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Misc. IX

Top Words of 2009

Top Word of 2009: Twitter

Followed by Obama, H1N1, Stimulus, and Vampire

“King of Pop” is Top Phrase; “Obama” is top name

Austin, TX November 29, 2009 – The Global Language Monitor has announced that Twitter is the Top Word of 2009 in its annual global survey of the English language. Twittered was followed by Obama, H1N1, Stimulus, and Vampire. The near-ubiquitous suffix, 2.0, was No. 6, with Deficit, Hadron the object of study of CERN’s new atom smasher, Healthcare, and Transparency rounded out the Top 10.

Read about it in the Guardian: Twitter declared top word of 2009

WHY twitter is the most popular word of 2009 at the Huffington Post

CNET’s Don Reisinger on twitter

Mashable’s take: what else does social media have to conquer?

What it means that twitter is the 2009 Word of the Year (WeberShandwick)

The Poetry of Social Networks

“In a year dominated by world-shaking political events, a pandemic, the after effects of a financial tsunami and the death of a revered pop icon, the word Twitter stands above all the other words. Twitter represents a new form of social interaction, where all communication is reduced to 140 characters,” said Paul JJ Payack, President of The Global Language Monitor. “Being limited to strict formats did wonders for the sonnet and haiku. One wonders where this highly impractical word-limit will lead as the future unfolds.”

For Top Words of the Decade, click here.

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

The Top Words of 2009

Rank/Word/Comments

  1. Twitter — The ability to encapsulate human thought in 140 characters
  2. Obama — The word stem transforms into scores of new words like ObamaCare
  3. H1N1 — The formal (and politically correct) name for Swine Flu
  4. Stimulus — The $800 billion aid package meant to help mend the US economy
  5. Vampire — Vampires are very much en vogue, now the symbol of unrequited love
  6. 2.0 — The 2.0 suffix is attached to the next generation of everything
  7. Deficit — Lessons from history are dire warnings here
  8. Hadron — Ephemeral particles subject to collision in the Large Hadron Collider
  9. Healthcare — The direction of which is the subject of intense debate in the US
  10. Transparency — Elusive goal for which many 21stc. governments are striving
  11. Outrage — In response to large bonuses handed out to ‘bailed-out’ companies
  12. Bonus — The incentive pay packages that came to symbolize greed and excess
  13. Unemployed — And underemployed amount to close to 20% of US workforce
  14. Foreclosure — Forced eviction for not keeping up with the mortgage payments
  15. Cartel — In Mexico, at the center of the battle over drug trafficking

The Top Phrases of 2009

Rank/Phrase/Comments

  1. King of Pop –Elvis was ‘The King;’ MJ had to settle for ‘King of Pop’
  2. Obama-mania — One of the scores of words from the Obama-word stem
  3. Climate Change — Considered politically neutral compared to global warming
  4. Swine Flu — Popular name for the illness caused by the H1N1 virus
  5. Too Large to Fail — Institutions that are deemed necessary for financial stability
  6. Cloud Computing — Using the Internet for a variety of computer services
  7. Public Option — The ability to buy health insurance from a government entity
  8. Jai Ho! — A Hindi shout of joy or accomplishment
  9. Mayan Calendar — Consists of various ‘cycles,’ one of which ends on 12/21/2012
  10. God Particle — The hadron, believed to hold the secrets of the Big Bang

The Top Names of 2009

Rank/Name/Comments

  1. Barack Obama — It was Obama’s year, though MJ nearly eclipsed in the end
  2. Michael Jackson — Eclipses Obama on internet though lags in traditional media
  3. Mobama — Mrs. Obama, sometimes as a fashion Icon
  4. Large Hadron Collider — The Trillion dollar ‘aton smasher’ buried outside Geneva
  5. Neda Agha Sultan — Iranian woman killed in the post-election demonstrations
  6. Nancy Pelosi –The Democratic Speaker of the US House
  7. M. Ahmadinejad — The president of Iran, once again
  8. Hamid Karzai — The winner of Afghanistan’s disputed election
  9. Rahm Emmanuel — Bringing ‘Chicago-style politics’ to the Administration
  10. Sonia Sotomayor — The first Hispanic woman on the US Supreme Court

The analysis was completed in late November using GLM’s Predictive Quantities Indicator (PQI), the proprietary algorithm that tracks words and phrases in the media and on the Internet, now including blogs and social media. The words are tracked in relation to frequency, contextual usage and appearance in global media outlets, factoring in long-term trends, short-term changes, momentum, and velocity.

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

For Previous Words of the Year, go here.

Top Words for the First 15 Years of the 21st Century & the Trends They Portend

 

Austin, Texas, November 7, 2015 — One hundred years ago, in the year 1915 to be precise, a number of historical trends had already been set in motion that would come to dominate the rest of the century, for better or for ill. The Global Language Monitor, which tracks global trends though the Big Data-based analysis of Global English, has recently completed a three-year study to better ascertain what trends are we now tracking that will portend future events.

16th Annual Survey of the Top Words, Names and Phrases for Global English for 2015 Will be Announced December 28th.

Preliminary Top Trending Words of 2015 can be found here.

The Top Words of 2014 can be found here

“The first fifteen years of the 20th c. set the trajectory for the remainder of the century — and beyond.” said Paul JJ Payack, president and Chief Word Analyst, the Global Language Monitor. “This included the seeds of World War, Bolshevism, Communism, German Nationalism, the carving up of the Middle East without regard to societal structures, total warfare, the introduction of weapons of mass destruction, flight, electrification of rural areas, the internal combustion engine, the dependence on hydrocarbon for fuel, Einstein’s first papers on relativity, the arms race, the explosive growth of cities, and so much more.

Find the Top Words of A.D 2115, 100 Years in the Future here.

If the same can be said for the 21st century at the 15 year mark, what trends can we see that will be likely shape the rest of the 21st century, into the 22nd — and possibly beyond.”

Find the Map of the Re-Federalized US in 2076 (and the Back Story) Here.

The results for the First 15 Years of 21st Century & the Trends They Portend follow in the format of Rank, Word or Phrase, C0mment, and Trend.

