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Politics 2016: Fighting the Last War, Again

Vietnam 2
It used to be said, that old soldiers are always fighting the last war. That they are trained in the techniques and strategies that were acquired on battlefields past, and the old lessons don’t always apply to the current fields of battle. In 2016, this lesson does not apply to the American Military who deal in contingencies of every imaginable stripe, but rather to the political class who seem to be impervious to the will (and pulse) of the American electorate.
Rather than trying to harness the anger beneath the surface, the political elite is attempting to ignore that which is in plain sight to in order to keep the control they have exerted over the electorate.

 

On the Republican side, senior leadership is arguing amongst themselves about how to stop Trump, the unannointed usurper.

On the Democratic side, there is some comfort in the fact that the party’s unelected, non-represetative ‘Super Delagates’ can direct the vote to whom they please, in a new (and ingenious) kind of voter suppression

While arguing over who voted to authorize the Iraq War, the Syrian Civil War becomes ever more ominous,, which now has resulted in more than a quarter of a million civilizian deaths while ex-patriating millions of rufugees to an EU, which can’t keep up with the continuing inflow.
And, again, while arguing over who voted to authorize the Iraq War, the Islamic State (ISIL or ISIS) captures huge swaths of Iraqi land, and an ever enlarging footprint in the Middle East (and now North Africa), and declares the existence a new Caliphate, which by tradition, all Muslims are ordered to support.
The same can be said for our political leadership in the current election cycle where the political reality in 2016 is in direct conflict with the will of their own people.

Not a day goes by without any number of screeching headlines referring to the Republican or Democratic leadership as well as the elite opinion makers attempting to stop the current political ‘revolutions’ and return to the more managable election landscape of elections past.

 

While Democratic and Republican Party leadership are busy fighting the last war (or eve worse the last several wars), the American electorate has been busy moving forward with eyes squarely on the current battle, writing headlines of their own.

Somehow it appears as if enough Americans have had their fill of the status quo — and are moving onto the new fields of battle, daring to lead the elites into a hazy, ill-defined political future.

Examples of Fighting the Last War:

  • Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders – OK, so they might actually win their party’s nominations. Obviously, this is a result of a series of major mis-judgements of Party Leadership of both parties. Stop managing expectations and start managing reality.
  • Deaths by Opioids — Every year, there are now as many deaths from Opioids in the US as deaths from guns. And this is affecting all demographics. Where is the outcry!?
  • The 1% — No matter how you define the elite, the facts remain that an ever larger percentage of the nation’s wealth is flowing to those at the top. And it is all too obvious that the banks that are ‘too large to fail’ are also ‘too large for jail’.
  • Middle East — Problems in the Middle East do not spring from George W. Bush, but rather from the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire (1299-1923) and the creation of boundaries of convenience for the British Protectorate. Fighting the Last War (Iraq 2003) here has led to the ongoing struggles in Iraq, the deaths of hundreds of thousands in Syria, and the spread of the Islamic State.
  • Manufacturing Jobs — The focus on ‘bringing back’ lost manufacturing jobs — In numbers employed, the Service Sector topped the Manufacturing Sector in the 1970s. Since World War II the Manufacturing Sector has declined from about a quarter of total in percentage of total employment to just below 10% currently. Fortunately, the sector’s productivity has exploded and the US still produces about 20% of the world’s manufacturing output. But those millions of jobs (including three or four million shipped to China since the turn of the century) are not coming back.
  • Unemployment Under 5% — All Americans are quite aware that the employment number is not right. Does it include those who’ve given up looking for work? No. Is the largest prison population in the world included in the number? No. We all know those who are working two (or more) jobs to maintain their previous standards of living. Are the underemployed counted the same as the ‘fully employed’? Yes.
  • Focus on Identity politics — There is ample evidence that the younger population is not as focused on ‘identity politics’ as do the party’s elite. The current electorate focuses less on ‘race’ and identity politics, and more on the reality of income inequality, as well as disparities in opportunities, educational attainment, and employment.

 

Conclusion:

What is sure: the current electorate is delivering a resounding No Vote, a stunning vote of No Confidence to the current leadership of both parties. A good portion of the American public has decided that they are tired of past and present policy initiatives, and the ever smaller focus on slights delivered to each other each, than their concerns with a world teeming with war, terrorism, and economic inequality.

 

Flashback: Gulf Oil Spill and Rise of ‘the Narrative’ in Politics

The Importance of Tracking Evolving Narratives

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Gulf Oil Spill Vs. Katrina

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Obama vs. BP

The Lesson of the Gulf Oil Spill narrative is the importance of controlling the narrative, since whoever wins of the narrative, controls the story in terms of political capital — for good or ill.

Austin, TX, June 02, 2010 (Updated May 24, 2014) — In an exclusive analysis by The Global Language Monitor’s NarrativeTracker™, there are now several differing story lines emerging from the Gulf Oil Spill. 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.

Colleen Ross: How Obama Lost Control of the Oil-Spill Narrative (CBC)

The Narratives emerging from this on-going (and slow-moving) disaster include: Obama was Slow to Respond – 95% of the social media conversations characterize the President Obama as ‘slow to respond’. Obama vs. BP: who’s in charge? — 52% see BP in charge of the spill. This may or may not be a political liability. Democrats need the blame assigned to BP; at the same time, Obama needs to be seen as in overall control of the disaster Worst environmental disaster ever – 42% see the current spill the worst environmental disaster ever. Federal Response — 57% see the Federal response using ‘poor’ or related keywords. Not a good month for the Feds; come to think of it, not a good year for the Feds. Katrina vs. Exxon Valdez – 61% make the comparison to the Exxon Valdez; about 39% compare the ongoing spill to the inundation of New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

 

Biblical Prophecies Abound Once More — About 61% of all references involve the Bible. (Even Ted Turner has a theory how the oil spill might be a warning from God.) These are markedly different in tone than those used with Katrina where the references focused on apocalyptic imagery, End-of-the-World scenarios and doom. The Obama Style of Leadership – This is a close one 52% see Obama as ‘hand’s on’ leadership, 48% see ‘hand’s off’. Again, this is either positive or negative depending on your political bias.

Clarence Page: How stories, true or not, drive politics

Ronald Reagan was seen as a ‘hand’s off’ president and that was considered good. Jimmy Carter was a ‘hand’s on’ type president and that was considered bad. “The development of the Gulf Oil Spill narrative is important to track since he who wins control of the narrative, controls the story in terms of political capital – for good or ill,” said Paul JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst of GLM. “With the mid-term elections just five months away, and the prospect of the Gulf Oil Spill continuing unabated for months, control of the narrative is more important than ever.” The rise of the narrative can render positions on the issues almost meaningless, since positions now matter less than how they fit into a particular narrative.

The NarrativeTracker 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 term ‘narrative’ in this sense is now appearing thousands of times in the global media on the Internet and blogosphere as well as throughout the world of social media, meaning the main streams of public opinion running in the media that needs to be fed, encouraged, diverted or influenced by any means possible. GLM recently announced The Healthcare NarrativeTracker Index™ (NTI™), in partnership with OpenConnect Systems of Dallas. The Healthcare NTI is the first product specifically designed to use social media-based monitoring to better understand the issues driving healthcare reform, providing a real-time, accurate picture of what the public is saying about any topic related to healthcare, at any point in time. The NarrativeTracker 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. 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.

 

Obama and the null set narrative

Reprinted from The Hill, May 31, 2009

Obama and the null set narrative

By Paul JJ Payack

We have been analyzing the narrative of Barack Obama for some years now. In fact, we’ve tracked three differing narratives in the course of his campaign and the first term of his presidency. We’ve tracked the president’s highs (the “Yes we can!” Grant Park Speech, and others of soaring rhetoric), and his lows (the much more pedestrian Gulf Oil Spill effort).

We’ve been praised for our astute analysis, and condemned for announcing his premature political death. At the time, the Global Language Monitor’s analysis of the BP Oil Spill speech was actually pulled off CNN and replaced by a far milder critique. In retrospect, that speech was a harbinger of what was to come — Barack Obama bereft of Hope and Change.

Not that we didn’t have hints about of what was about to transpire. Consider the disposition of these “hope-and-change type” promises: (1) the immediate shutdown of Guantanamo, (2) the end of the K Street revolving door and (3) holding the bankers accountable for their part in the financial meltdown. How exactly do you make sense of these countervailing (or even contradictory) positions?

