calendars stretch hundreds of millions of years into the future, December 21st merely marks the beginning of a new cycle.)

14. Solar max (5)—  The peak of the 11-year sunspot cycle;  in 1854 solar storms melted telegraph wires; what’s in store for our all-pervasive electronic infrastructure?

15. Hen (New) — The Swedish attempt to create a gender-neutral pronoun to replace him or her or combinations thereof: hen.

16. Obesogenic (New) — An environment that tends to encourage obesity.  Lately it has been used to describe television advertisement that promote sugary and high-calorie snacks to kids.

The Top Words for 2011:  ‘Occupy’ was the Top Word, ‘Arab Spring’ the Top Phrase and ‘Steve Jobs’ the Top Name of 2011 in its twelfth annual global survey of the English language.

GLM employs its NarrativeTracker technologies for global Internet and social media analysis. NarrativeTracker is based on global discourse, providing a real-time, accurate picture about any topic, at any point in time.

NarrativeTracker analyzes the Internet, blogosphere, the top 250,000 print and electronic global media, as well as new social media sources as they emerge.

Top Words of 2011, ‘Occupy’ is 2011 Word of the Year

Occupy is the Top Word of the Year,

Arab Spring is the Top Phrase of the Year and

Steve Jobs is the Top Name of the Year

Global Language Monitor’s 12th Annual Survey of Global English

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AUSTIN, Texas  December 6, 2011 (Updated from November 10) — The Global Language Monitor has announced that ‘Occupy’ is the Top Word, ‘Arab Spring’ the Top Phrase and ‘Steve Jobs’ the Top Name of 2011 in its annual global survey of the English language. Occupy was followed by deficit, fracking, drone, and non-veg. Kummerspeck, haboob, 3Q, Trustafarians, and (the other) 99 rounded out the Top 10.

“Our selections this year, to a large extent, reflect the ongoing political and economic uncertainty that seems to be affecting much of the developed world – with notable exceptions such as the Royal wedding and the continuing rise of China ,” said Paul JJ Payack, President of the Global Language Monitor.

“Our top words, phrases and names this year come from five continents… confirmation of the ever-expanding influence of the English language.

“The words are culled from throughout the English-speaking world, which now numbers more than 1.58 billion speakers. The Global Language Monitor’s Word of the Year rankings are based upon actual word usage in the English speaking world.

“In global English, words are not bestowed upon, agreed upon, or voted upon by cultural or academic elites but, rather, words are defined from the bottom up, that is, by the people themselves — and this is true whether in the East End of London, or south-central LA, the projects in Brooklyn, the slums of Kingston, the call centers of Mumbai, the streets of Singapore, the text messages out of Shanghai, or the fashion districts of Sydney.”

GLM employs its NarrativeTracker technologies for global Internet and social media analysis. NarrativeTracker is based on global discourse, providing a real-time, accurate picture about any topic, at any point in time. NarrativeTracker analyzes the Internet, blogosphere, the top 75,000 print and electronic global media, as well as new social media sources.

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See the Photo Essay from the Toronto Star

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BBC Magazine: The rich: Exactly what does that mean?

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.2011, l’année Steve Jobs?

(Time Person of the Year?)



Nunberg also selects ‘occupy’ as the 2011 Word of the Year

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The Top Words of 2011

Rank / Word / Comments

1. Occupy – ‘Occupy’ has risen to pre-eminence through Occupy Movement, the occupation of Iraq, and the so-called ‘Occupied Territories’.   (Also named by NPR and Time.)

2. Deficit – Growing and possibly intractable problem for the economies of the developed world.

3. Fracking – Hydraulic fracturing is a controversial method for extracting fossil fuels from hitherto unreachable deposits.

4. Drone – The ever increasing number of remotely piloted aircraft used for reconnaissance and attack purposes.

5. Non-veg – A meal served with meat, originally from India, now catching on worldwide.

6. Kummerspeck – From the German seeing wider acceptance in the English, excess weight gained from emotional overeating (grief bacon).

See the Photo Essay from The Stylist (UK)

7. Haboob – A name imported from the Arabic for massive sandstorms in the American Southwest.

8. 3Q – Near universal term for ‘thank you’ now earning additional status after being banned from official Chinese dictionaries. Another example of the ever- increasing mixing of numbers and letters to form words.

9. Trustafarians – Well-to-do youth (trust-funders) living a faux-Bohemian life style, now associated with the London Riots.

10. (The Other) 99 – Referring to the majority of those living in Western Democracies who are left out of the dramatic rise in earnings associated with “the Top 1%”.

The Top Phrases of 2011

Rank / Phrase / Comment

1. Arab Spring – The series of uprisings, social protests, and rebellions occurring among many nations of the Arab World beginning this spring.

2. Royal Wedding – The wedding of the former Kate Middleton and heir-to-the-British-Throne, Prince William that captivated millions around the world.

3. Anger and Rage – Characterizations of the global electorate by the pundits, though closer analyses has revealed more frustration than anger and more disappointment than rage.

4. Climate Change – No. 1 phrase for the first decade of the 21st century; still resonates into its second decade.

5. The Great Recession – Though officially over, the media term most frequently used to describe the on-going global economic restructuring.