Top Words for the First 15 Years of 21st Century & the Trends They Portend

Rank Word or Phrase Comment 21st Century Trend
1 Web/Internet (2000) Some argue the most momentous change to human society since the Renaissance — also reflected in language usage Some argue the most momentous change to human society since the Renaissance. Web 2.0 was the tipping point where the Internet became embedded into everyday life.
2 China (2009) 2015 is the year that China surpasses the US as the Earth’s economic engine in terms of PPE. If China holds the title for as long as the US, it will be the year 2139 before it turns over the reigns. The Rise of China will dominate 21st century geopolitical affairs like US in the 20th
3 Selfie (2013) Evidently an ego-manical madness gripped the world in 2013-14. The more people populate the planet, the greater the focus on the individual.
4 404 (2013) The near-universal numeric code for failure on the global Internet. 404 will not merely signify the loss of an individual connection but the shutdown of whole sectors of society
5 9/11 (2001) An inauspicious start to the 21st Century. The early 20th c. saw the seeds of Bolshevism, German Nationalism, and Fascism. The seeds thus planted in the 21st c. are equally foreboding
6 OMG (2008) One of the first texting expressions (Oh my God!), another was BFF as in Best Friend Forever First sign that the Internet would change language. Basically the successor to Morse’s ‘What hath God Wrought?
7 Sustainable (’06) The key to ‘Green’ living where natural resources are wisely conserved and thus never depleted. Made small impact in 2006; its importance grows every year and will continue to do so as resources ARE depleted.
8 Hella (2008) An intensive in Youthspeak, generally substituting for the word ‘very’ as in ‘hella expensive’ The world is being subdivided into the various tribes of youth (Trans national to follow.)
9 N00b (2009) A beginner or ‘newbie’, with numbers (zeroes) replacing the letter Os, emphasizing a new trend in written English The Geeks will inherit the Earth
10 Futebol (2011) Ready or not, the World Cup of Futebol, Futbol, Football, and Soccer was on display in Brasil Sports become an evermore global business
Copyright ©2015 Global Language Monitor
11 Nanobots and Grey Goo (’07) Have we already witnessed the most horrifying forms of warfare? Not if you haven’t envisioned … … self-replicating nanobots spewing forth ever mounting piles of grey goo might tend to dampen prospects for living things
12 Climate Change (’00) Near the top of word usage list since day one of the century. Focusing on data from the last hundred years actually obscures the magnitude of climate change; paleohistory suggests sea level changes of 300 feet
13 Derivative (’07) Financial instrument or analytical tool that engendered the Meltdown Intertwined global financial institutions have the ability to bring down the entire global electronic system if they falter
14 Apocalypse, Armageddon & variations thereof (2012) The word Apocalypse has been in ascendance in English for some 500 years. However, recent years has witnessed an unprecedented resurgence Wars and rumors of war appear to be the least of it
15 Occupy (2011) ‘Occupy’ has risen to pre-eminence through Occupy Movement, the occupation of Iraq, and the so-called ‘Occupied Territories’ The gulf between the haves and have nots, the North and the South, the 1% and all the rest has only worsened through a century of unprecedented economic, scientific and social progress
16 Tsunami (2004/5) Southeast Asian Tsunami took 250,000 lives The Southeast Asian Tsunami was a thirty-foot swell that resulted in a quarter of a million deaths. Might a 300-foot rise in sea-level engender a ‘slow Tsunami with deaths in the millions?
17 Inflation (Cosmic) (2014) OK, so that the Universe expanded a gazillion times faster than the speed of light is now a fact. Way Cool. At the beginning of the 20th c., scientists thought our local galaxy was the entire universe; since then our view of the universe has expanded a billion billion times
18 Singularity (2015) Singularity was originally the name for Cosmic Genesis Event (the Big Bang), Spoiler Alert: Now used to describe when computer intelligence surpasses that of humans (Possibly before mid-century).
19 Global Warming (2000) Rated highly from Day One of the decade The next few hundred (or few thousand) years are gong to be a longer haul than we can now imagine
20 Refugee (2005) After Katrina, refugees became evacuees After Syria, evacuees became migrants.
Copyright ©2015 Global Language Monitor
21 Emoticon (2013) Words without letters conveying emotional responses, such as smileys 🙂 Emoticons. Smileys, Emoji’s communication continues to evolve in unexpected ways
22 Emoji (2014) In 500 years people will look back on the creation of a new alphabet (the alphaBIT): Letters + numbers + (emoticons) diacritical marks + emoji (picture words). The arrival of the new English Alphabet (the AlphaBIT) is apparently at hand
23 Pope Francis (2013) Also Top Name of the Year for 2013. A new type of Pontiff sets the stage for all those Popes who follow …
24 WMD (2002) Iraq’s (Non-existent) Weapons of Mass Destruction The nuclear device dropped Hiroshima weighed tons, the new backpack versions, mere pounds.
25 Telomeres (2015) Telomeres are the caps at the end of each strand of DNA that protect our chromosomes. When telomeres wear away, the chromosomes are destroyed, and death ensues. The goal: protect telomeres, extend life
26 German Ascendance (2015) One of the architects of the European Union, German Chancellor Angela Merkel continues her reign as the most powerful woman on the planet Germany’s tragic misadventures of the 20th c., belie its dominance of the Euro Zone in the 21st.
27 Anthropocene (2015) A proposed geologic epoch when humans began to impact natural processes An impact that will only grow for better or ill throughout the century.
28 God Particle (2011) The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) continues its quest for the Higgs boson, popularly known as the God Particle. Scientists have calculated a one in fifty million chance that the LHC will generate a small black hole that could devour the Earth.
29 Denier (2014) An ugly new addition to the trending words list as it has become an evermore present invective with sinister overtones (fully intended). Political discourse continues to sink to unprecedented levels
30 Carbon Footprint (2008) The amount of carbon released in a process or activity Burning a gallon of petrol produces enough CO² to melt 400 gallons of ice at the poles.
Copyright ©2015 Global Language Monitor
31 Slumdog (2008) Child inhabitants of Mumbai’s slums Slumdogs continue to multiply as MegaCities continue to seemingly endlessly expand
32 Truthiness (2006) Steven Colbert’s addition to the language appears to be a keeper; While something may not meet the standard of truth, it certainly appears to be true Truthiness seems to set the new standard, unfortunately
33 Change (2008) The top political buzzword of the 2008 US Presidential campaign Change will continue as a top word into the 22nd century — and beyond
34 Chinglish (2005) The Chinese-English Hybrid language growing larger as Chinese influence expands Chinese-English will inevitably cross-fertilize as the two great economic powers contend into the 22nd Century
35 Google (2007) Founders misspelled actual word ‘googol’ Is Google the prototype of the a new “Idea foundry’
36 Twitter (2009) The ability to encapsulate human thought in 140 characters The ability to encapsulate human thought in wisps of wind (or electron streams) will almost certainly follow
37 H1N1 (2009) More commonly known as Swine Flu Swine Flu, Bird Flu, Ebola, it will only get worse with the hand of man only abetting the enemy
38 Bubble (2007) One financial bubble after another as we move into the 21st century Let’s see: Communism, socialism, fascism, command economies, the silent hand of the market, China’s hybrid — evidently the business cycle will persist
39 The Great War (2014) The centennial of World War I begins four years of soulful commemorations — as the forces it unloosed continue to ripple into (and most probably through) the 21st c. As the Great War (and the ravages thereof} continue into the 21st c., what at the odds that its ramifications will continue throughout the 21st
40 Political Transparency (2007) A noble idea from the Campaign that was among the first casualties of the Obama Administration The explosion of knowledge portends less transparency not more …
Copyright ©2015 Global Language Monitor

To see the Top Words of 2014

The words are culled from throughout the English-speaking world, which now numbers more than 1.83 billion speakers (January 2013 estimate) 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 300,000 print and electronic global media, as well as new social media sources as they emerge.

About the Global Language Monitor

Early in the last century, The Global Language Monitor (GLM) was founded in Silicon Valley by Paul J.J. Payack on the understanding that new technologies and techniques were necessary for truly understanding the world of Big Data, as it is now known. Silicon Valley is located in what is now the CaliMinor Federation.

Today, from its home in Austin, Texas GLM provides a number of innovative products and services that utilize its ‘algorithmic services’ to help worldwide customers protect, defend and nurture their branded products and entities. Products include ‘brand audits’ to assess the current status, establish baselines, and competitive benchmarks for current intellectual assets and brands, and to defend products against ambush marketing.

These services are currently provided to the Fortune 500, the Higher Education market, high technology firms, the worldwide print and electronic media, and the global fashion industry, among others.

For more information, call 1.512.801.6823, email info@LanguageMonitor.com, or visit www.LanguageMonitor.com.

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The Top Words of the Year A.D. 2115, a Hundred Years Hence

Attention: Embargoed until Tuesday, November 3, 2115. Call for exceptions. info@LanguageMonitor.com or 001 512 815 8836

Austin, Texas Federation, November 3, 2115 — The Galactic Language Monitor (GLM), which tracks global trends though the Big Data-based analysis of Global English, has recently completed its 112th annual global survey.