Obama and the null set narrative.

Now consider the president’s recent speech on U.S. defense policy: after ramping up the use of drones against “enemy combatants,” with hundreds of civilians deaths by the administration’s own estimate, he stands firmly against gratuitous drone strikes. After keeping Gitmo open for going on five years now, he will now do everything in his power to close it. How to make sense of these seemingly oppositional positions?

The null set narrative.

In the run-up to the 2010 midterms, we began to formally track the president’s narrative. We were curious to better understand how the word ‘narrative’ rose to be the No. 1 political buzzword at that time and what it meant to this presidency. Other terms frequently used to describe Obama at the time, included: detached, aloof, hands-off or professorial. Some took these words to be demeaning and/or insulting.

Clarence Page of the Chicago Tribune wrote, “The danger comes when politicians and their operatives essentially use ‘narrative’ … the version of the truth that they want us to believe even when they don’t believe it.”

Since his reelection last November, we have remained silent on the subject — awaiting the second term narrative to emerge. With the recent series of crises, scandals and/or events, we now are, indeed, witnessing this new narrative: the null set narrative.

Consider, if you will, the current plight of one Jay Carney.

It is always interesting how one’s attributes can be used to praise or condemn depending on the narrative in which they are described.

However, this is a narrative that can fit around any news, story or scandal; more to the point, it is completely irrelevant to the words ensconced within it. Any words, anytime, anywhere. This is the narrative of choice for the administration at this point in time.

And now detached, aloof, and hands-off are the favored phrases in this administration’s null set narrative.

Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/the-administration/302749-obama-and-the-null-set-narrative#ixzz2UuzupYr7

 

Obama: du candidat super star au président mal aimé

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La couverture de l’élection de Barack Obama a été sans commune mesure avec les élections présidentielles de 2000 et 2004. Jacques Portes explique pourquoi le président des Etats-Unis n’a pas réussi à transformer ce succès planétaire en atout au cours de son mandat. Extraits de “Obama, vers un deuxième mandat ?” (1/2).

 

Third Debate: a Reverse ‘Rope-a-Hope’

Exclusive Analysis

Austin, Texas. October 23 — The President chose to go on the attack in the Third Presidential Debate last night; in a sort of reverse ‘rope-a-Hope’ strategy the challenger attempted to defuse the pummeling by not quite praising the President’s efforts but, rather, agreeing with him whenever it was even remotely possible. This was the Obama of 2008, though the pounding spoke less of hope and change & more of a desperate attempt to please his base.

For all the chest-pounding on the President’s side of the aisle, er, Spin Room, the fact remained that Obama was back in familiar territory of long sentences, a relatively high usage of the passive voice, with a lower reading ease, and attendant higher grade level scores. Once again, the higher use of the passive voice often is interpreted as attempting to evade ownership or shift responsibility. Obama’s use of passive was more than double his use in the Second Debate. Typically, a bellicose style does not win over the undecided, who seek to be more reassured than shouted at.

Romney’s numbers were remarkably similar during all three debates, which apparently reflects his steady, controlled, ‘gee willikers’-type personality, with a direct, if quaint, speaking style. This is a style of moderate-length, declarative sentences, with little use of the passive voice, and short, direct, and easy to understand words.

Both candidates were attempting to sound (and look) presidential and it was apparent that the second task was quite wearying. Holding back on Biden-esque smirks and Al Gore-ish disdain, feigning interest while keeping their talking points in mind, looked to take a singular toll.

Now the question remains if the Third Debate, along with a narrow win in the Second, is enough to unwind the havoc wrought by Debate No. 1, which introduced Mitt 2.0 (or even 3.0) upon an unsuspecting American electorate. Indeed, who knew that Mr. Romney could even affect let alone reverse his apparent off-course trajectory in a 90-minute span? Seldom has the course of a major American campaign change in a shorter amount of time. And seldom has a foregone conclusion, Obama winning an electoral landslide, collapsed as suddenly.

 

Not the Thrilla in Manila, but Certainly Nasty in Nassau

Austin, TEXAS. October 17, 2012. The President Obama of yore (2008, that is) showed up at the debate last night and so was hailed the victor. In fact, the numbers show that it was not that Romney faltered. He did not. Rather it was the President who recovered from his first debate ‘debacle’ (as viewed by his strongest supporters).

The numbers reveal the story. First, keep this number in mind: 7.4. This is the grade level of Obama’s most widely hailed speech, the “Yes, We Can!” Grant Park victory speech. ‘Yes, We Can!” is widely perceived as a classic to be enshrined in the American Oratory Hall of Fame along side Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I have a dream,” Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address,’ and Ronald Reagan’s “City on a Hill” speeches.

In the first Presidential debate, Obama’s grade level came in at 9.2. For a debate, with all its give-and-take, interruptions, pauses and the like, that was a rather high number. A Town Hall meeting is definitely not the place for the grandiloquent turn of phrase, especially when you are trying to woo the undecided citizens of the land with plain speakin’ — no matter how uncomfortable that might be.

We all told in sixth grade that a newspaper should be written at the sixth-grade level, which from the sixth-grade perspective can be quite a challenge. What this really translates to is short sentences, concise paragraphs, fewer polysyllabic words, and all written in active voice.

As an example, Joe Biden spoke at a sixth grade level (6.1) in the vice presidential debate and there were few who claimed the inability to understand Ol’ Joe. (Unfortunately, these tests do not evaluate facial expressions.) In last night’s debate , Obama scored 7.2 in the grade-level score, about 28% lower (and in this case better) than his first debate — and nearly identical to his Grant Park discourse.

Both Romney and Obama cut their used of passive voice nearly in half from 6% to 4% and 3%, respectively. Active voice, where the subject is the doer of the action, is always preferred over passive voice in political discourse since it can be used to avoid responsibility. (‘Taxes were raised’ rather than ‘I raise raised the taxes.)

Finally, Obama’s reading ease score improved over 8% from 63.1 to 70.1; Romney’s remained a bit higher at 71.0.

In champion fights, the unwritten rule is that you never take the current champ’s crown away on — points unless the victory is overwhelming. Last night the President showed up to fight, and thus is awarded the victory on points. So the Presidential Debate series now stands even at 0ne all, with the rubber (and deciding) match to take place next week.

 

With Obama’s structural lead, debate stakes couldn’t be higher

October 16, Austin, Texas — (Opinion) We have seen this all before in politics, in the board room, on the ball fields, and in life. The person at the top of the pecking order makes a misstep, seemingly minor, and then cascades into something major, and then cascades further still until it become calamitous — unless it can be stopped in time. Time is of the essence here. It must be squelched immediately, or sooner. And hopefully sooner still.

Perhaps it is ironic that one of the best examples was that of Mitt Romney’s Dad, George, in his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination back in the late ’60s. George Romney claimed that he had been ‘brainwashed’ by the U.S. military and diplomatic personnel on a visit to Vietnnam. “Romney brainwashed’ screamed the headlines. And that was all it took for his campaign to unravel.

Even a youthful observer could understand that Romney was using what in literature is known as synecdoche, where a part is used to represent something far larger. I have since seen this repeated scores of times in political confrontations of all types most recently in the Arab Spring. Today, we label this kind of support ‘shallow’ where a significant number of supporters are ready to abandon their candidate at the first instance that a viable alternative arises.

Could this explain what we saw in the aftermath of the first debate? It seems unlikely, but nevertheless could explain the remarkable transformation of the presidential contest we are now witnessing. I should note that it also doesn’t mean the the president will lose on November 6th. His lead is structural, both in terms of constituents as well as geography. There are many paths available for Obama to construct a electoral majority. For Romney the options are far fewer. Even if Romney’s momentum continues to build, there is a possibility of Romney eking out a slim victory in the popular vote, while losing by a far larger margin in the Electoral College.

The stakes in Tuesday’s debate could not be higher. For Romney the task is to build upon his momentum, for Obama it is to halt Romney in his tracks before he loses complete control of the race.

Paul JJ Payack, president, Global Language Monitor

A slightly different version of this article appeared on TheHill.com on October 15, 2012.