6. Tahrir Square – The scene of the ‘25th of January’ demonstrations in Cairo against Hosni Mubarak.

7. Linear No Threshold (LNT) – The methodology to calculate risk from exposure to radioactive elements from the Fukushima Daiiachi disaster.

8. Bunga Bunga – Re-emerged in the language through ‘bunga-bunga’ parties hosted by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

9. ‘How’s that working out for you?’ – The New York Times credits Sarah Palin, but it predates her use of the phrase by several decades.

10. “Make no mistake about it!” – President Obama has repeated the phrase thousands of times since his 2008 election.

The Top Names of 2011

Rank / Name / Comments

1. Steve Jobs – The citations for Steve Jobs topped those for No. 2 (Osama bin-Laden and Seal Team 6) by more than 30%.

2. Osama bin-Laden & Seal Team 6 – Who changed the world more? Al-Qaeda or Steve Jobs?

3. Fukushima – The epicenter of the Japanese Triple Disaster (earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown).

4. Mohamed Bouazizi – the Tunisian fruit vendor who set himself afire and became the symbol of Tunisian resistance – and the Arab Spring.

5. Chinese Paramount Leader Hu Jintao – The Rise of the Tiger being a primary cause of the Global Economic Restructuring.

6. Kate Middleton – She captivated the world with her elegance and style and continues to do so as the Duchess of Cambridge.

7. Muammar Gaddafi – Libyan strongman toppled in the recent insurrection.

8. President Obama – Hope and Change retreat further into the history books; the game plan is now for survival.

9. PIIGS – The nations of Portugal, Ireland, Italy Greece and Spain taken together for their untenable deficits possibly affecting the economic health of the Eurozone.

10. Yaroslavl Lokomotiv – The ill-fated elite Russian hockey team that was virtually wiped out in the crash of a three-engine Yak-42.

Top Words of the Decade

The Top Words of the Decade  Global Warming, 9/11, and Obama outdistanced Bailout, Evacuee, and Derivative; Google, Surge, Chinglish, and Tsunami followed. Climate Change was top phrase; Heroes was the top name.

Previous Words of the Year include:

2010:
Top Words: No. 1 Spillcam, No. 2 Vuvuzela, No. 3 The Narrative
Top Phrases: No. 1 Anger and Rage, No. 2 Climate Change, No. 3 The Great Recession
Top Names: No. 1 Hu Jintao, paramount leader of China, No. 2 iPad, No. 3 Barack Obama

2009:
Top Words: No. 1 Twitter, No. 2 Obama-, No. 3 H1N1
Top Phrases: No. 1 King of Pop, No. 2 Obama-mania, No. 3 Climate Change
Top Names: No. 1 Obama, No. 2 Michael Jackson, No. 3 Mobama

2008:
Top Words: No. 1 Change, No. 2 Bailout, No. 3 Obama-mania
Top Phrases: No. 1 Financial Tsunami, No. 2 Global Warming, No. 3 “Yes, We Can!”
Top Names: No. 1 Barack Obama, No. 2 George W. Bush, No.3 Michael Phelps

2007:

Top Words: No. 1 Hybrid (representing all things green), No. 2: Surge
Top Phrase: Climate Change
Top Name: Al Gore

2006:
Top Word: Sustainable
Top Phrase: Stay the Course
Top Name: Dafur

2005:
Top Words: No. 1, Refugee No. 2: Tsunami No. 3: Katrina
Top Phrase: Outside the Mainstream
Top Name: (acts of ) God

2004:
Top Word: Incivility (for inCivil War)
Top Phrase: Red States/Blue States No. 2: Rush to War
Top Name: Dubya/Rove

2003:
Top Word: Embedded
Top Phrase: Shock and Awe, No. 2: Rush to War
Top Name: Saddam Hussein, No. 2 Dubya

2002:

Top Word: Misunderestimate

Top Phrase: Threat Fatigue
Top Name: W (Dubya)

2001:
Top Word: Ground Zero
Top Phrase: ‘Lets Roll’
Top Name: The Heros

2000:
Top Word: Chad
Top Phrase: Dot.com
Top Name: W (Dubya)

About The Global Language Monitor

Austin-Texas-based Global Language Monitor analyzes and catalogues the latest trends in word usage and word choices and their impact on the various aspects of culture, with a particular emphasis upon Global English.

For more information, call 1.512.815.8836, email info@LanguageMonitor.com, or visit www.LanguageMonitor.com.

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”.

Chad

 

Egad! What’s the ‘chad’ blocking the path to the White House?

November 13, 2000
Web posted at: 11:19 a.m. EST (1619 GMT)

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) — The final answer to who’s going to be the next U.S. president may be determined by “chad.”

  GALLERY
Chads Through History

Chads through history

  GLOSSARY
glossary

Not ready for Webster’s: What is a pregnant chad?

So who, or what, is chad?

A) A country in Africa?

B) The name of a saint?

C) Rob Lowe’s brother?

D) A lowly scrap of paper that may decide who will be the next leader of the free world?

All four answers are correct. Chad is also the name of a couple of major league baseball players and one half of a British pop-singing duo from the ’60s.

But if you guessed “D,” you are informed enough to understand the vote counting process in Florida.

