‘Silence’ is the Top HollyWord of 2011

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9th Annual Global Survey by the Global Language Monitor

Austin, Texas, March 6, 2012. (Update)  ‘Silence’ is the Top HollyWord of 2011 according the ninth annual global analysis by the Global Language Monitor.   ‘Silence’ encompassing  silent movies, the silence of dead and dying loved-ones, the deadly silence of the battlefield before an attack – as well as the deafening silence of historically anemic 2011 box office and attendance figures.

Silence’ topped  Mai Oui!  Iconic, Transformations, and Separateness for the top honors, while Domestics, Dramedy, Bathroom Humor, Why, and Muppets rounded out the top ten.

“In 2011 Hollywood had a full slate of award-worthy films as reflected by this year’s Oscar winners,” said Paul JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst for the Global Language Monitor, “The films reflected a deeper exploration into the human experience as reflected in a silent movie, various encounters in and around Paris, death, dying, separation and rebirth”.

Each year, GLM announces the Top HollyWords following the Oscar ceremony.  The 84rd Annual Academy Awards ceremony, hosted by Billy Crystal was held last Sunday at the Hollywood and Highland Center in Los Angeles.

The Top Hollywords of the 2011 season with the largest impact on the English language with commentary follow.

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Rank / Word or Phrase / Commentary
  1. Silence – Silent movies, (the Artist), a wife’s silence (Descendants), a father’s silence (Extremely Loud), the deadly silence among the trenches of WWI (Warhorse) but most all silence at the box office, with the lowest attendance since the 1995.
  2. Mai oui! – A big year for the City of Light and France:  Hugo, Midnight in Paris, TinTin (which first appeared as a comic in French), Warhorse, and, of course, the irrepressible Jean Dujardin .
  3. Iconic – (My Week with Marilyn) – Michelle Williams helps us better understand how this shy, frail woman become the iconic image of a very complicated time.
  4. Transformations (Iron Lady and Albert Nobbs) – In a year with a plethora of visual effects, none were more startling than those of Meryl Streep and Glenn Close.
  5. Separateness (A Separation) – The Iranian film about divorce that demonstrates the common threads that binds humanity together.
  6. Domestics (The Help) – ‘Domestic Servants’ was the actual term with an emphasis, of course, on the servant.
  7. Dramedy  (The Descendants) – Dramedy, a comedy within the structural framework of a drama, a staple of sitcoms, successfully made the leap to the silver screen.
  8. Bathroom Humor (Bridesmaids) – The women strive to both out-gross and gross-out their male competition.
  9. Why?  (The Tree of Life) — Why all the oil-spinning emulsions when images from the Hubble have been seared into our consciousness?
  10. Muppets (The Muppets) – A new generation is introduced to Jim Henson’s family friendly varmints.

Bonus:  Ides (Ides of March) – There’s really nothing very special about the Ides of March.  In the Roman calendar, every month had its ides.

GLM used NarrativeTracker 2.0 for this analysis.  NT2.0 is based on global discourse, providing a real-time, accurate picture of what the public is saying about any topic, at any point in time. NarrativeTracker analyzes the Internet, blogosphere, the top 75,000 print and electronic global media, as well as new media sources, as they emerge.
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Previous Top HollyWord Winners include:
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2010       Grit:  firmness, pluck, gritty, stubborn, indomitable spirit, courageous, and brave perseverance.
2009       ‘Pandora’ from Avatar
2008       “Jai Ho!” Literally ‘Let there be Victory’ in Hindi from Slumdog Millionaire
2007      “Call it, Friendo,” from No Country for Old Men
2006       “High Five!!! It’s sexy time!”  from Borat!
2005       ‘Brokeback’ from Brokeback Mountain
2004      “Pinot” from Sideways
2003      ‘Wardrobe malfunction’ from Super Bowl XXXVIII

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