 

Malarkey Vs. Adorkable: The Vice Presidential Debate

Two words can be used to distill the essence of Thursday Night’s Vice Presidential Debate: Malarkey Vs. Adorkable.

On the one hand you have Joe Biden in familiar territory talking, interrupting, spinning, smiling feverishly to help the Democrats regain control of the political narrative after the widely perceived misteps of the president in the first Presidential Debate; on the other you have Paul Ryan, the wunder wonk, attempting to demonstrate 1) that he is NOT Sarah Palin, and 2) that he is more than simply a policy wonk and has the attendant seriousness, intelligence and skill set necessary to sit a heartbeat away from the presidency. Both succeeded in their appointed tasks.

Though Biden used the term ‘malarkey’ to describe Ryan’s debate performance, it was Biden who more closely typified the concept of ‘malarkey’ (bluster). Ryan did not stray too far from his policy wonk persona, but was fortunate that dorks, nerds and wonks are now in fashion. Hence the term ‘adorkable’ for ‘adorable dork’. In fact, The Global Language Monitor had named ‘adorkable’ as the Top Television Word of the Year just a month or so ago.

In terms of language usage, Biden used about 30% more passive voice than Ryan. Many believe that the passive voice is used to shade the truth, opposed to simple declarative sentences. Ryan and Biden both were relatively easy to understand according to the standardized algorithms coming in at 69.4 and 72.6 on the Reading Ease Scale. As for Grade Level, Ryan came in at 6.6, while Biden scored a 6.1. For comparison, Obama scored a 9.2 and Romney a 6.8 in their first debate.

(As a side note, Biden’s score (6.1) was the lowest ever recorded in a debate, surpassing Ross Perot’s previous low of 6.3).

 

The Final Narrative of Barack Obama

Austin, Texas. October 9, 2012 — The controversy swirling around Obama’s debate performance completely misses the point. For better or worse, this is it. Stripped of all pretension. Devoid of the catch phrases and the swoons. Minus the Hollywood glam. This is he. Barack Obama. The man, unadorned. No longer do we see Obama through a glass dimly. Now we see him for who he is. This is neither to embellish nor dis-embellish the man. This is to see things for what they are and not what they ought — or ought not — to be.

At the Global Language Monitor we understand that life is not an exit poll; we cannot shape the reality of how we just voted. It is a zero-sum thing, a binary action, a one or a zero, a yes or a no. In the same manner we have tracked the narrative of Barack Obama the preceding five years, stripped of all adornment, searching for the reality that was all too frequently, standing right before us, actually in our midst, if only we had the will to open our eyes to see.

Of course we have unabashedly published our findings along the way but at that time our findings seemed a bit out-of-step, as indeed they were. Out-of-step with the perceived reality, but in step with reality as it was. Unlike most of life, a new president is graced with a honeymoon period, when missteps are overlooked, forgotten, or forgiven. This is not the ‘suspension of disbelief’ that allows us to enjoy a fantastical story in the cinema but rather a ‘suspension of self-interest,’ where we put aside our partisan differences and wait. We wait for the cues and signals, both small and large, that will reveal the intentions, proclivities, and (dare I say it?) the character of the incumbent.

For some presidents this grace period is over nearly before it starts (Gerald Ford and George W. Bush come to mind). For others, it lasts a bit longer (George H.W. Bush), and for others longer still (Ronald Reagan). In the case of Barack Obama, the situation was markedly different. Being a black man, most Americans wanted him to succeed precisely because he was a black man. As a relative outsider, he was a welcome break from the recent past (and impending future) — Bush 41, Clinton 42, Bush 43, Clinton 44?

Being a newcomer, he was the classic tabula rasa, a blank slate upon which we could pour upon all our hopes and dreams. And change? Who on this planet did not want change from the preceding eight years: a divisive and disputed election, global terrorism and 9/11, two wars in the Middle East, a devastating tsunami, the inundation of one of America’s great cities, and to top it off, the global financial meltdown. All this being so, Barack Obama began his presidency with an extraordinarily large reservoir of good will. Let’s call this reservoir the Hope and Change Quotient (HCQ).

During Obama’s first days in office, the nation was engulfed in ‘anger and rage’? GLM analyzed the situation back in February 2009 and found that what was being reported as ‘anger’ was actually ‘frustration,’ while what was being reported as ‘rage’ was actually ‘despair’, a sense of foreboding or impending doom. GLM followed this rather odd undercurrent during the earliest, most hopeful, days of the Obama administration. The results were striking, especially, in contrast to the immense outpouring of global goodwill in response to the inauguration of Barack Obama, since the survey included the ten days immediately following Obama’s swearing in. Some of the keywords showing heightened awareness were Abandoned, Despair, Desperation, and Fear — all appearing in the media with double digit increases over the pre-election period. This was perhaps an abberation we thought, but as we moved forward, the pattern continued unabated.

We saw a turning point with the Gulf Oil Spill speech. This was the opportunity to show the world how a US President would properly respond to a major crisis threatening the Gulf Coast, the ecosystem, and the forces of nature and the evil of Man (an arrogant CEO from Central casting, BP, Halliburton, and a 24×7 ‘Spill Cam’ spewing forth colorful filth, worthy of a Dreamworks 3-D treatment. And what did we get? We got what we had been measuring for the preceding two years: Obama 2.0, with an academic-sounding speech detailing a broad plan for an alternative-energy future and few specifics, and little of the hell-and-brimstone his followers had hope for.

By now it was becoming apparent for all to see. This was a changed and changing man, at least how he revealed himself publicly through speech. By time the 2010 Mid-Terms delivered their ‘shellacking’ the transformation was nearly complete. With a few noteworthy exceptions, such as his Tuscon eulogy,which ranked among his best, the President has appeared less-and-less engaged, more-and-more distant.

In July we noted that the top political buzzwords were telling a far different story than either campaign was presenting to the American people. Our analysis found that Bush was clearly assigned responsibility for the so-called Great Recession, while Obama was responsibility for the economy’s current condition, just as concern over Bain Capital and the ‘war against women’ were of less and little concern respectively. In other words, the American people saw the issues as if the virulent political ads of both parties did not exist. In contrast ‘Still believe the American Dream’ was No. 5 and ‘Disappointment in Obama Administration’ was No. 6.

At the same time, the Hope and Change Quotient has nearly been depleted, this being the normal course near the end of every president’s first term in recent memory. The President has finally been vetted. We now know the man, his strengths, weaknesses, and his proclivities. This is not to say that he will not win in his bid for re-election. But this is to say, that for better or worse, this is it.

This is the final narrative of Barack Obama.

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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 media sources as they emerge.

Paul JJ Payack is the president and Chief Word Analysts of Austin-based Global Language Monitor

 

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Word ‘Christmas’ Stronger than ever in Global Media

Contrary to assumption that “Holiday season” pushing Christmas aside

Austin, TX December 23, 2008 (Update) – The Global Language Monitor (www.LanguageMonitor.com) has found that contrary to the assumption that the word Christmas is being pushed aside by more secular or politically neutral terms, ‘Christmas’ is used over 600% more than ‘Holiday Season’ in the global media. GLM compared the use of Christmas along with that of ‘Holiday Season,’ ‘Xmas,’ Chanukah’ in a variety of spellings, and ‘Kwanzaa’ (see below for the various spellings of Chanukah).

Since the 2005 season, Christmas has been used in about 85% of all global print and electronic media citations [2008, 84.6%; 2007, 85.5%; 2006, 84.1%; 2005, 84.1%].

In the global media, Christmas accounted for about 84.6% of all citations with Holiday Season following at 12.6%, followed by Xmas (1.5%), Hanukah (0.9%) and Kwanzaa (0.3%). On the Internet, Christmas led with 80.8% followed by Xmas (10.6%), Holiday Season (5.1%), Hanukah (2.5%), and Kwanzaa (0.7%). Note: The X in the word Xmas actually represents the Greek letter CHI, the first two Letters in the name Christ.

Festivus, the fictional holiday created during the hit Seinfeld television series, and Wintervale, sometimes used as a politically neutral substitute for the Christmas season were also measured with negligible results.