Politicians are tossing the term “chad” around as if everyone were familiar with the word. Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore’s campaign adviser, George Mitchell, is among them.

“You can run those machine ballots through five times and you’ll get five different totals because the chads fall off with each count,” he said, explaining on “Fox News Sunday” the reason he believes ballots in Florida should be recounted by hand.

But Mitchell’s use of “chads” betrayed his own lack of familiarity with the word. “Chad is its own plural,” said Paul J.J. Payack, president and CEO of yourdictionary.com, which is based in California.

The Web site www.yourdictionary.com defines the word as follows:

1. The confetti-like scrap punched out of cards or paper tape (also “chaff,” “computer confetti” or “keypunch droppings”).
2. The perforated strips on the edge of paper for sprocket feed printers after they have been separated from the printed portion (also “perf,” “perfory,” or “snaf”).
Etymology: Possibly from the last name of the inventor of the Chadless cardpunch, which cut U-shapes in punch cards, rather than open circles or rectangles. (The U’s formed holes when folded back.)

“Chad” would then be a back-formation from “Chadless” misunderstood: If the Chadless keypunches don’t produce it, other keypunches must produce “chad.”

The word appears to have entered the national lexicon in the late 1940s, around the time people began to refer to “bug” as a computer glitch after a researcher blamed a moth among a group of vacuum tubes for affecting ENIAC, the primitive computer powered by thousands of such tubes, said Payack. That was also about the time when IBM began using punch cards that warned users not to fold, spindle or mutilate.

In Florida, vote-counters may have wished for a “chadometer” to measure whether a bit of chad is sufficiently dislodged to qualify it as “dangling.”

When the hand recount began in Palm Beach County, the canvassing board there said it would count a vote if any of the corners of the chad were punched.

The board then decided that they would instead use the “sunlight test” — if they could see sun through an indentation, it would count.

About a quarter of the way through the counting, however, a board member determined that the light test was flawed and told the other members to go back to the first test.

According to county spokesman Bob Nichols, there are five types of chad.

Ones that count:
• Hanging door — one corner hanging off
• Swinging door — two corners hanging off
• Tri-chad — three corners hanging off

Chads that don’t count:
• Pregnant — bulges, but not punched through
• Dimple — simple indentation

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

archives.cnn.com/2000/ALLPOLITICS/stories/11/12/chad.derivation/

 

Do these 15 Wonderful Words Actually Have No English Equivalent?

San Francisco.  July 24, 2011  –  We first saw the story, 15 Wonderful Words With No English Equivalent, on the MentalFloss outlet (a genuinely interesting site for esoterica lovers), compiled by Bill DeMain.  His attribution states that “many of the words above can be found in BBC researcher Adam Jacot de Boinod’s book ‘The Meaning of Tingo and Other Extraordinary Words from Around the World.”

In the last few days we have tracked it thousands of times around the English speaking world, which now happens to encompass the globe. We are intrigued by the idea that there, indeed, might be no equivalent English words or phrases for these terms.

After all there are as of today, July 24th, 2011 the Global language Monitor calculates  that there are approximately 1,010,649.7 words in the English language.  (The language gains a new word every ninety-eight minutes, hence the, we admit, totally extraneous decimal point.)


So here’s the challenge to lovers of the language.  Do these 15 Wonderful Words Actually Have No English Equivalent?

Send us your suggestions to:  15WonderfulWords@LanguageMonitor.com, and we will publish what our readers come up with.

Here’s the list original story:

15 Wonderful Words With No English Equivalent

by Bill DeMain, July 22, 2011

The Global Language Monitor estimates that there are currently 1,009,753 words in the English language. Despite this large lexicon, many nuances of human experience still leave us tongue-tied. And that’s why sometimes it’s necessary to turn to other languages to find le mot juste. Here are fifteen foreign words with no direct English equivalent.

1. Zhaghzhagh (Persian)
The chattering of teeth from the cold or from rage.

2. Yuputka (Ulwa)
A word made for walking in the woods at night, it’s the phantom sensation of something crawling on your skin.

3. Slampadato (Italian)
Addicted to the infra-red glow of tanning salons? This word describes you.

4. Luftmensch (Yiddish)
There are several Yiddish words to describe social misfits. This one is for an impractical dreamer with no business sense. Literally, air person.

5. Iktsuarpok (Inuit)
You know that feeling of anticipation when you’re waiting for someone to show up at your house and you keep going outside to see if they’re there yet? This is the word for it.

6. Cotisuelto (Caribbean Spanish)
A word that would aptly describe the prevailing fashion trend among American men under 40, it means one who wears the shirt tail outside of his trousers.

7. Pana Po’o (Hawaiian)
“Hmm, now where did I leave those keys?” he said, pana po’oing. It means to scratch your head in order to help you remember something you’ve forgotten.

8. Gumusservi (Turkish)
Meteorologists can be poets in Turkey with words like this at their disposal. It means moonlight shining on water.


9. Vybafnout (Czech)
A word tailor-made for annoying older brothers—it means to jump out and say boo.

10. Mencolek (Indonesian)
You know that old trick where you tap someone lightly on the opposite shoulder from behind to fool them? The Indonesians have a word for it.

11. Faamiti (Samoan)
To make a squeaking sound by sucking air past the lips in order to gain the attention of a dog or child.