The words are culled from throughout the English-speaking world, which now numbers more than 3.83 billion speakers (January 2113 estimate) 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 300,000 print and electronic global media, as well as new social media sources as they emerge.

16th Annual Survey of the Top Words, Names and Phrases for Global English for 2015 Will be Announced December 28th.

Preliminary Top Trending Words of 2015 can be found here.

The Top Words of 2014 can be found here

The words 2115 came from six continents, and Earth Outposts on the Chinese Moon base, the US station on Mars, and the Titan and Ganymede field stations. The Joint Interstellar Mission are in the deep space silence period.

The results follow in the format of Rank, Word or Phrase, and Comment.

1 RFUS Since the Great Re-federalization of the 2060s into 14 Federations (hence the new name).
2 Extinction The fourth Global extinction has been declared over, with species apparently stabilization, a loss of some 400,000 species since the beginning of the 21st Century.
3 Global Warming/Climate Change Common sense actually takes hold after the atmospheric temperature chart of the last 400,000 years and the land chart of 25,000-15,000 BCE (when the seas were some 300 feet lower as evidenced by the Bering Land Bridge) are accepted as the basis of discussion.
5 Pope Francis V After the relatively short reign of Pope Francis I, the following four pontiffs, attempt to recapture the ‘magic’.
Doomsday Asteroid Extra attention since Rogue 23 struck Inavit in 2087.
6 JNZE Contention over the Jerusalem Neutral Zone Enclave continues; however all religions still enjoy freedom of worship.
7 Nuclear Proliferation Spread of weapons beyond the Nuclear 10 continues (current Nuclear 10: US, UK, France, China, Russia, India, Pakistan, Israel, Iran, and Saudi Arabia).(North Korea was disarmed in 2039).
8 Same-old, Same old Phrase is popularized after US Presidential Election seems to be shaping up as Paul Walker Bush vs. Joseph James Obama for 2116 (after Joseph P. Kennedy IV and William Rodman “Bill” Clinton III withdrew.)
9 China Unbound China’s economy has stabilized after its economy resumed robust growth after several decades of stagnation. There is talk of it replacing the US Federation as the largest world economy, again.
10 Supervolcano After the close call with the Yellowstone Cauldron where only 1.3M died, the nations of the world begin take necessary actions.
11 Polar Vortex Since the first Internet-age struck in 2014, the phenomenon has been repeated dozens of times around the world.
12 Scots Style A new term introduced after Free Scotland asks to join the RFUS after being shunned by England for most of the 21st century.
13 World War I World War I is finally after it lasting reverberations disappear at the 200 year mark.
14 524 Million Total body count from the hemorrhagic fever outbreaks early in the century are now approaching 524 million persons. The WHO estimates that they are confident it will be in control in the next 6 months or so.
15 Sykes-Picot Lines The “lines in the sand” are still raising havoc after 200 years
Copyright ©2115 Galactic Language Monitor

About the Global Language Monitor

Early in the last century, The Global Language Monitor (GLM) was founded in Silicon Valley by Paul J.J. Payack on the understanding that new technologies and techniques were necessary for truly understanding the world of Big Data, as it is now known. Silicon Valley is located in what is now the CaliMinor Federation.

Today, from its home in Austin, Texas GLM provides a number of innovative products and services that utilize its ‘algorithmic services’ to help worldwide customers protect, defend and nurture their branded products and entities. Products include ‘brand audits’ to assess the current status, establish baselines, and competitive benchmarks for current intellectual assets and brands, and to defend products against ambush marketing.

These services are currently provided to the Fortune 500, the Higher Education market, high technology firms, the worldwide print and electronic media, and the global fashion industry, among others.

For more information, call 1.512.801.6823, email info@LanguageMonitor.com, or visit www.LanguageMonitor.com.

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Map of the Re-Federalised United States, AD 2076

The Back Story to The Re-Federalised United States (RFUS) in AD 2076

Attention: Embargoed until Tuesday, November 3, 2115. Call for exceptions. info@LanguageMonitor.com or 001 512 815 8836

Austin, Texas Federation, November 3, 2115 — As a public service GLM (Galactic Language Monitor, nee the Global Language Monitot) provides this overview on the birth of the Re-Federalised United States.

16th Annual Survey of the Top Words, Names and Phrases for Global English for 2015 Will be Announced December 28th.

Preliminary Top Trending Words of 2015 can be found here.

The Top Words of 2014 can be found here

“The first fifteen years of the 20th c. set the trajectory for the remainder of the century — and beyond.” said Paul JJ Payack, president and Chief Word Analyst, the Global Language Monitor. “This included the seeds of World War, Bolshevism, Communism, German Nationalism, the carving up of the Middle East without regard to societal structures, total warfare, the introduction of weapons of mass destruction, flight, electrification of rural areas, the internal combustion engine, the dependence on hydrocarbon for fuel, Einstein’s first papers on relativity, the arms race, the explosive growth of cities, and so much more.

Find the Top Words of A.D 2115, 100 Years in the Future here.

If the same can be said for the 21st century at the 15 year mark, what trends can we see that will be likely shape the rest of the 21st century, into the 22nd — and possibly beyond.”

The ‘Re-Federalists’ convinced the majority of the US electorate to call a Constitutional Convention after decades of hat came to be called ‘the Great Gridlock’.

In the aftermath, the US was ‘re-federalised’ into fourteen ‘Federations,’ the former District was made into a politics-free ‘National Monument’.

and the federal government moved into the range of Thomas Jefferson’s early estimates (extrapolated from thirty or forty into some 300,000 employees), who were equally divided among the Fourteen Federations.

The new federations were more politically, culturally and economically united, so the so-called “culture wars” of the 21st C. quickly faded away. Another interesting note: VanCity of British Columbia, and ScotsLand, of the former United Kingdom were both annexed by the RFUS, without apparent opposition.

This also lit the economic engines of most of the new states, the the US Federation jumped into a sizable lead economically over China,

again. However, China re-captured its lead as the world’s top economy later in the 21st c. and into the 22nd.

About the Galactic Language Monitor

Early in the last century, The Global Language Monitor (GLM) was founded in Silicon Valley by Paul J.J. Payack on the understanding that new technologies and techniques were necessary for truly understanding the world of Big Data, as it is now known. Silicon Valley is located in what is now the CaliMinor Federation.

For more information, call 1.512.801.6823, email info@LanguageMonitor.com, or visit www.LanguageMonitor.com.

 

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Top Words of the Decade (2000-2009)

“Obama-” as a Top Word of 2008

Austin, TX December 5 2008 – In an election cycle known for its many twists and turns, another unexpected result pops up in calculating the Top Words of 2008. According to the analysis performed by the Global Language Monitor’s (www.Languagemonitor.com), the word ‘change’ was the Top Word of 2008, followed by ‘bailout’ and ‘Obamamania’.

“However, it is interesting to note,” said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of GLM, “that if you included ‘obama-’ as a root word or word stem, Obama- in its many forms (ObamaMania, Obamamentum, Obmanomics, Obamacize, Obamanation, and even O-phoria and Obamalot as a stand-in for JFK’s Camelot, etc.), would have overtaken both change, and bailout for the top spot.

In a year of footnotes, GLM felt it important to add this interesting linguistic twist to the historical record.”

Obama’s oft cited refrain, “Yes, we can!” was ranked third as Phrase of the Year, following “financial tsunami” and “global warming.”

Barack Obama was ranked the Top Name of the Year, followed by George W. Bush and Michael Phelps, the Olympic 8-time gold medal winner.