GLM tracked the words and phrases in the print and electronic media, on the Internet and throughout the blogosphere. The analysis also measured the global print and electronic media on its own. The results follow

Global Media Percentage Internet Percentage
Christmas 84.6% Christmas 80.8%
Xmas 1.5% Xmas 10.6%
Holiday Season 12.6% Holiday Season 5.1%
Hannukah 0.9% Hannukah 2.5%
Kwanzaa 0.3% Kwanzaa 0.7%
Festivus 0.03% Festivus 0.1%
Wintervale 0.00% Wintervale 0.001%
Total 100.0% Total 100.0%

“We thought it would prove interesting to see how the holidays are actually represented in the global media,” said Paul JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst of GLM. “We were a bit surprised to see that the much discussed secularization of Christmas in the media was nowhere as widespread as speculated.”

Various Spellings of Chanukah

  • Chanuka
  • Chanukah (Most common in US)
  • Chanukkah
  • Channukah
  • Hanukah
  • Hannukah
  • Hanukkah
  • Hanuka
  • Hanukka
  • Hanaka
  • Haneka
  • Hanika
  • Khanukkah

Added 12/23/09 (thanks to Steven Teitel)

For more information, call +1.512.801.6823 or email info@languagemonitor.com

 

Top Politically Incorrect Words of 2007-2008

‘Nappy-Headed Ho’ Top Politically inCorrect Phrase for 2007 Closely Followed by ‘Ho-Ho-Ho’ and ‘Carbon Footprint Stomping’

 

Henderson ,NV . March 21, 2008. ‘Nappy-headed Ho,’’ closely followed by ‘Ho-Ho-Ho’ and ’Carbon Footprint Stomping’ top the list of the most egregious examples of politically inCorrect language found in 2007 by the Global Language Monitor in its annual global survey. This year’s list includes words and phrases from the US , the UK ,Australia , and China .

“It is no surprise that a ‘Nappy-headed Ho’ was selected as the Top Politically Incorrect word or phrase for 2007,” said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of The Global Language Monitor (GLM). “A year later that phrase is still ricocheting about the Internet even affecting Christmas-season Santas in Australia.” The list was nominated by the GLM’s Language Police, volunteer language observers from the world over.
The Top Politically Incorrect Terms and Phrases for previous years include:

  • 2006: Global Warming Denier
  • 2005: Misguided Criminals
  • 2004: Master/Slave computer jargon

The Top Politically inCorrect Words and Phrases for 2007:

  1. Nappy-headed Ho’s – Radio personality Don Imus’ reference to the women on the Rutgers University championship basketball team. ‘Nappy’ is ultimately derived from the Anglo Saxon hnoppa for the ‘wooly substance on the surface of cloth’. Combined with the word ‘ho’ — a derogratory term for women, Imus’ comments led to an uproar in the media and ultimately led to his resignation.
    2. HoHoHo — Staffing company in Sydney suggesting to prospective Santas to re-phrase their traditional greeting of “ho, ho, ho” in favor of “ha, ha, ha” so as not be confused with American urban parlance, a derogatory term for women.
    3. Carbon footprint stomping – The movement to flaunt carbon-intensive activities such as driving Hummers and flying private jets; a reaction to the Green movement is the height of political inCorrectness.
    4. Year of the Pig Restrictions – Chinese State Television in Shanghai warns Nestle against Happy Pig New Year ads, foregoing thousands of years of Chinese Tradition, because it might inflame pork-shying minorities.
    5. Three Little Pigs – according to the BBC, A retelling of the three little pigs fairy tale, called Three Little Cowboy Builders, was excluded from award consideration because judges said that “ the use of pigs raises cultural issues”. It was also found to “alienate parts of the workforce (building trade): “Is it true that all builders are cowboys, builders get their work blown down, and builders are like pigs?”
    6. The ‘Race’ Card – Originally a printed card with information about a thoroughbred horse race, now used in 2008 Presidential campaign parlance as in ‘playing the race card’, meaning intentionally injecting issues of ethnicity into the campaign. The word ‘race’ is ultimately derived from the Old High German for lineage.
    7. “Obesity Is Socially Contagious” — That was the widely reported headline in the UCSD press release announcing the results of a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine that actually came to the opposite conclusion. One of the study’s authors made it worse by stating “It’s spread from person to person like a fashion or a germ … once it starts; it’s hard to stop it. It can spread like wildfire.”
    8. Fire-breathing Dragon – Lindsey Gardiner, a leading British children’s author of the popular Lola, Poppy and Max characters, was instructed to eliminate a fire-breathing dragon from her new book because publishers feared they could be sued under health and safety regulations.
    9. “Wucha dun did now?” — Handbook distributed a Houston school district police officer to enable the reader to speak “as if you just came out of the hood”.
    10. Gypsy skirt – The worldwide phenomenon of the gypsy, tiered or Boho skirt has a new name: Traveler’s Skirt, since police in Cornwall believed that the term ‘Gypsy Skirt’ might be considered offensive to this cultural minority.
    The Global Language Monitor uses a proprietary algorithm, the Predictive Quantities Indicator (PQI) to track the frequency of words and phrases in the global print and electronic media, on the Internet, throughout the Blogosphere, as well as accessing proprietary databases. The PQI is a weighted Index, factoring in: long-term trends, short-term changes, momentum, and velocity.
    GLM is moving its headquarters to Austin , Texas in the coming months.

 

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

 

The Top Politically inCorrect Words for 2006

 

The Top Politically inCorrect Words for 2006

 

 

Macaca, Global Warming Denier, Herstory and Flip Chart Top Annual List

 

San Diego, California (December 13, 2006) Macaca, Global Warming Denier, Herstory and Flip Chart top the list of the most egregious examples of politically correct language found in 2006 by the Global Language Monitor (www.LanguageMonitor.com) in its annual global survey.

“In 2006, the Political Correctness movement continued to gain momentum to the effect that many were unaware of the extent that it had inserted itself into ordinary English-language conversations,” said Paul JJ Payack, President of The Global Language Monitor (GLM). The year has been rife with examples that have been nominated by the GLM’s Language Police, volunteer language observers from the world over”.

The Top Politically inCorrect Words and Phrases for 2006:

  1. Macaca – Might have changed the political balance of the US Senate, since George Allen’s (R-VA) utterance (which is an offensive slang term for Indians of the Sub-continent in the West Indies) surely has impacted his election bid.
  2. Global Warming Denier – Since there are those who now believe that climate changed has moved from scientific theory to dogma; there are now proposal that ‘global warming deniers’ be treated the same as ‘holocaust deniers:’ professional ostracism, belittlement, ridicule and, even, jail.
  3. Herstory for History – ‘Herstory’ again attempts to take the male element out of ‘HIS story’. Though there are nearly 900,000 Google citations for ‘HERstory, they are all based on a mistaken assumption. When Herodotus wrote the first history, the word meant simply an ‘inquiry’.
  4. Flip Chart. The term can be offensive to Filipinos, please use ‘writing block’.
  5. 1a and 1b — The headmistress of a grade school in Midlothian (Scotland) had to split a grade into two equal classes. Though the split was purely alphabetical, parents objects because those with children in ‘1b’ feared they may be perceived as academically inferior to those in ‘1a’.
  6. Politically Incorrect Colors — Staff at a coffee shop in Glasgow refused to serve a customer who had ordered a ‘black coffee’, believing it to be ‘racist.’ He wasn’t served until he changed his order to ‘coffee without milk’. Around the world we have reports of the word ‘black’ becoming emotionally charged and politically correct or incorrect depending upon one’s point of view.
  7. Oriental – Asian, please. Though this is generally a purely American phenomenon. In Europe, Asians prefer the term Oriental, which literally means ‘those from the East’.
  8. Menaissance – The rise of a ‘manliness’ culture or male renaissance. Replaces metrosexual, which evidently appealed to women but not men.
  9. Momtini — A Michigan mother invented the term ‘momtini’ as an act of rebellion against ‘parental correctness’. This has raised the hackles of child protection and ‘anti-alcohol’ groups.
  10. “Our Mother and Father Who are in Heaven” – From a new, ‘inclusive’ Bible translation (The Bible in a More Just Language) that replaces what it believes to be “divisive” teachings of Christianity.

Bonus: Political Correctness — ‘Equality Essentials,’ a 44-page training manual book called has been used for staff training courses at Kirklees Council in West Yorkshire suggests that the term Political Correctness is now politically incorrect.