12. Glas wen (Welsh)
A smile that is insincere or mocking. Literally, a blue smile.

13. Bakku-shan (Japanese)
The experience of seeing a woman who appears pretty from behind but not from the front.

14. Boketto (Japanese)
It’s nice to know that the Japanese think enough of the act of gazing vacantly into the distance without thinking to give it a name.

15. Kummerspeck (German)
Excess weight gained from emotional overeating. Literally, grief bacon.

Remember to send us your suggestions for English-language equivalents to:  15WonderfulWords@LanguageMonitor.com or info@LanguageMonitor.com.

Number of Words in the English Language: 1,025,109.8

The number of words in the English language is: 1,025,109.8.   This is the estimate by the Global Language Monitor on January 1, 2014.

The English Language passed the Million Word threshold on June 10, 2009 at 10:22 a.m. (GMT).  The Millionth Word was the controversial ‘Web 2.0′. Currently there is a new word created every 98 minutes or about 14.7 words per day.

Google Validates GLM’s No. of Words in English Prediction

GLM/Google vs OED and Webster’s 3rd

Follow GLM on FacebookFollow GLM On Twitter

For more detail, go here.

Though GLM’s analysis was the subject of much controversy at the time, the recent Google/Harvard Study of the Current Number of Words in the English Language is 1,022,000.  The above graphic is from the AAAS /Science as reported on NPR.   At the time the  New York Times article on the historic threshold famously quoted several dissenting linguists as claiming  that “even Google could not come up with” such a methodology.  Unbeknownst to them Google was doing precisely that.

The number of words in the English language according to GLM now stands at:  1,013,913.   The difference between the two analyses is .0121%, which is widely considered statistically insignificant.

Google’s number, which is based on the counting of  the words in the 15,000,000 English language books it has scanned into the ‘Google Corpus,’ mirrors GLM’s Analysis.  GLM’s number is based upon its algorithmic methodologies, explication of which is available from its site.

Hubbub over ‘Haboob’ in Arizona?

Psst! So are Alcohol, Algebra, Chemistry, Guitars and Zeroes …


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Hundreds of Words of Arabic Origin are Considered Authentic English language words

San Francisco.  July 22, 2011.  Haboobs, those dust storms invading the Southwestern United States these days, might be called as American as Apple Pie — or at least as English as fish and chips. The word,  according to an analysis by the Global Language Monitor conducted earlier this week, is actually considered an English-language word, found in unabridged dictionaries, hundreds of thousands of times on the Internet, and hundreds of times in the print media and scholarly works as least as far back as the 19th century.

When Arizona-based weather forecasters used ‘haboob’ to describe the fierce wind- and dust-storms their were immediate calls to stop use of that term since it is of Arabic in origin, and might be insulting to American and NATO forces stationed in Arabic-speaking lands.

“If you find that the word ‘haboob’ is inappropriate because of its Arabic origin, then you better start thinking about:

alcohol,

algebra,

chemistry,

guitar,

zero,

and the hundreds of other words of Arabic origin that are members in excellent standing in contemporary English, said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of GLM.

“The English language has thousands upon thousands of words that it has ‘borrowed’  from hundreds of languages over its fourteen hundred year lifespan.  Unfortunately, once English ensnares one these ‘loan’ words, they seldom ever escape”.

John McWhorter on Palin’s ‘remarkedly lucid prose’

 

Palin’s Emails: What Her Remarkably Lucid Prose Says About the Art of Teaching Writi

  • John McWhorter
  • June 16, 2011 | 12:00 am

Sarah Palin’s emails are telling us something about remedial writing classes at our universities and colleges, and it’s not what you think. Call her defensive or parochial based on the cache of her spontaneous writings while serving as governor of Alaska, but

something easy to miss is that Palin, in contrast to her meandering, involuted speaking style, is a thoroughly competent writer—more so than a great many people most of us likely know, including college graduates.

Indeed, her facility in writing proves something one might be pardoned for supposing she was exaggerating about in Going Rogue, her autobiography, in which she limns a childhood portrait of herself as a bibliophilic sort of tot:

Reading was a special bond between my mother and me. Mom read aloud to me – poetry by Ogden Nash and the Alaska poet Robert Service, along with snippets of prose …. My siblings were better athletes, cuter and more sociable than I, and the only thing they had to envy about me was the special passion for reading that I shared with our mother.

That’s right, Sarah “you betcha” Palin was, of all things, a bookworm, excited to learn to spell “different” and winning a poetry contest for a poem about Betsy Ross. And as such, it is predictable that her emails would evidence such casually solid command of the language—even if her oral rendition of it is a different matter entirely.

Once we understand that, it leads to some serious questions, as posed by books getting buzz at present such as Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa’s Academically Adrift and In the Basement of the Ivory Tower by the anonymous “Professor X.” How sensible is our assigning millions of freshmen each year to classes intended to teach them a skill so deeply rooted in unconscious facilitation at an early age?

To get a sense, it helps to see a few of these emails. Because email is written speech, it’s easy to miss artfulness in them. Yet, take this Palin passage: “Even CP has admitted locking up tax rates as Glenn suggests is unacceptable to the legislature, the Alaskan public, this administration, and the Constitution.”