CNN Sunday Morning on the Top Words of 2008 (Dec 7, 2008)

Change beats Bailout and Obamamania as top word of 2008

 

Top Words and Phrases of 2007

‘Hybrid’ bests ‘Surge’ as Top Word ‘Climate Change’ is Top Phrase ‘Al Gore’ is Top Name Top Smiley is ?-) for ‘pirate’ San Diego, CA and Henderson, NV (December 13, 2007) ‘Hybrid’ is Top Word, ‘Climate Change’ is Top Phrase, and ‘Gore’ is Top Name atop the Global Language Monitor’s annual global survey of the English language. The Top Smiley is ?-) for ‘’pirate’. The most understood word on the planet is the word OK. And the estimated number of words in the English language is 995,115, just 4,884 from the million-word mark. The analysis was completed using GLM’s Predictive Quantities Indicator (PQI), the proprietary algorithm that tracks words and phrases in the media and on the Internet. The words are tracked in relation to frequency, contextual usage and appearance in global media outlets, factoring in long-term trends, short-term changes, momentum and velocity. GLM’s global network of language observers have nominated English-language words throughout the year from the world over. “The idea of planetary peril and impending climatic doom resonated throughout our linguistic analysis, with the various words and phrases garnering hundreds of millions of citations; in the end this narrowly outdistanced the word ‘surge’ that also had a disproportionate impact upon 2007’s linguistic landscape.” said Paul JJ Payack, President of The Global Language Monitor. For 2007 these words were culled from throughout the English-speaking world which now numbers some 1.35 billion speakers and and now includes such diverse cultures as China, the Philippines, and India. The Top Ten Words of 2007 1. Hybrid – Actually Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV). Chosen to represent all things green from biodiesel to wearing clothes made of soy, to global warming to living with a zero-carbon footprint. (From the Latin hybrida, a variation of ibrida for “mongrel,” specifically “offspring of a sow and a wild boar,”) 2. Surge – The controversial political and military strategy of winning the war in Iraq 3. Bubble – As in housing bubble, bursting. Also, Credit crunch. 4. Smirting – The new-found art of flirting while being banished outside a building for smoking. 5. Pb – The symbol lead, Atomic No. 82. The culprit in innumerable toy recalls this year. 6. Ideating – Latest in a long line of verbalisms: the descendent of concepting and efforting. 7. Omega-3 (Greek letter omega-3) — Also written as Omega 3; the healthy fatty acid. 8. Cleavage – As in ‘woman of cleavage,’ a touchy campaign subject. 9. Amigoization — Increasing Hispanic influence in California, the Southwest and into the Heartland. 10. Bluetooth – A technology to connect electronic devices by radio waves. The Top Smiley or Emoticon: ?-) The smiley for ‘pirate’, thanks to the Pirates of the Caribbean. The Top HollyWORD gone global: Brokeback — GLM’s top HollyWORD of 2006 now recognized by Chinese Ministry of Educations as new word for ‘gay,’ with ideograms for ‘broke’ and ‘back’. The Top Ten Phrases for 2007 1. Climate change – The warming of the Earth’s atmosphere due to natural cycles (politically sensitive; believed to be primarily outside the control of man) 2. ‘Ho-Ho-Ho’ – Santa’s trademark phrase. In Australia officials are suggesting ‘Ha-Ha-Ha’ because the former may scandalize the children. 3. All-time low – The phrase apparently grafted next to the president’s name in the media. 4. Theory of Everything – Garrett Lisi’s especially simple theory of the Universe that unites all forces and gravity in one elegant structure. 5. Planetary Peril – Al Gore’s trademark phrase to describe the Earth’s current condition. 6. Wristband Wagon – Wearing your heart on your … wrist. Pink against breast cancer, red against third-world poverty, ‘camouflage’ (or yellow as in yellow ribbon) to support the troops, 7. No Noising – Chinese/English hybrid (Chinglish) for ‘quiet please!’ 8. Fade to black – From the Soprano’s series finale to the Hollywood writers’ strike 9. Fossil Fuels – The enemy of the Greens: Coal, Oil, and Natural Gas (anything hydrocarbon-based). 10. Fashion tribe: Persons who follow a particular fashion with a tribe-like mindset: Examples include EMO, Hip-hop or Goth. The Top Ten Names for 2007 1. Al Gore – Conveniently, doesn’t need the presidency to top the list. 2. The Decider — George W. Bush, still president after all these years. 3. Bono – U2’s front man out in front on Third World debt relief. 4. Obama & Hillary — Barack’s name now qualifies as a buzzword; quite unusual, though Hil comes close. 5. Hugo Chavez – The Gadfly of Latin America 6. Vladimir Putin — The supreme leader (President, Prime Minister, whatever) of the Russian Federation. 7. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — Iranian President suggests moving Israel to Europe. 8. Pope Benedict XVI — continues to engage Muslim leadership in thoughtful discussions. 9. David Beckham and Posh Spice – Yet another ‘new’ type of Hollywood power couple. 10. Fidel Castro – The head one of the few remaining Communist states lives yet another year. The Most Understood Word on the Planet: O.K. Popularized by US President (1837 -1841) Martin Van Buren’s nickname, Old Kinderhook, from his birthplace in New York State. His re-election slogan was ‘Martin Van Buren is O.K’. The Number of Words in the English Language: 995,116 Estimated as of Monday, December 10, 2007 11:16 am Pacific

The Top Words of 2006

 

‘Sustainable’ is Top Word

 

‘Stay the Course’ is Top Catchphrase

 

‘Darfur’ is Top Name, and

 