Top Words for 2005 and 2004

The Top Politically Incorrect Words for 2005 were the BBC’s use of the euphemism ‘Misguided Criminals’ for Terrorists after the 7/7 Tube Bombings.

In 2004, the List was highlighted by Los Angeles County’s insistence of covering over with labels any computer networking protocols that mention master/slave jargon.

 

Top Politically (in)Correct Words for 2005

 

 

Misguided Criminals, Intrinsic appitude, and Thought Shower Top List

 

San Diego, California (Updated November 29, 2005) Misguided Criminals, Intrinsic Aptitude, and Thought Shower top the list of the most egregious examples of politically correct language found in 2005 by the Global Language Monitor in its annual global survey. This year’s list includes words from the US, UK, France and Australia.

“2005 was the year we saw the Political Correctness movement become a truly global phenomenon,” said Paul JJ Payack, President of The Global Language Monitor (GLM). “The list is but one more example of the insertion of politics into every facet of modern life.”

The year has been rife with examples that have been nominated by the GLM’s Language Police, volunteer language observers from the world over.

Click here to Watch WCCO’s Video (Minneapolis)

Click here to Read and Listen to the Chinese Radio Int’l (CRI) Report

The Top Politically inCorrect Words and Phrases for 2005:

  1. Misguided Criminals for Terrorist: The BBC attempts to strip away all emotion by using what it considers neutral descriptions when describing those who carried out the bombings in the London Tubes. The rub: the professed intent of these misguided criminals was to kill, without warning, as many innocents as possible (which is the common definition for the term, terrorist). The phrase was selected by GLM as but one example in line with the published BBC Editorial Guidelines where it is noted that the word ‘terrorist’ itself can be a barrier rather than aid to understanding. Suggested alternatives include: bomber, attacker, insurgent and militant, among others. These and similar words are deemed to have no emotional or value judgments. However, the word Terrorist can be used as long as it appears in a quoted attribution. [To see one example used by John Simpson, BBC World Affairs Editor, Click Here.]
  2. Intrinsic Aptitude (or lack thereof) was a suggestion by LawrenceSummers, the president of Harvard, on why women might be underrepresented in engineering and science. He was nearly fired for his speculation.
  3. Thought Shower or Word Shower substituting for brainstorm so as not to offend those with brain disorders such as epilepsy.
  4. Scum or “la racaille” for French citizens of Moslem and North African descent inhabiting the projects ringing FrenchCities. France’s Interior Minister, Nicolas Sarkozy, used this most Politically inCorrect (and reprehensible) label to describe the young rioters (and by extension all the inhabitants of the Cites).
  5. Out of the Mainstream when used to describe theideology of any political opponent: At one time slavery was in the mainstream, thinking the sun orbited the earth was in the mainstream, having your blood sucked out by leeches was in the mainstream. What’s so great about being in the mainstream?
  6. Deferred Success as a euphemism for the word fail. The Professional Association of Teachers in the UK considered a proposal to replace any notion of failure withdeferred success in order to bolster students self-esteem.
  7. Womyn for Women to distance the word from man. This in spite of the fact that the term man in the original Indo-European is gender neutral (as have been its successors for some 5,000 years).
  8. C.E. for A.D.: Is the current year A.D. 2005 or 2005 C.E.? There is a movement to strip A.D.(Latin for “In the Year of the Lord”) from the year designation used in the West since the 5th century and replace it with the supposedly moreneutral Common Era (though the zero reference year for the beginning of the Common Era remains the year of Christ’s birth).
  9. “God Rest Ye Merry Persons” for “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”: A Christmas, eh, Holiday, carol with 500 years of history isnot enough to sway the Anglican Church at Cardiff Cathedral (Wales) from changing the original lyrics. There are those who suggest going one step further: “Higher Power Rest Ye Merry Persons”.
  10. Banning the word Mate: the Department ofParliamentary Services in Canberra issued a general warning to its security staff banning the use of the word ‘mate’ in dealings t with both members of Parliament and the public. What next? banning ‘no worries’ so as not to offend the worried, or banning ‘Down Under’ So as not to offend those of us who live in the “Up Over”.

HolidayBonus: Happy Holidays or Season’s Greetings for Christmas (which in some UK schools now label Wintervale). However, the word holiday is derived directly from Holy Day, and in the word X-Mas, the Greek letter ‘chi’ represented by the Roman X actually stands for the first two letters of the name Christ.) Now there are published reports of organization banning the traditional Christmas Colours of red and green.

Last year the Top Politically Incorrect words were: Los Angeles Countys insistence of covering over with labels any computer networking protocols that mention master/slave jargon. Following closelywere same-sex marriage for marriage and waitron for waiter of waitress.

Australia bans the word ‘mate’

Australia bans the word ‘mate’

 

 

GLM’S Language Police suggest these others: ‘No Worries’, ‘Down Under’, ‘Barbie’, etc.

 

San Diego, Calif. August 24, 2005. Last week, the Department of Parliamentary Services in Canberra, issued a general warning to its security staff banning the use of the word ‘mate’ in any dealings they might have with both members of the Parliament and the public. Almost immediately, Australian Prime Minister John Howard called the ban “absurd” while the Opposition labeled it “un-Australian”. The ban has since been rescinded.

In direct response, the Global Language Monitor polled its readers (and enquired of itsLanguage Police) to come up with further suggestions of slang words and informal language that might serve the public interest by being banned in Australia. Earlier today, as a service to the international linguistic ‘mateship’ or community, GLM released its List.

“We believe that if the Department of Parliamentary Services had a list of “Further Slang terms and Colloquialisms fit to be Avoided, Shunned, or Otherwise Banned,” these are the words that would populate such a List,” said Paul JJ Payack, President and the WordMan for the Global Language Monitor. “To make the List, words had to be innocuous in themselves, but in the context of Political Correctness, potentially offensive to some segment of the populace”.

Recently, the BBC’s use of the term ‘misguided criminals’ and ‘bombers’ when referring to the perpetrators of the recent London blasts stirred an international debate on politically correct language. The BBC used those words to replace the term ‘terrorist’, which according to the BBC can “carry emotional or value judgments”.

GLM’s List is an ongoing compilation; currently the list of words to be potentially banned with associated commentary follows:

Barbeque — The shortened form, barbie, can be an invidious reference to the Barbie doll, and hence sexist.

Abso-bloody-lutely — Though the term bloody can signify an intensive, this use could also heighten insensitivity to the plight of farm animals that animal rights activists have long warned against.

Down Under — Down Under signifies the existence of an Up Over, which obviously is in the superior position of Uppness. Might be taken as ignoring the very real consequences of the North/South global divisions.

G’day — G’day is the shortened form of ‘Good Day’. Some etymologists believe that good can be ultimately traced to an earlier word for God. Hence, G’day could represent a conspiracy to insinuate the theistic world view into everyday life.

Mate — From classmates at male boarding schools. Obviously sexist, also elitist.

Nappy — Diaper, might offend those who illegally download music to their hard drives, and narcoleptics.

No Worries — This is offensive to those with OCD, and others who are plagued by constant self-doubt and apprehension.

Plonk — Inexpensive wine (in the US it’s called ripple). Plonk is perhaps a contraction of vin blanc; this might offend francophones.

Ta — Thank you. In the spirit International Harmony, the French s’ilvous plait is preferred.

Vegemite — A plot to foist upon a defenseless world, the supposed utopian ideal of what a meatless sandwich might be.

Zed — The letter Z. Not exactly slang, but a candidate for banishment nonetheless on general principles.

Nought — the number ‘zero’. If this caught on, the English-speaking world might finally have a name for the first decade of the 21st century: the Noughties.

To Read the Story from the Aussie perspective, CLICK HERE.

 

BBC Stirs Debate on Political Correctness

Filtering Events of All Emotional Content?

‘Terrorist’ Or ‘Bomber’?

.

 

San Diego, California (July 15, 2005) The BBC’s use of the term ‘misguided criminals’ and ‘bombers’ when referring to the perpetrators of the recent London blasts have stirred an international debate on politically correct language. The words replace the term terrorist, which according to the BBC can “carry emotional or value judgments”.

