Trending Top Words of 2012: End-of-World stories, Kate, China, CERN, the Olympics
Global Language Monitor’s Top Words of 2012 projections from current word trends
AUSTIN, Texas December 26, 2011 – Trending 2012: Multiple End-of-World scenarios, Kate, China, CERN, the Olympics, The US Elections will dominate word creation and usage in the English language in 2012.
This is according to current word trends in global English being tracked by the Global Language Monitor. Last month, Austin, Texas-based Global Language Monitor had announced that ‘Occupy’ was the Top Word, ‘Arab Spring’ the Top Phrase and ‘Steve Jobs’ the Top Name of 2011 in its twelfth annual global survey of the English language.
The words are culled from throughout the English-speaking world, which now numbers more than 1.83 billion speakers (January 2012 estimate).
The Projected Top Words of 2012
1. Kate — There are seven billion humans on the planet but sometimes it seems that it’s all about Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, the former Kate Middleton in terms of fashion, celebrity, and the royal line.
2. Olympiad — The Greeks measured time by the four-year interval between the Games. Moderns measure it by medal counts, rights fees and billions of eyeballs.
3. Middle Kingdom – There is little indication that China’s continuing economic surge will fade from the global media spotlight –or abate.
4. Bak’tun — A cycle of 144,000 days in the Maya ‘Long Count’ Calendar. This bak’tun ends on December 21, 2012, also being called the Mayan Apocalypse. (Actually Maya ‘long-count’ calendars stretch hundreds of millions of years into the future, December 21st merely marks the beginning of a new cycle.)
5. Solar max — The peak of the 11-year sunspot cycle; in 1854 solar storms melted telegraph wires; what’s in store for our all-pervasive electronic infrastructure?
6. The Election — No Obama-mania this time around, more of an Obama-ennui for the November 6 elections.
8. Rogue nukes — Iran and North Korea will be the focus of attention here.
9. CERN — Neutrons traveling faster than light? The ‘God Particle’? The world ending in a mini-black hole? All these somehow revolve around CERN (The European Center for Nuclear Research). One CERN scientist calculated that the chance of a mini-Black Hole swallowing the Earth is less than 1 in 50,000,000. Somewhat comforting until you realize this is about ten times more likely than winning a national lottery.)
10. Global Warming — The earth has been warming since New York was covered under a mountain of ice; what makes 2012 any different?
11. Near-Earth Asteroid — Yet another year, another asteroid, another near-miss. (However, one does strike the Earth every one hundred million years or so.)
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 75,000 print and electronic global media, as well as new social media sources as they emerge.
“The year 2012 looks to be a vibrant year for the English language with word creation again driven by events both scheduled and unanticipated. Typically there is an ‘end-of-the-world’ scenario every few years that impacts the English language. This year we will see no fewer than three, including the Maya Apocalypse and the Solar Max,” said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of GLM.
”Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, will compete with the London Olympics, the economic surge of China, various activities involving the CERN atom smasher, and the US presidential election for Top Word honors, though we always allow for word creation generated from unexpected events such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005 or the Japanese ‘triple disaster’ of 2011.”
Rank / Word / Comments
7. Deficit — Looks like deficit-spending will plague Western democracies for at least the next decade.
12. Europe — United, breaking apart, saving the Euro, abandoning the Euro, with the UK again as an ‘interested onlooker’. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.
Bonus Phrase: The successor term for ‘Arab Spring’, whatever that might be.