‘Yoof Speak’ is Top Youth Speak

San Diego, California (January 1, 2007) ‘Sustainable’ is Top Word, ‘Stay the Course’ is Top Catchphrase, ‘Darfur’ is the Top Name, and ‘Yoof Speak’ is Top Youth Speak atop the Global Laanguage Monitor’s Annual List . ‘Sustainable,’ ‘Stay the Course,’ and ‘Darfur’ were chosen as the Top Word, Phrase, and Name of the year by the Global Language Monitor (www.LanguageMonitor.com) in its annual global survey. “In 2006 the English Language grew ever more global with some 1,300,000,000 speakers using it as their first, second, business, or technical tongue. Additionally, for the first time, we’ve included emoticons and SMS (or text messages) in our lists which signify yet another fascinating trend in the rise of Global English,” said Paul JJ Payack, President of The Global Language Monitor. The 2006 lists include words from culled from around the English-speaking world including India, Singapore, China, Australia, and the US and UK.” GLM’s staff and a global network of voluntary language observers, have nominated English-language words from the world over. The Top Ten Words of 2006 with commentary follow. 1. Sustainable – Originally a ‘green’ term has moved into the mainstream meaning ‘self-generating’ as in ‘wind power is a sustainable power supply’. Can apply to populations, marriages, agriculture, economies, and the like. The opposite of ‘disposable’. 2. Infonaut – Those who blithely travel along the ‘infobahn’. 3. Hiki Komori – One million young Japanese men who avoid intense societal pressures by withdrawing into their own rooms (and worlds) rarely venturing outside. 4. Planemo — Planets that didn’t make the cut in 2006 as sustainable planets. Pluto was demoted to a planemo. 5. Netroots — The activists who have transformed the practice of fundraising and getting out the vote – through cyberspace. 6. Londonistan – Nickname for London as its Asian population swells. 7. Brokeback (Mountain)– A cultural phenomenon (Brokeback, Brokedown, etc.) with almost a million references to Brokeback jokes alone on Google. 8. Ethanol – Proxy for all things ‘green’ and energy independence. 9. Corruption – As in ‘Culture of’; analysis of mid-term elections suggests this was the key for the turnover of the House. 10. Chinese (adj.) – All things Chinese currently in ascendance. The Top Words for 2005 were: 1. Refugee — Though the word was considered politically incorrect in the US, ‘refugees’ were often considered the lucky ones in streaming away from a series of global catastrophes unmatched in recent memory. 2. Tsunami — From the Japanese tsu nami for ‘harbor wave’, few recognized the word before disaster struck on Christmas Day, 2004, but the word subsequently flooded with unprecedented (and sustained) media coverage. 3. Poppa/Papa/Pope — (Italian, Portuguese, English, many others). The death of beloved Pope John Paul II kept the words on the lips of the faithful around the world. The Top Catchphrases for 2006 with commentary follow. 1. Stay the Course – Declared inoperative as the situation in Iraq slides into the abyss. 2. If I Did it – GLM traced nearly 10,000 news stories about O.J.’s new book within 36 hours of its announcement. The book was almost immediately withdrawn by its publisher. 3. # – ) The ‘emoticon’ way of saying ‘wasted’. 4. Airline Pulp – The Chinglish (Chinese/English Hybrid) way of describing food served aboard an airliner. We think this one is a keeper. 5. Serial Texter – Though rarely used by adults, texting has become one of the predominant methods of communication among the world’s youth, with many texting hundreds of messages a day. You can even subscribe to serialized SMS (short message service) ‘novels’. 6. Global Warming – Eliminate the political controversy and the fact remains that 10,000 years ago New York City was under 5,000 feet of ice. 7. Keeping Parents Clueless – Or KPC: The ‘instant message’ way of telling friends that while parents might be reading over their shoulders, they are nevertheless being kept uniformed. 8. Brokeback Mountain – This movie title became the center of hundreds of late night jokes. Even Dick Chaney was featured on the cover art of the New Yorker with a Brokeback theme. 9. Come and Get it Fast – McDonald’s created this Chinese phrase as a ready translation of ‘fast food’. 10. “You’re going to Hollywood!” – After five years, this phrase from American Idol, is more popular than ever. The Top Catchphrases for 2005 were: 1. Out of the Mainstream — Used to describe the ideology of any political opponent. 2. Bird Flu/Avian Flu — the H5N1 strain of Flu that resembles that of the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic where 60 million died. 3. Politically Correct — The Political Correctness Movement arose as a Global Phenomenon in 2005. The Top Ten Names for 2006 with commentary follow. 1. Darfur – First time a country or region heads the list. 2. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – Unfettered President of Iran. 3. Bono – Quintessential rock star, front man for the band U2, turned humanitarian. 4. George Bush – Received an old fashioned ‘whuppin’ in the mid-Term elections; still attempting to turn the tide in his last 24 months in office. 5. Kofi Annan – Departing head of the UN, both revered and reviled. 6. Joseph Ratzinger – Pope Benedict XVI turned Muslim heads by quoting a Renaissance scholar with a less than favorable opinion of Islam. 7. Brangelina – Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie as a new type of Hollywood power couple. 8. Saddam Hussein – Hanging marks the end of one of the most brutal dictatorships in recent memory. 9. Fidel Castro – Still lives on as the head of one of the few remaining Communist states, some fifty years after the Cuban Revolution. 10. Hugo Chávez – Expressed less than favorable opinion of President Bush at the UN. The Top Names for 2005 were: 1. (Acts of) God: The world watches helplessly as a superpower is humbled as one of its great cities (New Orleans) is laid asunder (Hurricane Katrina). 2. Tsunami snuffs out nearly 300,000 lives, and an earthquake takes another 200,000 (Kashmir). A Higher Power, indeed. 3. Katrina: Greek (katharos) for ‘pure’. Before the hurricane, the name was most famously borne by two saints, Empress Catherine the Great of Russia, and three of Henry VIII’s wives. The Top Ten Global YouthSpeak Words for 2006 with commentary follow. 1. Yoof Speak – Pan-Asian term for YouthSpeak. 2. Ballin’ – Doing well; fine; as in he’s really ballin’ now. 3. Stick Ice – Chinese YouthSpeak for ‘popsicle’ or ice cream cone. 4. ii – Siigniifiies the text messaging style of doubliing the letter ii wherever iit iis found. (Very gee or preppy). 5. Ya-ya papaya – Snooty person (Singlish from Singapore). 6. 1 – From the U2 song One Love. Sign-off to Instant Messages. 7. =^..^= The emoticon representing a kitty. 8. Get up One’s Nose – Irritates, as in ‘He gets up my nose!’ (UK). 9. LMAO – Texting abbreviation for Laughed My Ass Off. 10. Yobbo – An unrefined or loutish youth (Aussie/UK). The Top Global YouthSpeak Words for 2005 were: 1. Crunk — A Southern variation of hip hop music; also meaning fun or amped. 2. Mang — Variation of man, as in “S’up, mang?” 3. A’ight — All Right, “That girl is nice, she’s a’ight”. The Most Frequently Spoken Word on the Planet: O.K. Popularized by US President (1837 -1841) Martin Van Buren’s nickname, Old Kinderhook from his birthplace in New York State. His re-election slogan was ‘Martin Van Buren is O.K’. Didn’t you ever wonder why a simple word can be spelled in capital letters followed by periods? Though the undoubtedly word appeared in earlier variations, this is the event that solidified its position in the language. The Number of Words in the English Language: 991,833 Estimate Wednesday, December 30, 2006 10:34 PM Pacific. Total Number of English Speakers: 1,300,000,000

Top Word Lists of 2005

San Diego, California (December 16, 2005. Refugee, Outside the Mainstream, and (Acts of) God were selected as leading the Top Word, Phrase and Name Lists of 2005, released earlier today by the Global Language Monitor in its annual worldwide survey. The Global Language Monitor (GLM) publishes Year 2005 lists regarding: The Top Words, Top Phrases, Top Names, Global Youth Speak, as well as the Top Word Spoken on the Planet.