The spelling is flawless—and unlikely to be completely a product of spell-check, which misses errors and often creates others. More to the point, she has an embedded clause (“locking up tax rates”) nested into a main one, with another clause “as Glenn suggests” nested within the embedded one. That’s good old-fashioned grammar school “syntax.” I have known plenty of people with B.A.s who could barely pull it off properly at gunpoint, and several others who would only bother to at gunpoint.

Equally graceful despite its mundane content: “Cowdery telling a kid what’s acceptable and what isn’t inside these four walls??? Puleeeze. A three-pound puppy vs. all the CBC crap that he helped dump around here?” You hear an actual human voice here. We tell some people “I can hear your voice in the way you write”—because it’s unusual for people to be able to “write” themselves. Palin is one of the people who can. [Read More.]

Palinpalooza: GLM analysis for Huffington Post

Sarah Palin’s Emails Written At 8th Grade Level — Better Than Some CEOs

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The huge cache of Sarah Palin’s emails released Friday offered not only a chance to see what she was writing about during her uncompleted term as Alaska’s governor, but also an opportunity to see how well she writes.

AOL Weird News brought samples to two writing analysts who independently evaluated 24,000 pages of the former governor’s emails. They came back in agreement that Palin composed her messages at an eighth-grade level, an excellent score for a chief executive, they said.

“I’m a centrist Democrat, and would have loved to support my hunch that Ms. Palin is illiterate,” said2tor Chief Executive Officer John Katzman.

“However, the emails say something else. Ms. Palin writes emails on her Blackberry at a grade level of 8.5.

“If she were a student and showing me her work, I’d say ‘It’s fine, clear writing,’” he said, admitting that emails he wrote scored lower than Palin’s on the widely used Flesch-Kincaid readability test.

“She came in as a solid communicator,” said Paul J.J. Payack, president of the Global Language Monitor. The emails registered as an 8.2 on his version of the test. “That’s typical for a corporate executive.”

An example of Palin’s strongest writing came on Jul. 17, 2007 in an email to Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell about the controversial Gravina Island Bridge, infamously called the “Bridge to Nowhere.”

“We cant afford it, the Feds won’t pay for it, the general populace isn’t placing it as a high priority … can you diplomatically express that?! Of course we want infrastructure — and this is NOT a “bridge to nowhere” (that is so offensive), but as it stands today with the highest-cost bridge design selected by the Ketchikan community, we need to find a lower-cost alternative [if] a bridge will be built.”

“She’s very concise. She gives clear orders. Her sentences and punctuations are logical,” Payack said. “She has much more of a disciplined mind than she’s given credit for.” [Read More.]




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

 

..

‘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.

Top Words of 2011, Yes 2011

AUSTIN, Texas December 8, 2010 (Updated) – The Global Language Monitor has announced the Top Words of 2011, yes 2011.

“Typically, we gather our top words throughout the year and rank them according to the number of citations, the size and depth of their linguistic footprint and momentum.  To project possible top words for 2011, we analyzed the categories that we monitor and then choose words from each representative of various word trends,” said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of GLM. “Over the last ten years, we’ve frequently been asked the question, so this year we are providing our projections.”

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The words are culled from throughout the English-speaking world, which now numbers more than 1.58 billion speakers.

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Projected Top Words of 2011 Rank / Word / Comments

  1. Twenty-Eleven – The English-speaking world has finally agreed on a common designation for the year:  Twenty-eleven far outstrips ‘two thousand eleven’ in the spoken language.  This is welcome relief from the decade-long confusion over how to pronounce 2001, 2001, 2003, etc.
  2. Obama-mess – David Letterman’s neologism for 2010 also works for 2011.  This word is neutral.  If Obama regain his magic, he escaped his Obama-mess; if his rating sinks further he continues to be engulfed by it.
  3. Great Recession – Even the best case scenario has the economy digging out of this hole for the foreseeable future,
  4. Palinism – Because the media needs an heir to Bushisms and Sarah Palin is the candidate of choice here.
  5. TwitFlocker – Can’t say what the name of the next Twitter or Facebook will be, so we’ll use TwitFlocker as the place holder.  (What is TwitFlocker?  Join the Discussion Here.)
  6. 3.0 – 2.0 has settled into the vocabulary in a thousand differing forms — Obama 2.0, Web 2.0, Lindsey Lohan 2.0, so we project 3.0 being used to ‘one-up’ the 2.0 trend.
  7. 9/11 – Next September is the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on US soil, so there is sure to be a great resurgence in use of the phrase.
  8. Climate Change (or global warming) – Both of these phrases have been in the Top Ten for  the last decade, so we see no reason the English-speaking public will abandon either or both of the phrases.
  9. China/Chinese – The emergence of China is the Top Story of the Decade and there is little indication that is emergence on the world stage will continue in the media.
  10. Hobbit and/or Parseltongue – The blockbuster movies of 2011 will be sure to include Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 and the Hobbit (though the Hobbit premiers on Dec. 31) are sure to spin out some word or phrase that will remain memorable to the Earthly-audience.

For methodology, see Top Words of 2010 announcement.