According to the Global Language Monitor’s exclusive PQ (Political-sensitivity Quotient) Index, the term ‘terrorist’ appears 700% more frequently on the web than ‘bomber’ when linked to terror-related activities such as suicide bombings, and the like. When tracking global news articles only, the word ‘bomber’ can be found in about 40% of the articles, though usually in combination with ‘terrorist’ or ‘terrorist-related’ words. The phrase ‘misguided criminals’ is found only about 5000 times on the entire web, many times linked to the emerging BBC story.

BBC guidelines state that credibility should never be undermined by the “careless use of words which (sic) carry emotional or value judgments”.

“The primary function of a news organization is to detail events as they occur in their existing cultural milieu, thereby recording the first draft of history. The BBC seems concerned with overstepping this boundary into what was once called yellow journalism. The greater danger here is to filter emotion-laden events of all emotional content in their pursuit of the non-judgmental,” said Paul JJ Payack, President (and the WordMan) of the Global Language Monitor.

The PQ Index is a proprietary algorithm that tracks politically sensitive words and phrases in the print. The words and phrases are tracked in relation to their frequency, contextual usage and appearance in global media outlets, thereby separating the spin and the hype from the facts. The PQ Index is published quarterly.

Political Correctness Advocates Rail Against Western Calendar

A.D. 2005 or 2005 C.E.?

 

The Traditional Western Practice is to Reckon Time from the Birth of Jesus

 

San Diego, Calif. May 16, 2005. MetaNewswire. A small but vocal element is voicing opposition to the traditional Western practice of dividing time, measuring events as occurring before or after the birth of Jesus or B.C and A.D., according to a survey by The Global Language Monitor (GLM), using the Predictive Quantities Indicator (PQI).

The survey found that in the worldwide electronic and print media, and on the Internet, the current convention of A.D. and B.C. was found to be nearly 50 times as prevalent as that of the C.E. and B.C.E. convention. Nevertheless, the fact that the newer conventions were now found to be used at all indicates significant inroads, where until recently none existed.

The C.E. and B.C.E. conventions were introduced about a century ago in the Jewish and Scientific communities, but have been adopted increasingly by those who want to place some distance or obscure the Judeo-Christian roots of Western Civilization. The issue has become increasingly polarizing on college campuses, school textbook publishers, and in the various religious communities.

The Western Calendar is especially pervasive because all major electronic and computer systems have it deeply embedded in their basic instruction sets, or operating systems. This means that all electronic commerce, commercial applications, scientific, airlines, electronic games, automobiles, clocks, etc. are based on the Western Calendar.

“As with most language-based PC issues, the battle is intense, however, no authority or group can mandate linguistic change, said Paul JJ Payack, President of The Global Language Monitor. “The fact is that both C.E. or A.D. both acknowledge the centrality of Jesus to the Western Calendar, (actually shorthand for Western Christendom), since both A.D. and C.E. both refer to the birth of Jesus as the time marker for the West.”

(In the aftermath of the French Revolution, the revolutionaries made anill-fated and short-lived attempt to restart the Western Calendar, which was to begin on September 22, 1792: the day of the declaration of the first French Republic. Months were cited by Roman numerals and named after meteorological conditions.)

Payack added, “Jesus, of course, was born in 749 AUC (ab urbecondita) from the founding of the City), since the Roman Calendar was dated from the mythical founding of the City by Romulus in 753 B.C. It is also interesting to note that when Dominus Exiguus, the 5th Century monk, created the current Calendar, he miscalculated, which is why it is now generally accepted that Jesus was born in the year 4 B.C, that is four years before the year of his birth.”

There are several major calendar systems in addition to the Western system currently in use. These include the Hebrew, Islamic, Buddhist, and Chinese.

The Hebrew Calendar dates from the Creation (current year 5765); the Islamic Calendar dates from the Hegira (current year 1425); the Chinese Calendar dates from the Emperor Huangdi, in 2637 B.C.; and the Buddhist Calendar dates from the birth of the Buddha, 543 years B.C., making 2005 the year 2548 of the Buddhist Era.

The Predictive Quantities Indicator is a proprietary algorithm that tracks specified words and phrases in the media and on the Internet. The words and phrases are tracked in relation to their frequency, contextual usage and appearance in global media outlets. In this case, the words tracked were Anno Domini (A.D., literally Year of the Lord), Before Christ (B.C.), the Common Era (C.E.) and Before the Common Era (B.C.E.)

Top Politically Correct Word List of 2004

Politically inCorrect PCs

Master/Slave Tech Terms Raise Eyebrows in L.A.

.

Danville, California (December 4, 2004) Los Angeles County’s insistence on covering over with labels any computer networking protocols that mention master/slave jargon, has been chosen the top example of political correctness in language for 2004 .

“We found Master/Slave to be but the most egregious example of political correctness in 2004,” said Paul JJ Payack, President of The Global Language Monitor. “This is but one more example of the insertion of politics into every facet of modern life, down to the level of the control processes of computer technology.”

In computer networking terminology, master/slave is commonly used to describe a device or process that has captured (and involuntarily) controls one or more devices or processes. The year has been rife with examples that have been nominated by the GLMs Language Police, volunteer language observers from the world over.

The Top Politically Correct Words and Phrases for 2004:

  1. Device for master and captured device for slave in computer networking terminology
  2. Non-same sex marriage, for marriage used in Democratic Presidential Primaries
  3. Waitron for waiter or waitress
  4. Red Sox Lover for Yankee Hater during the ALCS playoffs
  5. Higher Power for God
  6. Progressive for classical liberal
  7. Incurious rather than more impolite invectives for President Bush (such as idiot or moron)
  8. Insurgents substituting for terrorists in Iraq
  9. Baristas rather than waitrons
  10. First year student rather than Freshman, though Frosh is still acceptable

Top Politically Correct Words (Russia)

Master/Slave in the Times of Oman

Master/Slave is the Most Offensive Term (India)

The View from The Ukraine

Computer Term Named the Most un-PC (South Africa)

The View from China

TechTarget’s Dictionary of Computer Terms

The View on the Controversy From Down Under

Master/Slave Most Politicially Incorrect Phrase (ABC News)

**************

Phrase of the Day: Settled Science

As thoughtful readers have learned since the launch of the Global Language Monitor in the fall of 2003, all objectivity in media is suspect, and for good reason. The non-bias claimed on all sides of the political equation is itself, biased, since all media have come to see their particular viewpoint as objective and true, right and just, supported by the facts, scientific or otherwise, and agreed to by all learned people (who happen to agree to their particular beliefs).The fact that their audiences steadfastly agree with their positions, only serves to re-enforce their particular biases. “We all think so, so it must be true!” (… and it is logically consistent, is a frequent addition.)

One of the most dangerous of these biases is the concept of ‘settled science’.
Science, by definition, can never be settled.

The Scientific Method has been adhered to since the Enlightenment. It is composed of five or six steps

  1. Observation
  2. Hypothesis
  3. Experiment
  4. Record and analyze data
  5. Compare the results to the hypothesis.
  6. If necessary, either modify the hypothesis or the experiment

There is always more complete data to be found and always room for another test of the hypothesis, to ensure completeness.

Another time-honored tradition, is the custom of employing Occam’s Razor in the decision-making process. Occam’s Razor is stated in Latin as: “Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem” (‘Do not multiply things without necessity). The principle is essential for model building because for a given set of data, there is always an infinite number of models explaining the data.

In other words if you have two choices 1) a snowball moves because invisible, alien drones take it and deliver it to its target, or 2) angular momentum — you must choose No. 2 because that is the simplest.

If there is any fact in science that cannot be debated, it’s Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. Yet nonetheless, every year there are numerous well-publicized challenges to differing aspects of the Theory. How can this be if the Theory of Relativity is ‘settled’?

The answered is because this is part of the scientific method!

Lest this be seen as an argument against human-enhanced Global Warming, please allow me to point out that this is not the case. We consider Global Warming as close to settled science you can get but not for the reasons you might think.

Settled Science is not a new term, in fact, its use stretches back some 150 years, although the settled science that it described would seem a Hall of Infamy in the early 21st century.

Settled Science in late 1800s:

  • The division of Humankind into ‘races’ differentiated by alleged Intellectual Potential (or limitations), Color of Skin, Shape of the head, and Geographic Location.
  • Segregation of women and girls from higher education. Alleged reasons: women’s brains could not deal with rigorous thinking — and men would become physically and psychologically unhinged in their presence.
  • Excluding women from voting for much the same issues.