The Top Words as Viewed from China “2005 was the year we saw a convergence of a number sometimescontradictory language trends: the major global media became more pervasive yet actually less persuasive; the language spoken by the youth of the world is converging at an ever-increasing rate; and the Political Correctness movement become a truly global phenomenon,” said Paul JJ Payack, President of The Global Language Monitor (GLM). The year has been a vibrant one for language, rife with examples that have been nominated by the GLM’s Language Police, volunteer language observers from the world over. The Top Ten Words of 2005: 1. Refugee: Though the word was considered politically incorrect in the US, ‘refugees’ were often considered the lucky ones in streaming away from a series of global catastrophes unmatched in recent memory. 2. Tsunami: From the Japanese tsu nami for ‘harbor wave’, few recognized the word before disaster struck on Christmas Day, 2004, but the word subsequently flooded with unprecedented (and sustained) media coverage. 3. Poppa/Papa/Pope: (Italian, Portuguese, English, many others). The death of beloved Pope John Paul II kept the words on the lips of the faithful around the world. 4. Chinglish: The new second language of China from the Chinglish formation: CHINese + EngLISH. 5. H5N1: A looming global pandemic that could dwarf the Bubonic Plague of the Middle Ages (and AIDS) boggles the comtemporary imagination. 6. Recaille: A quick trip around the Romance languages (French jargon, scum; Spanish, rabble or swine; Italian, worthless dregs) illustrates the full freight of the word used to describe youthful French rioters of North African and Muslim descent. 7. Katrina: Name will become synonymous with natural forces responsible for the total and utter descruction of a city. 8. Wiki: Internet buzzword (from the Hawai’ian wiki wiki for ‘quick, quick’) that describes collaboration software where anyone can contribute to the on-going effort. 9. SMS: Short Message Service. The world’s youth sent over a trillion text messages in 2005. Currently being texted are full-length novels, news, private messages and everything in between. 10. Insurgent: Politically neutral term used to describe enemy combatants. Last year the Top Words words were incivility, Red States/Blue States, and Blogosphere. The Top Ten Phrases of 2005: 1. Out of the Mainstream: Used to describe the ideology of any political opponent. 2. Bird Flu/Avian Flu: the H5N1 strain of Flu that resembles that of the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic where 60 million died. 3. Politically Correct: Emerges as a worldwide phenomenon. 4. North/South Divide: In the US it might be Red States and Blue States but globally the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ are divided by a geographical if not psychological boundary. 5. Purple Finger/Thumb: The badge of honor worn by Iraqi voters proving that they voted in their ground-breaking elections. 6. Climate Change: (Or Global Warming.) No matter what your political persuasion, the fact remains that New York City was under 5,000 feet of ice some 20,000 years ago. 7. String Theory: The idea that the universe is actually constructed of 11-dimensional, pulsating planes of existence. 8. The Golden Quatrilateral: India’s new superhighway system that links the key cities of the Subcontinent. 9. Jumping the Couch: Apparently losing complete emotional control; made popular by the escapades of Tom Cruise on the Oprah television show. 10. Deferred Success: The idea introduced in the UK that there is no such thing as failure, only deferred success. Last year the Top Phrases were Red States/Blue States, Moral Values, and Two Americas. The Top Ten Names of 2005: 1. (Acts of) God: The world watches helplessly as a superpower is humbled as one of its great cities (New Orleans) is laid asunder (Hurricane Katrina). 2. Tsunami snuffs out nearly 300,000 lives, and an earthquake takes another 200,000 (Kashmir). A Higher Power, indeed. 3. Katrina: Greek (katharos) for ‘pure’. Before the hurricane, the name was most famously borne by two saints, Empress Catherine the Great of Russia, and three of Henry VIII’s wives. 4. John Paul II: The death of beloved Pope John Paul II kept his name on the lips of the faithful around the world. 5. Wen Jiabao: Premier of the People’s Republic of China since March 2003; leading perhaps the largest economic transformation in history. 6. Saddham Hussein: Should re-read Karl Marx — the first time is history, the second but farce. 7. Dubya: Every more ‘weeble-like’: Dubya wobbles but he won’t fall down. 8. Oprah: Now a global phenomenon with an ever-expanding media (and charitable) empire. 9. Shakira: The Columbian songstress is captivating ever wider circles. 10. John Roberts: New Chief Justice of the American Supreme Court. Bonus: Mahmud Ahmadi-nejad: President of Iran since August 2005; he has recently suggest that the Jewish Homeland be moved to Europe (or Alaska). Last year the Top Names were Dubya Rove (W. and Karl Rove), Mel (Gibson) (Michael) Moore, and Saddam Hussein. Top Global Musical Terms: 1. Reggaeton (pronounced Reggae-TONE): Part Latin, part hip hop, with liberal helpings of Dancehall and Caribbean music thrown in for good measure. Several Reggaeton radio staples this year made their way into the public consciousness. 2. Baile (pronounced Bye-Lay) Funk: Brazilian dance music that has gained popularity worldwide, championed by such trend-setters as Norman Cook in the UK, and Philadelphia DJ Diplo. 3. Podcast: New broadcast medium; think of it as Tivo for your radio. Even your nighbor is podcasting. 4: Rootkit: Thanks to an overzealous copy-protection scheme, thousands of music fans who tried to encode Sony artists’ music onto their computer unwittingly installing a malicious piece of code that exposed their computers to attack. After intense media scrutiny and public outcry, Sony recalled the CD’s from shelves and offered free downloads of the affected albums. 5. Live 8: Millions of people tuned in to the sequel to Sir Bob Geldoff’s1985 Live Aid benefit, this time to raise awareness of poverty and Third World debt and to pressure countries in the G8 to do something about it. The Top Ten Global YouthSpeak Words: 1. Crunk: A Southern variation of hip hop music; also meaning fun or amped. 2. Mang: Variation of man, as in “S’up, mang?” 3. A’ight: All Right, “That girl is nice, she’s a’ight” 4. Mad: A lot; “She has mad money” 5. Props: Cheers, as in “He gets mad props!” 6. Bizznizzle: This term for” business” is part of the Snoop Dogg/Sean John-inspired lexicon, as in “None of your bizznizzle!’ 7. Fully: In Australia an intensive, as in ‘fully sick’. 8. Fundoo: In India, Hindi for cool 9. Brill! From the UK, the shortened form of brilliant! 10. “s’up”: Another in an apparently endless number of Whazzup? permutations. Southern California YouthSpeak Bonus: Morphing any single syllable word into 3, 4 or even 5 syllables. Last year the Top YouthSpeak terms were: Word, Peace (or Peace out), and Proper. The Most Recognized Word on the Planet: O.K.(Popularized by US President (1837 -1841) Martin Van Buren’s nickname, Old Kinderhook from his birthplace in New York State. His re-election slogan was ‘Martin Van Buren is O.K’. Didn’t you ever wonder why a simple word can be spelled in capital letters followed by periods? Though the undoubtedly word appeared earlier, this is the event that solidified its position in the language.)

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YDC Appoints of Paul J.J. Payack as President

In the News

Media Alert:

yourDictionary.com Announces Appointment of Paul J.J. Payack as President and Chief Executive Officer
Strengthens Management Team of the Premier Global Portal for Language on the Worldwide WebJuly 26, 2000, DANVILLE, CA, — yourDictionary.com (YDC), the most comprehensive, and authoritative portal for language, and language-related products and services on the worldwide web today announced that Paul J.J. Payack has accepted the position of President and Chief Executive Officer. Payack joins YDC from Legato Systems, Inc., the Palo Alto, CA-based leader in storage management software where he served as Vice President, Worldwide Marketing.”We are quite pleased to have an executive of Paul’s experience joining yourDictionary.com,” said George Wilson, Chairman and founder, “Paul brings to the YDC team an unparalleled set of experience and hands-on expertise in both the technical and consumer marketplaces.”Previous to Legato, Payack has served as a senior marketing and communications executive for some of the industry’s technology leaders, including Intelliguard Software, the Network Systems Corporation, The Dun & Bradstreet Coorperation, and Unisys. Payack began his career in Massachusett’s ‘Route 128 Technology Corridor’ at Apollo Computer, Inc., Wang Laboratories, and the Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC).”It will be a pleasure working with Paul,” said Dr. Robert Beard, the Chief Linguistic Officer and C.T.O of yourDictionary.com. “Paul not only possesses the technological and management skill set required, but as a published author and student of language has an appreciation for the written word that is absolutely essential to helping YDC adhere to its original mission of a truly global resource for the world’s linguistic communities.””YDC is poised to extend its leadership position as the world’s most comprehensive, and authoritative language portal,” said Payack, “We will build on our significant strengths, which include:

  • the widest and deepest set of dictionaries on the web (more than 1500 dictionaries representing more than 230 languages),
  • the authority and academic rigor exemplified by our Advisory Council of Experts (ACE), composed of some of the world’s most distinguished linguists, who provide indispensable guidance in the development, acquisition, and maintenance of the dictionaries under their purview, and
  • the Endangered Language Repository (ELR), which provides a sanctuary to help preserve the hundreds of languages that are threatened with extinction and the distinct heritages each represents.”