Top Words of 2010

Spillcam is the Top Word, Anger and Rage the Top Phrase

and Chinese Leader Hu Jintao the Top Name

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AUSTIN, Texas November 27, 2010 (Updated) – The Global Language Monitor has announced that Spillcam is the Top Word, Anger and Rage the Top Phrase and Chinese Leader Hu Jintao the Top Name of 2010 in its annual global survey of the English language.  Spillcam was followed by Vuvuzela, the Narrative, Refudiate, and Guido.  Deficit, Snowmageddon, 3-D, Shellacking and Simplexity rounded out the Top 10.

“Our top words this year come from an environmental disaster, the World Cup, political malapropisms, new senses to ancient words, a booming economic colossus, and a heroic rescue that captivated the world for days on end.  This is fitting for a relentlessly growing global language that is being taken up by thousands of new speakers each and every day,” said Paul JJ Payack, President of The Global Language Monitor.

The words are culled from throughout the English-speaking world, which now numbers more than 1.58 billion speakers.

Methodology: The Global Language Monitor’s WOTY was conceived in 1999 as a way to create a cultural record of the year as reflected in the world’s current global language, English.  Previous efforts were decided by small groups of academics or lexicographers; our idea was to reflect the words used by the world’s 1.5 billion English Speakers.

Accordingly, GLM monitors million of web pages on the Internet, Blogosphere, and social media in addition to over 80,000 print and electronic media sites.  In this way we search for words that are the most relevant to various aspects of culture, such as world events (the rise of China, the South Asian Tsunami), politics (the election of Obama to the US Presidency), prominent deaths (Pope John Paul II, Michael Jackson), war and terror (Iraq, Afghanistan and the  Terrorist Attacks on the US and London), film (Jai Ho!, Brokeback), sports (Beijing Olympics, South African World Cup), and the like. We then use our analytical engine to determine the number of citations for the words, their prominence, how quickly they are rising or falling in use, and the geographic breadth and depth (various forms of publication) of their use.

To immediately download an in-depth presentation of GLM’s algorithmic-based methodology, fill out the form on the upper left corner of this page.

To listen to “What’s My Word,” a game show developed by Austin’s NPR flagship station, KUT,to help review the top words for 2010, click here.

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For the Top Words of the Decade (2000-2009), go here.

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The Top Words of 2010

Rank / Word / Comments


1.  Spillcam — The BP Spillcam instantly beamed the immensity of the Gulf Spill around the world to the dismay of environmentalists, BP’s PR staff and the President.

2.  Vuvuzela — Brightly colored plastic horns that first came to prominence at the South African World Cup.

3.  The Narrative – Though used at least since The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass in 1845,  ‘The Narrative’ has recently been gaining traction in the political arena, virtually replacing the need for a party’s platform.  (Cf. to ‘truthily’.)

4.  Refudiate — Conflation of “refute” and “repudiate” (un)officially coined by Sarah Palin.

5.   Guido and Guidette — Hey! All things Jersey are hot, capish? (Actually, capisci in standard Italian.)

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Listen to Tracking 2010′s Most-Used Words, Names And Phrases

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6.   Deficit – A growing and possibly intractable problem for the economies of most of the developed world.

7.  Snowmagedden (and ‘Snowpocalypse’) — Portmanteau words linking ‘snow’ with ‘apocalypse’ and  ‘armageddon’, used to describe the record snowfalls in the US East Coast and Northern Europe last winter.

8.  3-D – Three-dimensional (as in movies) is buffo box office this year, but 3-D is being used in new ways generally describing ‘robustness’ in products (such as toothpaste).

9.  Shellacking – President Obama’s description of the ‘old-fashioned thumpin’ in George W. Bush’s words, that Democrats received in the 2010 US Mid-term elections.

10.  Simplexity – The paradox of simplifying complex ideas in order to make them easier to understand, the process of which only adds to their complexity.

Also Noted: (Spoken Only) Twenty-ten: Finally, a common way to refer to the year; Obamacare (noted as one of the Top Political Buzzwords).

The Top Phrases of 2010

Rank / Phrase / Comments


1.  Anger and Rage – Characterizations of the US electorate by the pundits, though closer analyses has revealed more frustration and disappointment.  Also witnessed in France, Spain and Greece.

2.  Climate Change – (and Global Warming) No. 1 Phrase for the first decade of the 21st century; starts out second decade at No. 2.

3.  The Great Recession – The media term frequently used to describe the on-going global economic restructuring.

4.  Teachable Moment – Turning any undesirable outcome into a positive opportunity by using it as an object lesson. Unfortunately, there were a plethora of teachable moments in the first year of the new decade.

5.  Tea Party — An emerging political movement in the US that has upset the balance of power in the US Congress.

6.  Ambush Marketing – Cashing in at an event by taking on the appearance of a sponsor of the event.  Most obviously displayed at the Vancouver Winter Olympics and South Africa’s World Cup 2010.

7.  Lady Gaga — Gaga, herself, became a buzzword in the global entertainment industry in 2010.

8.  Man Up – This election cycle’s signature retort from the women running for office to their male opponents.

9.  Pass the bill to be able to see what’s in it — Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s now infamous quip underlying the complexity of the Healthcare Reform legislation.

10.  Obamamania — Notable only in it fall from grace; Obamamania now ranks at the bottom of this year’s political buzzwords.

