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Twerk Top Television Word of the Year – 10th Annual Analysis


Tenth Annual Analysis by the Global Language Monitor

Austin, Texas, USA. September 27, 2013 (Updated).  The Global Language Monitor (GLM) today announced that “Twerk” is the Top Teleword of the Year followed by “Tread lightly,” “Facial profiling,” “Posh Soap,” and “Valar Morghulis”.   Rounding out the top ten were “Jersey Shore,” “Honey Boo Boo,” “Royal Baby,” “Space jump,” and “@Pontifex”.

The awards are announced in conjunction with the Primetime Emmy awards at the beginning of the Fall television season in the US. This is the tenth annual analysis by Austin-based GLM. 

“This is the first time we are recognizing words and phrases from all four screens of contemporary communications:  the television, the computer, the tablet and the smart phone.  Accordingly, this year’s words have originated (and spread) from any of the devices to the others ” said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of GLM. “This year’s list reflects the massive, never ceasing, continuing flow of information bombarding people the world over.”

The Top Telewords of the 2012-2013 season with commentary follow:

  1. “Twerk” (VMA) — Miley Cyrus’s sexually-suggestive gyrations have many precedents in American popular music from Jazz, to the Jitterbug, Elvis’ swiveling hips to hip hop, and now Twerking.
  2. “Tread lightly” (Breaking Bad) — Walter White’s admonition to Walt had much the same effect as his earlier plans — as the world continues to swallow all around him.
  3. “Facial Profiling” (Duck Dynasty) — OK so their beards can be considered unkempt, but no moreso then the rest of their lives, business, and personal affairs.
  4. “Posh Soap” (Downton Abbey) — Though heartbreak is always around the corner, the Cowley’s marshall forth.
  5. “Valar Morghulis” (Game of Thrones) — Translates to ‘All Men Must Die’ in the Dotharki language.  What else could it possibly mean?
  6. “Jersey Shore” (The News/Web) — First water, then fire, what next? The unfolding saga of Seaside Heights since Superstorm Sandy,
  7. “Honey Boo Boo” (Honey Boo Boo) — Perhaps exploitation, possibly outrageous, but she has a million references in Chinese search engines.
  8. “Royal Baby” (The News and Specials)  — The on-going Kate & Wills (and now Georgie) reality show.
  9. “Space Jump” (The Web/News) — Felix Baumgartner leaping from the Red Bull Stratos into space.
  10. “@pontifex” (The Web) — The official Twitter handle of one Pope Francis, Vatican City.

This exclusive ranking is based upon GLM’s Narrative Tracking technology. NarrativeTracker analyzes the Internet, blogosphere, the top 275,000 print and electronic news media, as well as new social media sources (such as Twitter) as they emerge.

The words, phrases and concepts are tracked in relation to their frequency, contextual usage and appearance in global media outlets.

The Top Telewords of previous years:

2012 — Adorkable from New Girl, Big Bang & Modern Family, followed by Shell Shock, Bi-polar, and Dothraki.

2011 – SpillCam from the Gulf Oil Spill, followed by Guido (Jersey Shore) and Reality (TV).

2010 – ‘Royal Wedding’ of Kate Middleton and Prince William, followed by Charlie Sheen’s ‘winner,’ and Arab Spring.

2009 – ObamaVision — All Obama, all the time, everywhere, followed by Financial Meltdown and the death of Michael Jackson.

2008: Beijing (from the Olympics), ObamaSpeak, followed by ‘facts are stubborn things’, ‘it is what it is,’ and Phelpsian.

2007: “Surge” from the Iraq War political and military strategy, “That’s Hot®” Paris Hilton’s popular expression that is now a registered trademark, and “D’oh!” from The Simpsons and The Simpsons Movie.

2006: ‘Truthiness’ and ‘Wikiality’ from the Colbert Show followed by ‘Katrina’, ‘Katie,’ and ‘Dr. McDreamy’.

2005: ‘Refugee’ from the coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, followed by ‘Desperation’ from Desperate Housewives and ‘Camp Cupcake’ from the on-going Martha Stewart follies.

2004: “You’re Fired!” edged “Mess O’ Potamia” followed by “Girlie Men,” “God,” and “Wardrobe Malfunction”.

About The Global Language Monitor

“We Tell the World What the Web is Thinking.” Austin-Texas-based Global Language Monitor analyzes and catalogues the latest trends in word usage and word choices, and their impact on the various aspects of culture, with a particular emphasis upon Global English.

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


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