Payack is a noted lecturer on high tech Marketing and Communications, speaking at industry forums, universities, and corporations, such as BusinessWeek’s Digital Economy and CIO’s Perspectives, the University of Texas, Babson College, and the University of Massachusetts, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the Hughes Aircraft unit of General Motors, and many others.

A published author, his work has appeared in dozens of collections, journals and reviews, including New Letters, the Paris Review, Boulevard and Creative Computing. A graduate of Harvard University, Payack currently resides with his wife and children in Danville, CA.

About yourDictionary.com
yourDictionary.com (YDC) was founded in 1999 to provide the world’s most comprehensive, and authoritative portal for language, and language-related products and services on the world wide web. yourDictionary.com’s immediate predecessor, The Web of Online Dictionaries, was launched in 1995 by Dr. Robert Beard at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania, as a research tool for the world’s linguistic community. (Dr. Beard is now the Chief Linguistics Officer and CTO of yourDictionary.com.) A truly global portal, yourDictionary.com has been visited by more than 6 million users.

yourDictionary.com has been recognized as the web’s pre-eminent language portal by dozens of organizations around the world. Most recently, yourDictionary.com was selected as the “Best of the Web for Reference” by Forbes magazine. Other recent accolades have come from The New Yorker, the BBC, the Chronicle of Higher Education, the Washington Post, USA Today, and Yahoo Internet Life, among many others.

The Advisory Council of Experts
The yourDictionary.com Advisory Council of Experts (ACE) is comprised of some two dozen of the most renowned figures in the field. The distinguished members of the Council help ensure the integrity of their respective areas of linguistic specialization, as well as provide indispensable guidance in the development, acquisition, and maintenance of the dictionaries under their purview. Members of the Council also contribute original articles to the YDC Library.

Preserving the World’s Linguistic Heritage
Of the seven thousand languages and dialects spoken on the planet, experts have concluded that more than half are endangered and actually headed toward extinction by the end of the century. To help preserve the languages and the distinct heritage each represents, yourDictionary.com has created theEndangered Language Repository (ELR). The purpose of the ELR is to provide a sanctuary for these languages on the worldwide web, to better enable access by both scholars and interested laypersons.

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Dictionary Publishers Going Digital (NYTimes)

In the News

 

yourDictionary.com Announces Purchase of ‘Web of Online Dictionaries’

In the News

Media Alert:

yourDictionary.com Announces Purchase of ‘Web of Online Dictionaries’
Creates the Premier Global Portal for Language on the Worldwide WebJanuary 3, 2000, King of Prussia, PA, — yourDictionary.com (YDC), world’s most complete, and authoritative portal for language, and language-related products and services on the world wide web, today announced the acquisition of the renowned ‘Web of Online Dictionaries’.The Web of Online Dictionaries (WOD) is the worldwide web’s first global, language resources. The Web of Online Dictionaries was created in 1995 by Dr. Robert Beard as a research tool for the world’s linguistic community. Dr. Beard is director, emeritus, of the Linguistics Program at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. The Web of Online Dictionaries the WOD has been visited by some 6,000,000 users over the last five years. The WOD has distinguished itself, winning scores of awards and accolades from around the world. Most recently, it has been cited as being a leader in the field by such diverse entities as The New Yorker, the BBC, the Chronicle of Higher Education, the Washington Post, and Yahoo Internet Life, among many others. Recently USA Today said, “If the Web of On-line Dictionaries doesn’t help, the word may not have been created yet. It’s that extensive …” and The Wall Street Journal called it the, “single starting point for users with questions about words in virtually any language.”

“This acquisition propels yourDictionary.com to the forefront of web-based language resources on the planet,” said George Wilson, Chairman of yourDictionary.com, Inc. “We are pleased to be associated with this web pioneer and long-time leader.”

In addition, yourDictionary.com also announced that Prof. Robert Beard has accepted the positions of Chief Linguistics Officer (CLO) as well as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for YDC. “The WOD is a culmination of many years effort working with language and linguistic experts from around the world,” said Dr. Beard, “I am pleased that my work will serve as the cornerstone of this vastly expanded global resource.”

Since it founding in 1999, yourDictionary.com has endeavored to become the world’s leading web-based, on-line dictionary, as well as the most complete, and authoritative portal for language, and language-related products and services on the WorldWide Web.

The distinguished members of the yourDictionary.com Advisory Council of Experts (ACE) help ensure the integrity of their respective areas of linguistic specialization, as well as provide indispensable guidance in the development, acquisition, and maintenance of the dictionaries under their purview.

In addition, yourDictionary.com has created the Endangered Language Repository (ELR) to provide a sanctuary for the world’s endangered languages and the distinct heritages each represent. Some half of the world’s 6,000 languages are said to be endangered.

About yourDictionary.com
yourDictionary.com (YDC) was founded in 1999 to provide the world’s most complete, and authoritative portal for language, and language-related products and services on the world wide web. yourDictionary.com’s immediate predecessor, The Web of Online Dictionaries, was launched in 1995 by Dr. Robert Beard at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania, as a research tool for the world’s linguistic community. (Dr. Beard is now the Chief Linguistics Officer and CTO of yourDictionary.com.) A truly global portal, yourDictionary.com has been visited by more than 6 million users.

yourDictionary.com has been recognized as the web’s pre-eminent language portal by dozens of organizations around the world. Most recently, yourDictionary.com was selected as the “Best of the Web for Reference” by Forbes magazine. Other recent accolades have come from The New Yorker, the BBC, the Chronicle of Higher Education, the Washington Post, USA Today, and Yahoo Internet Life, among many others.

The Advisory Council of Experts
The yourDictionary.com Advisory Council of Experts (ACE) is comprised of some two dozen of the most renowned figures in the field. The distinguished members of the Council help ensure the integrity of their respective areas of linguistic specialization, as well as provide indispensable guidance in the development, acquisition, and maintenance of the dictionaries under their purview. Members of the Council also contribute original articles to the YDC Library.

Preserving the World’s Linguistic Heritage
Of the six thousand languages spoken on the planet, nearly half are said to be endangered. To help preserve the languages and the distinct heritages each represents, yourDictionary.com has created the Endangered Language Repository (ELR). The purpose of the ELR is to provide a sanctuary for these languages on the worldwide web, to better enable access by both scholars and interested laypersons.

Reproduced with permission from The New York Times

Dictionary Publishers Going Digital
A Low Margin Business Sees Profits on the Web

By David D. Kirkpatricklogomachy ( n. an argument about words) is brewing on the Web.August 21, 2000 — Houghton Mifflin plans to publish the fourth edition of the American Heritage dictionary next month, the volume’s first major overhaul in eight years. The new edition is full of changes sure to arouse lexicographers — color illustrations, notes on slang and a new appendix describing Semitic as well as Indo-European roots.But what has the publisher most excited is happening outside the covers, as Houghton Mifflin hustles to sell electronic versions of its dictionary for inclusion in other companies’ software, Web sites and digital publications.Houghton Mifflin is not alone. Its major rivals — most notably Merriam-Webster and Microsoft’s year-old Encarta dictionary — are all stepping up their digital dictionary efforts to tap an increasingly lucrative market, setting up a business contest that philologists say will also affect the way Americans use English.Electronic novels may be making headlines these days, but electronic dictionaries are actually making money. At Houghton Mifflin, digital dictionary licensing is expected to account for more than $1 million in profit this year, more than 10 percent of the earnings from the company’s trade and reference division, according to Wendy Strothman, the division’s publisher.Stifled for years by low margins and flat sales, publishers are salivating over digital licensing as a new source of revenue growth and promoting new features like audible pronunciations. But word scholars worry that the new pressures of the online market may end up favoring well-connected or well-positioned dictionaries — some sniffingly cite Microsoft’s Encarta — over more authoritative lexicons.Many lexicographers initially saw the advent of the Internet as a terrific new tool, especially because it made possible electronic texts of nearly infinite length. That impulse inspired the Oxford University Press, for example, to revise its 20-volume Oxford English Dictionary for the first time since its completion in 1928.A new online version of the O.E.D. is available to subscribers for fees starting at $550 a year. Researchers are posting the revisions and additions online in stages, and they expect to finish the alphabet in about 40 volumes around 2010.Oxford University Press has not yet decided if it will publish a new printed version, too, said Jesse Sheidlower, its American editor. The Internet also enables rival dictionary compilers to share a common digital “corpus,” or archive of usage samples. Inspired by the British National Corpus that was established in 1993, a group of publishers and linguists based in New York is raising financing and gathering material to build an American National Corpus of 100 million words in texts of all kinds, including transcript, newspapers and novels.