Settled Science in early 1900s:

  • Space flight is not possible because there is nothing in space for an engine to push against.
  • Since space cannot be empty, there needs to be a substance and name it ether.
  • The Universe cannot be infinite, so we live in an ‘island universe’ that we call the Milky Way.

Settled Science later in the 20th century

  • There are so many safeguards built into nuclear power plants that the odds of an accident are 50,000,000,000 to 1.
  • A ‘population bomb’ would wipe out millions or billion of humans before the end of the century.
  • An impending Ice Age would settle upon Northern climes before the end of the century with great death and destruction in its wake.
  • Being gay or lesbian was classified as abnormal and a psychiatric condition by the experts in the field.

Settled Science early in the 21th century

  • That nothing can exceed the speed of light was a given until it was recently ‘proven’ that the Inflationary Stage of the first moments of the Big Bang expanded thousands or millions of light-years in less than a millionth of a second.

With Occam’s Razor in mind we must come to the conclusion that ‘settled science’ is a term that often contradicts the Scientific Method, itself and,therefore, must be used with great caution.

#####################################################

#####################################################

Phrase of the Day: Settled Science

 

Phrase of the Day: Settled Science

As thoughtful readers have learned since the launch of the Global Language Monitor in the fall of 2003, all objectivity in media is suspect, and for good reason. The non-bias claimed on all sides of the political equation is itself, biased, since all media have come to see their particular viewpoint as objective and true, right and just, supported by the facts, scientific or otherwise, and agreed to by all learned people (who happen to agree to their particular beliefs).The fact that their audiences steadfastly agree with their positions, only serves to re-enforce their particular biases … and it is logically consistent.

Einstein_1921

 

One of the most dangerous of these biases is the concept of ‘settled science’. Science, by definition, can never be settled.

The Scientific Method has been adhered to since the Enlightenment. It is composed of five or six steps

  1. Observation
  2. Hypothesis
  3. Experiment
  4. Record and analyze data
  5. Compare the results to the hypothesis.
  6. If necessary, either modify the hypothesis or the experiment

There is always more complete data to be found and always room for another test of the hypothesis, to ensure completeness.

 

Another time-honored tradition, is the custom of employing Occam’s Razor in the decision-making process. Occam’s Razor is stated in Latin as: “Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem” (‘Do not multiply things without necessity). The principle is essential for model building because for a given set of data, there is always an infinite number of models explaining the data.

In other words if you have two choices 1) a snowball moves because invisible, alien drones take it and deliver it to its target, or 2) angular momentum — you must choose No. 2 because that is the simplest.

If there is any fact in science that cannot be debated, it’s Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. Yet nonetheless, every year there are numerous well-publicized challenges to differing aspects of the Theory. How can this be if the Theory of Relativity is ‘settled’?

The answered is because this is part of the scientific method.

Settled Science is not a new term, in fact, its use stretches back some 150 years, although the settled science that it described would seem a Hall of Infamy in the early 21st century.

Settled Science in late 1800s:

  • The division of Humankind into ‘races’ differentiated by alleged Intellectual Potential (or limitations), Color of Skin, Shape of the head, and Geographic Location.
  • Segregation of women and girls from higher education. Alleged reasons: women’s brains could not deal with rigorous thinking — and men would become physically and psychologically unhinged in their presence. For example, the Harvard Annex was founded in in 1879, some 243 years after Harvard College.
  • Excluding women from voting for much the same reasons.

Settled Science in early 1900s:

  • Heavier than air flight was highly unlikely if not impossible.
  • Space flight is not possible because there is nothing in space for an engine to push against.
  • Since space cannot be empty, there needs to be a substance (called the Aether).
  • The Universe cannot be infinite, so we live in an ‘island universe’ that we call the Milky Way.

Settled Science later in the 20th century

  • There are so many safeguards built into nuclear power plants that the odds of an accident are 50,000,000,000 to 1.
  • A ‘population bomb’ would wipe out millions or billion of humans before the end of the century.
  • An impending Ice Age would settle upon Northern climes before the end of the century with great death and destruction in its wake.
  • Being gay or lesbian was classified as abnormal and a psychiatric condition by the experts in the field.

Settled Science early in the 21th century

  • That nothing can exceed the speed of light was a given until it was recently ‘proven’ that the Inflationary Stage of the first moments of the Big Bang expanded thousands or millions of light-years in less than a millionth of a second.

Conclusion: ‘settled science’ is a term that often contradicts the Scientific Method, itself and,therefore, must be used with great caution, if at all.

 

The Stonehenge Watch

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for the Neolithic Smart Set!

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Stonehenge 3

5,000 Years and Still Ticking!

 

 

What Exactly is Settled Science?

 

Phrase of the Day: Settled Science

As thoughtful readers have learned since the launch of the Global Language Monitor in the fall of 2003, all objectivity in media is suspect, and for good reason. The non-bias claimed on all sides of the political equation is itself, biased, since all media have come to see their particular viewpoint as objective and true, right and just, supported by the facts, scientific or otherwise, and agreed to by all learned people (who happen to agree to their particular beliefs).The fact that their audiences steadfastly agree with their positions, only serves to re-enforce their particular biases. “We all think so, so it must be true!” (… and it is logically consistent, is a frequent addition.)

One of the most dangerous of these biases is the concept of ‘settled science’.
Science, by definition, can never be settled.

The Scientific Method has been adhered to since the Enlightenment. It is composed of five or six steps

  1. Observation
  2. Hypothesis
  3. Experiment
  4. Record and analyze data
  5. Compare the results to the hypothesis.
  6. If necessary, either modify the hypothesis or the experiment

There is always more complete data to be found and always room for another test of the hypothesis, to ensure completeness.

Another time-honored tradition, is the custom of employing Occam’s Razor in the decision-making process. Occam’s Razor is stated in Latin as: “Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem” (‘Do not multiply things without necessity). The principle is essential for model building because for a given set of data, there is always an infinite number of models explaining the data.

In other words if you have two choices 1) a snowball moves because invisible, alien drones take it and deliver it to its target, or 2) angular momentum — you must choose No. 2 because that is the simplest.

If there is any fact in science that cannot be debated, it’s Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. Yet nonetheless, every year there are numerous well-publicized challenges to differing aspects of the Theory. How can this be if the Theory of Relativity is ‘settled’?

The answered is because this is part of the scientific method!

Lest this be seen as an argument against human-enhanced Global Warming, please allow me to point out that this is not the case. We consider Global Warming as close to settled science you can get but not for the reasons you might think.

Settled Science is not a new term, in fact, its use stretches back some 150 years, although the settled science that it described would seem a Hall of Infamy in the early 21st century.

Settled Science in late 1800s:

  • In 1888, the founder of the American Astronomical Society wrote, “We are probably nearing the limit of all we can know about astronomy.”
  • The division of Humankind into ‘races’ differentiated by alleged Intellectual Potential (or limitations), Color of Skin, Shape of the head, and Geographic Location.
  • Segregation of women and girls from higher education. Alleged reasons: women’s brains could not deal with rigorous thinking — and men would become physically and psychologically unhinged in their presence (See Harvard and the Havard Annex – Radcliffe).
  • Excluding women from voting for much the same issues.

Settled Science in early 1900s:

  • Space flight is not possible because there is nothing in space for an engine to push against.
  • Since space cannot be empty, there needs to be a substance and name it ether.
  • The Universe cannot be infinite, so we live in an ‘island universe’ that we call the Milky Way.

Settled Science later in the 20th century

  • There are so many safeguards built into nuclear power plants that the odds of an accident are 50,000,000,000 to 1.
  • A ‘population bomb’ would wipe out millions or billion of humans before the end of the century.
  • An impending Ice Age would settle upon Northern climes before the end of the century with great death and destruction in its wake.
  • Being gay or lesbian was classified as abnormal and a psychiatric condition by the experts in the field.

Settled Science early in the 21th century

  • That nothing can exceed the speed of light was a given until it was recently ‘proven’ that the Inflationary Stage of the first moments of the Big Bang expanded thousands or millions of light-years in less than a millionth of a second.

With Occam’s Razor in mind we must come to the conclusion that ‘settled science’ is a term that often contradicts the Scientific Method, itself and,therefore, must be used with great caution.

