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”.