But the American National Corpus has yet to win help from many of the nation’s big dictionary publishers, who would stand to lose the advantage of their own proprietary archives. “We think we have our needs pretty well served,” said John Morse, president and publisher of the Merriam-Webster, the United States’ oldest and best-selling dictionary, with an archive of more than 15 million citations.

The World Wide Web is also a gold mine for linguistic research. For the first time, scholars can trace the infancy of new words as they bubble up from narrow subcultures through online discussion groups and eventually into general use, said Michael Adams, a professor at Albright College in Pennsylvania and editor of the journal Dictionaries.

Professor Adams recently published a study of new coinages from the television show “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” — “slayage” and many other -age formations, for example — tracking their progress from teenage fans’ Web sites to magazines like Mademoiselle. He argues that Buffy has also spawned novel uses of “much,” as in “pathetic much?,” “morbid much?” or “Having issues much?”

But Microsoft’s Encarta dictionary, billed as the first lexicon for the digital age, has some lexicographers shaking their heads, partly because they worry that it could indeed be the dictionary of the future.

The idea for the Encarta was born in the early 1990’s, when Nigel Newton, chief executive of the British publishing house Bloomsbury, wrote a letter to William H. Gates, proposing to create a dictionary of “world English.”

The Web is seen as a gold mine for linguistic research.

At the time, Microsoft was paying Houghton Mifflin to license online versions of its American Heritage dictionary to use in Microsoft’s spell-checking software and to bundle with its Encarta digital encyclopedia. Why pay Houghton Mifflin, Mr. Newton suggested, when the two companies could build a wordbook of their own? Bloomsbury developed the dictionary, selling international digital rights to Microsoft and the American rights to Holtzbrinck’s St. Martins Press.

The new venture faced long odds in bookstores. Most American consumers traditionally want a red dictionary with the name Webster on the cover — as in Merriam-Webster, Random House’s Webster’s, and IDG Books’s Webster’s New World, says John Sargent, president of Holtzbrinck’s American operations.

But the new dictionary’s publishers are betting that Microsoft’s commanding position in the software market can make Encarta’s name and black cover even more ubiquitous. “Our thinking was that, given its use in Microsoft software, the Encarta brand would over time become the leading reference brand,” Mr. Sargent said. The electronic version is available for sale with some Microsoft software or for free at www.encarta.com.

The possibility that Encarta will, in fact, become the new Webster is precisely what is bothering many linguists. In a forthcoming review in Dictionaries, Sidney I. Landau, author of “Dictionaries: The Art & Craft of Lexicography,” roundly pans Encarta’s “cumbersome, repetitious and inconsistent style” and especially what he sees as its excessive political correctness.

The word “Indian,” an example Mr. Landau notes, is described in other dictionaries as potentially insensitive but also widely used among Native Americans and inextricably woven into terms like “Indian summer.” The Encarta issues a blanket condemnation, calling the term “offensive” several times. In a few cases, the Encarta Web site even interrupts the viewer with a “language advisory” before even displaying a potentially offensive word, as if it were a lewd movie. Such labels, Mr. Landau says, reverse most lexicographers’ understanding of their job—to report in neutral terms the changing shape of the language.

Professor Adams, another Encarta critic, worries that Encarta will succeed despite its flaws and at the expense of its rivals. “The problem is that if they don’t put out the best possible dictionary, because of the access they have through the Microsoft software, they could very well depress the sales of the four major publishers,” said Mr. Adams, who has worked as a consultant to American Heritage. “Good dictionaries would disappear, and we would be left with an inferior dictionary.”

Microsoft and its partners dismiss the criticism as predictable nitpicking. Every new or different dictionary has met a similar response from professional lexicographers, said Mr. Sargent of Holtzbrinck.

Houghton Mifflin, Microsoft’s previous digital dictionary supplier, was the publisher with the most to lose from the Encarta dictionary, which Microsoft this year began using instead of the American Heritage. But Ms. Strothman of Houghton Mifflin said that new digital licensing deals had “more than made up for the loss of that revenue stream.”

She said Houghton Mifflin prepares customized versions of its digital database for a variety of clients, seeking to capitalize on the recent interest in electronic publishing by embedding its dictionary in electronic books or reading software. Readers can look up any word with a click. When half a million fans downloaded copies of Stephen King’s electronic novella “Riding the Bullet” in March, for example, some of the software programs for displaying it included a digital version of the American Heritage dictionary, and Houghton Mifflin received a small royalty on each. This fall, the digital publisher netLibrary will begin including American Heritage dictionaries with its e-books, paying a sliding scale fee for its use. (Microsoft’s new Reader software, however, includes a version of Encarta.)

A number of Web sites, including www.dictionary.com, have even paid Houghton Mifflin for use of its digital dictionary to provide free spellings and definitions on the Web, hoping to attract viewers and sell advertising. “They are welcome to do that, but our content costs us money and we want to get paid for it,” Ms. Strothman said. “What puzzles me is why our competitors put their own dictionaries up on the Web for free.” Houghton Mifflin sells its dictionary on CD-ROM, but does not put it on a Web site of its own.

That position has cost the company some business. Paul J. J. Payack, chief executive of the newly formed company yourDictionary.com, initially favored licensing American Heritage, he says, because he liked its etymologies and simple definitions. But he did not like Houghton Mifflin’s licensing-only strategy. He wanted a dictionary that would bolster his brand by building its own, so he struck a deal with Merriam-Webster.

Merriam-Webster has taken a radically different tack from American Heritage, giving its dictionary away for free on its own Web site (www.m-w.com) while at the same time trying to license it to whomever it could, including America Online and the hand-held computer maker Franklin Electronic Publishers, among others. Recently, it also managed to strike a deal to display its Web site on Palm devices.

“Unlike Houghton Mifflin, we are just a dictionary publisher,” said Mr. Morse of Merriam-Webster. “We aim mainly to promote the brand.”

The main Merriam-Webster Web site and a related site for children offer word games and offers a free word-of-the-day e-mail with usage and etymology tips. Mr. Morse said the site was now getting about 20 million page views a month, at a rate of about 50,000 look-ups an hour during the middle of the day.

Merriam-Webster also tracks which words users look up for guidance in making revisions. This month’s hot word: “chutzpah,” spurred by news coverage of vice presidential candidate Joseph I. Lieberman.
But not all lexicographers are happy about the proliferation of Merriam-Webster’s definitions online, either. “The Merriam-Webster is fantastic but least suited for most people who use it,” said Jesse Sheidlower, the American editor of the Oxford English Dictionary. “Its definitions are much more complicated and more difficult than the other major dictionaries. The other dictionaries are accurate, and you can use them without going nuts.”

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