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The Mathematical Basis of Yogi-isms

Lawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra, a Hall of Fame catcher during the heyday of the great New York Yankee baseball dynasty of the ’50’s, was known for his interesting way of constructing sentences. These became widely known as ‘Yogi-isms’. What has not been previously understood is the mathematical basis of his thought by Paul JJ Payack, chief word analyst, Global Language Monitor.

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PAC-12 Upsets Big Ten for Top Smartest Reputation After Conference Realignment

 

 

Big Five Football Conferences

 

 

 

 

 

The Rankings: 1. PAC 12, 2. Big Ten, 3. SEC, 4. ACC, 5. Big 12

Austin, TEXAS July 29, 2015 — Some five years after what has come to be known as Conference Realignment, the impact on the academic reputation at highest level of Collegiate Athletics is becoming clear(er). According to an analysis performed using the 2016 TrendTopper MediaBuzz of the Top 419 College Brands, 10th edition, The PAC-12 now is the Top College Conference by Academic Reputation.

As you can see from the chart below, The PAC 12 toppled the Big Ten from the Top Spot, also leapfrogging the SEC and ACC.

 

Top Conf by Academic Rep 2015

Since 2008, the TrendTopper MediaBuzz College Guide has been ranking the nation’s Top 422 Colleges and Universities according to the values of their brands. Almost immediately, the Global Language Monitor, the TTMB publisher, began to see parallels between the value of a school’s brand and its perceived athletic excellence.

In 2012, GLM began a study of all the major football conferences at the time while looking ahead to the future changes then proposed. This was not necessary in 2015, since there are now only five conferences at the highest level of the game that matter:

• The Atlantic Coast Conference
• The Big 10 Conference
• The Big 12 Conference
• The PAC 12 Conference
• The SEC Conference

As before, the Patriot League and the Ivy League, two FCS conferences renowned for their academic prowess, are used as controls.

The analysis also gathered together the schools that have been overlooked by the Big 5 and hope to join one of them in a future paroxysm of conference realignment. The Select Seven schools include: Rice University, Tulane University, Southern Methodist University, University of Tulsa, University of Central Florida, University of Cincinnati, and the University of Connecticut. We treat the Select Seven as a separate conference for ranking purposes.

Highlights of the analysis:

The Biggest Winner 1 – The Pac 12 jumps over the Big Ten, ACC and SEC to the Top Spot. This was not because of the addition of Utah (Net negative) and Colorado (Net positive) with realignment, but rather because of the continuing strengthening of the academic reputation of the original PAC 10 membership. In fact, members of the PAC 12 occupied five of the top eleven spots in the university ranking.

The Biggest Disappointment – The Big 10, always an academic juggernaut only strengthened itself with the addition of Rutgers and Maryland. The addition of Nebraska was a net negative. Nevertheless, the Big Ten fell into the second position, only marginally ahead of the SEC and ACC. Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota and Ohio State all finished in the top twenty of the university ranking.

The SEC and the ACC both improved their academic reputations over the last few years with the SEC bolstering its already formidable academic stalwarts with Texas A&M and Missouri. The ACC added two Eastern academic powerhouses in Pitt (founded in 1787) and Syracuse. The addition of Louisville was a net negative. Head-to-head, in the SEC vs. ACC contest, the SEC narrowly secures the win by a whisker with a last second field goal.

The Biggest Loser – The Big Twelve. Losing academic stars Texas A&M, Missouri, and Colorado while gaining West Virginia was a net negative. The Big 12, anchored by UT, a Top 10 academic school, now stands at about a third of the Academic Branding Power of the PAC 12 and Big Ten.

Methodology: For this analysis, the Global Language Monitor used its proprietary Brand Affiliation Index (BAI), the same technology used to measure global brand equity for the Olympics, World Cup, the Fortune 500, and others. This exclusive, GLM longitudinal-study encompasses the prior three years to better assess short-term velocity and longer-term momentum. The study is a Big Data textual analysis based on billions of webpages, millions of blogs, the top 375,000 global print and electronic media, and new social media formats as they appear. This is the tenth edition of the survey since it first appeared in 2008.

About the Global Language Monitor

The Global Language Monitor is the publisher of the 2016 TrendTopper MediaBuzz of the Top 419 College Brands, 10th Edition.

In 2003, The Global Language Monitor (GLM) was founded in Silicon Valleyby 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. Previous to this Payack was the founding president at yourDictionary.com, and a senior executive for a number of leading high tech companies.

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

 

Annals of Heroes Past (and passing)

A commentary on Tiger Woods (and Mickey Mantle) by Paul JJ Payack, the Global Language Monitor, Austin, Texas

April 2014

For some time now I have been pondering the apparent decline of Tiger Woods.

Over his long career he’s been cut and measured against those of Jack, Arnie, and Sam (sometimes Phil) and, now, Rory, Bubba, and the other Young Guns.

But the comparison to which I keep coming back never played out on the links, or Amen Corner, or even on the hallowed grounds of St. Andrews or Pebble Beach, but on the barren ball fields of Commerce, Oklahoma and later on a particularly verdant patch of grass off the Major Deegan Expressway in the Bronx. Of course I am not writing of one of Tiger’s fellow golfers at all, but rather of The Mick, one Mickey Charles Mantle, of New York Yankees fame.

Annals of Heroes Past (and passing)
Annals of Heroes Past (and passing)

Both Tiger and Mickey achieved greatness at an early age, to herald the beginnings of long, illustrious careers — and both were destined for that type of glory, perhaps, never (or at least seldom seen) before. Both had peak performances a dozen or so years into their career, then they both continued showing flashes of brilliance, amidst the strongest of suspicions that their careers had peaked in their 32nd years. If their past were prologues — then their prologues had, indeed, passed.

I watched Mickey stumbling through those last painful years, tuning to the game every 20 minutes or so, to catch him lumbering from the batter’s box toward the plate, hoping against hope that he’d collect those few hits that would preserve a career .300 batting average, the last mark of greatness he had left to achieve.

Even then, I had done the math. If only he could finish this last season with eight more hits than his then-current pace he’d achieve his final, career capping goal, then vanishing before his eyes (and mine).

In that context, I have been watching, studying Tiger, since what might now be considered his consummate effort, playing virtually if not literally on one leg, gutting out one last brilliant effort high above the surf at Torrey Pines.

This is not to say that Tiger will never pass Jack in his long-sought goal, the grail of capturing his Nineteenth Major. But the story, like that of The Mick, has taken on many of the trappings of a neo-Greek tragedy.

He, like Mickey, heroes from afar, reach for (and attain) heroic status, they each evince their individual brands of hubris, exhibit an achilles heel (or two), engage in mortal combat with a cast of rivals nearly god-like heroes themselves.

For The Mick there was no Deus ex-Machina to intervene in the final act; for Tiger, the Chorus has yet to sing.

 

 

Top Ten Consequences of Conference Realignment on Academic Reputation

Read: Why the Flutie Effect is Real (Harvard Business Review)

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Big Ten Tops, SEC Most improved

Both New Big East Conferences Tumble

 

Austin, TX July 4th Weekend – July 4th might be Independence Day, but July 1st, was Conference Realignment Day when dozens of college and universities landed in what they hope to be greener pastures. The Global Language Monitor, analyzed pre-2012 conference configurations and compared them with their new membership additions or deletions.

Top Ten Consequences of Conference Realignment on Academic Reputation

  1. The Big Ten continues to rank first in academic reputation.
  2. Ohio State was the top ranked school in the Big 10.
  3. The PAC 12 lost ground with Utah, but is now just slightly behind the ACC.
  4. If included in the rankings the academically renowned Ivy League would have bested the Big Ten and the Patriot League would be in a virtual tie with the Big Ten.
  5. The Atlantic Coast Conference was a close No. 2, pulling within ten percent of the leader.
  6. The Southeast Conference was the most improved after adding two academic stars (Texas A&M and Mizzou).
  7. Both the New and Old Big East (Big East and American Athletic) conferences fell by about 20% each
  8. The academic reputation of the Big 12 remained virtually unchanged, after taking the hit with the loss of Nebraska, Missouri, Colorado and A&M.
  9. The ACC gains with the addition of Pitt and Syracuse but will pull back a bit in 2014 with the addition of Louisville.
  10. The Big Ten will grow even stronger with the addition of Rutgers and Maryland.

 

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