Also Noted — Don’t Touch My Junk: One reaction to the TSA new search policies.

The Top Names of 2009

Rank / Name / Comments


1.  Hu – President Hu Jintao, paramount leader of China.  Rise of China was the No. 1 Story of the 1st decade of the 21st century; now Hu begins the second decade in the top spot.

2.  IPad – With over eight million sold in a matter of months, the IPad is now a name on everybody’s lips.  (Sorry, Steve Jobs, the IPads tests better than you.)

3.  Barack Obama — President of the United States has had a tough sophomore year.

4.  Chilean Coal Miners – The ordeal and heroic rescue is perhaps the top inspirational story of the year.

5.  Eyjafjallajoekull – Does a name that no one can pronounce deserve a spot on a top name’s list?

6.  Nancy Pelosi – Speaker of the US House of Representatives, presided over the passing of the healthcare reform bill and the decimation of her party in the Mid-term elections.

7.  Sarkozy – Nicolas Paul Stéphane Sarközy de Nagy-Bocsa, the current French president, is attempting to re-define what it means to be citizen of the Republic.

8.  Tea Party – Leaderless movement in US political circles, the center of much of the angst in the electorate.

9.  Jersey Shore – Not quite the Cote d’Azure, The Shore, as the locals call it, is now known as a breeding ground for guidos and guidettes.

10.  David Cameron and Nick Clegg – The leaders of the UK’s new coalition government.

Also Noted — Kate Middleton, recently engaged to Prince William.

Top Words of the Decade:

The Top Words of the Decade were Global Warming, 9/11, and Obama outdistance Bailout, Evacuee, and Derivative; Google, Surge, Chinglish, and Tsunami followed.

Climate Change  was top phrase; Heroes was top name.

Previous Words of the Year include:

2009:

Top Words:  No. 1 Twitter, No. 2 Obama-, No. 3 H1N1

Top Phrases: No. 1 King of Pop, No. 2 Obama-mania, No. 3 Climate Change

Top Names:  No. 1 Obama, No. 2 Michael Jackson, No. 3 Mobama

2008:

Top Words: No. 1 Change, No. 2 Bailout, No. 3 Obama-mania

Top Phrases:  No. 1 Financial Tsunami, No. 2 Global Warming, No. 3 “Yes, We Can!”

Top Names:  No. 1 Barack Obama, No. 2 George W. Bush, No.3 Michael Phelps

 

2007:

Top Words:  No. 1 Hybrid (representing all things green),  No. 2: Surge

Top Phrase: Climate Change

Top Name: Al Gore

2006:

Top Word: Sustainable

Top Phrase: Stay the Course

Top Name: Dafur

2005:

Top Words:  No. 1, Refugee No. 2: Tsunami No. 3: Katrina

Top Phrase: Outside the Mainstream

Top Name: (acts of ) God


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Listen to Top Words 2010 and how they reflect the year

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2004:

Top Word: Incivility (for inCivil War)

Top Phrase: Red States/Blue States No. 2: Rush to War

Top Name: Dubya/Rove

2003:

Top Word: Embedded

Top Phrase:  Shock and Awe,  No. 2: Rush to War

Top Name: Saddam Hussein,  No. 2 Dubya

2002:

Top Word: Misunderestimate

Top Phrase:  Threat Fatigue

Top Name: W (Dubya)

2001:

Top Word: Ground Zero

Top Phrase: ‘Lets Roll’

Top Name:  The Heros

2000:

Top Word:  Chad

Top Phrase:  Dot.com

Top Name: W (Dubya)

Obama Narrative 2.0

Out-of-touch moves into No. 1 position over Deficit Spending; Oil Spill tops Health Care Reformer

Austin, Texas, July 24, 2010 – As the political calendar inexorably heads toward the Mid-term elections, the focus on President Obama’s competing ‘narratives’ continue to play out in the media.

Since his Oval Address on the Oil Spill, Obama’s personal narrative is being shaped by forces largely out of his control, such as the on-going Gulf drama.  These are how the five most prevalent competing narratives compare, according to Austin-based Global Language Monitor (GLM).  GLM has been monitoring the language of politics since 2003.

The ranking of the President’s five most prominent narrative arcs include:

  1. Obama as out-of-touch or aloof – This is up 1200% since the beginning of the year; this is the converse of Hope and Change.
  2. Obama and the deficit — Words linking Obama to deficit have increased some 2500% since the beginning of 2010.
  3. Obama and the Oil Spill — A very fast mover now ahead of Obama as Health Care reformer.  Could the completion of the relief well turn this around?
  4. Obama as HealthCare Reformer –   Losing steam quickly for the president’s signature achievement.
  5. Obama as the Chicago-style pol — A continued, steady rise in linking Obama to old-style Chicago politics.

“At this point, all five narratives in play are problematic for the president,” said Paul JJ Payack, GLM’s president and chief word analyst. “With the Mid-terms some hundred days away, the president needs a series of (possibly unexpected) positive events to stem this tide.”

Obama Narrative 2.0, the underlying storyline that will largely define the president in the run-up to the Mid-term elections and, possibly, for time remaining in his term.   The ‘narrative’ refers to the stream of public opinion captured by blogs and other social media outlets on the Internet, as well as the leading print and electronic databases.

The NarrativeTracker Index  (NTI), the first product specifically designed to use social media-based monitoring to better understand the issues driving any particular topic. Because the NTI is based on the national discourse, it provides a real-time, accurate picture of what the public is saying about any topic, at any point in time. In addition to the NTI, the Narrative Tracker Arc™ follows the rise and fall of sub-stories within the main narrative to provide a comprehensive overview of the opinions surrounding a single issue.

NTI tracks the ‘narrative’ of a subject, as well as projecting future trajectories for the narrative.    The result has several advantages over traditional polls:  1) Immediacy; 2) The lack of any bias that tends to creep into traditional polling, e.g., when individuals answer questions with what they think are the ‘correct’ answers rather than their true opinions; and 3) NTI lets policy and decision makers focus on the true issues driving perceptions and concerns rather than being driven by false and phantom concepts.  In addition, the Narrative Tracker Arc™ follows the rise and fall of sub-stories within the main narrative.

NTI is more effective in capturing the true opinion of the public because it tracks unfiltered keywords in Social Media and other sources, rather than how that opinion is interpreted by the news media or by pollsters.

The NTI is based on the GLM’s Predictive Quantities Indicator™ (PQI™). The PQI tracks the frequency of words and phrases in global print and electronic media on the Internet, throughout the Blogosphere and other social media outlets as well as accessing proprietary databases. The PQI is a weighted index that factors in long-term trends, short-term changes, momentum, and velocity.



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



Obama Oil Spill Speech Echoes Elite, Aloof Ethos

When Obama is at his best (such as the Grant Park ‘Yes, We Can speech), the President has a direct and emotional connection with the American people.  This speech, simply, did not live up to that high standard — and the numbers reflect it.

Comparisons with previous addresses and those of other presidents

Passive Voice highest for any major presidential address this century

Surprisingly high tenth-grade reading (and hearing) level


 

Austin, TX, June 17, 2010 – According to an exclusive analysis by The Global Language Monitor, President Obama’s Oil Spill speech echoed his elite ethos, with a broad plan for an alternative-energy future and few specifics.  The only specifics of the address were the continuation of the off-shore drilling ban, effectively putting tens of thousands of Gulf Coast jobs in jeopardy.  The President’s first Oval Office address came in at a surprising high tenth-grade reading level, with some 13% passive constructions, the highest level measured in any major presidential address in this century.  In political speaking, the passive voice is generally used to either deflect responsibility, or to have no particular ‘doer’ of an action

GLM on Obama’s ‘Yes, We Can!’ victory speech: Ranked Among the Greatest


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

A previous analysis using GLM’s NarrativeTracker™, found the president’s primary narrative arc to be that of ‘Obama as an Oil Spill Enabler’.  Nothing in the address would appear to change that narrative, though formal analysis will be forthcoming in the next week.

Kathleen Parker’s ‘Empiracally Vacuous Meme-replication’

Alternet’s Dumbing Down of Obama’s speech to the seventh-grade level.

The Readability Analysis of the Oval Office address appears below:

  • Passive Voice — With some 13% passive constructions, the highest level measured in any major presidential address this century.  In political speaking, the passive voice is generally used to either deflect responsibility, or to have no particular ‘doer’ of an action, at least when speaking about himself or his Administration.  Otherwise, BP was the clear ‘doer’.
  • Sentence Length — Obama’s spoke in long, though well-crafted, sentences about 20 words in length.
  • Sentences per Paragraphs – Just below four sentences per paragraph.  Usually four sentences in a paragraph would be quite easy to understand, but the 19.8 words per sentence, added some difficulty for his target audience.
  • Characters per words – Obama’s words had an average of 4.5 letters in them, a bit longer than typical for him.
  • Flesch Reading Ease – Reading Ease came in at 59.1. The Closer to 100, the easier to read.  This is well within the normal range for Oval Office Addresses.
  • Flesch-Kincaid Grade-Level – 9.8 Grade Level.  This is the highest of any major Obama speech.  Obama’s closest match among recent presidents is Ronald Reagan, whose speeches generally ranged from the 9th to 10th grade levels.  (President George W. Bush usually spoke at a seventh grade level.)

Grade-Level comparisons with other speeches of note include:

Kennedy Inaugural Address       10.8

Reagan ‘Tear Down This Wall”   9.8

Lincoln “Gettysburg Address”     9.1

Martin Luther King: ”I have a dream”   8.8

Obama 2004 Democrat Convention      8.3

Obama Victory Speech “Yes, we can”   7.4

“The scores indicate that this was not Obama at his best, especially when attempting make an emotional connection to the American people,” said Paul JJ Payack, president of GLM.  “For example, the numbers are significantly different than the ‘Yes, I can” speech, which many consider his best effort.”

Read More:

How Obama lost control of the oil-spill narrative (Colleen Ross, CBC)

Keep Presidential Speeches Smart (Trevor Butterworth, Forbes)

Textbook Obama (New York Magazine by Chris Bonanos)

Obama Narrative 2.0 (GLM)

The President, the Spill and the Narrative that got away (Simon Mann, The Age)

FAQs about GLM, Paul JJ Payack, and the Million Word March



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