Top Politically Correct Buzzwords of 2012

His and Her, Peanut Butter Sandwich, Columbus, Normal and Pet Owner Top List

The Seventh Global Survey

Words and Phrases from the US, UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, India, Sweden and Australia

Austin, Texas, December 7-9 – ‘His and Her’, Peanut Butter Sandwich, Columbus, Normal and Pet Owner have been named the top politically correct words and phrases of the past year according to The Global Language Monitor in its seventh survey of the global media. Rounding out the top ten were Skin Lightening, Black Peter, Holding Down the Fort, Rule of Thumb, and White Males of European Descent.  The survey found words and phrases originating from the US, UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, India, Sweden and Australia.

“This year’s survey once again illustrates the difficulty in engaging in public dialogue without offending those on the right, left, center, or various combinations thereof,” said Paul JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst of The Global Language Monitor. ”We are seeing that continued attempts to remove all bias from language is itself creating an entirely new set of biases. 

To see the Top Words of 2012, go here.

The Top Politically Correct Words and Phrases for 2012 include:

  1. ‘His and Her’  (Sweden) – The Swedes once again promoting gender-neutrality, this time its with personal pronouns:  him [han in Swedish], her [hon] and he/she [hen].
  2. Peanut Butter Sandwich — Deemed by a Portland grade-school principal to be culturally insensitive to children of other cultures.
  3. Columbus –  Explorer’s Day, please.  Offensive to those who believe Columbus was the beginning of a 16th c. ‘Ethnic Cleansing’ of American Indians, Native Americans, or First Peoples.
  4. Normal (Australia) — According to new guidelines, normal persons in the presence of people with disabilities should not be referred to as ‘normal’ but rather  non-disabled persons.
  5. Pet Owner — It is becoming less acceptable to ‘own’ animals, pet owners have been transformed into ‘pet guardians’.
  6. Skin Lightening (India)– A new phenomenon where Indian women lighten their skin to achieve a ‘fair total-body complexion’.
  7. Black Peter (Zwarte Piet) (Netherlands and Belgium) — The companion of Sinterklaas (Santa Clause), most frequently portrayed by whites in blackface.  First introduced in the mid-nineteenth century, Black Peter is now considered by many, a racist stereotype.
  8. Holding Down the Fort — Possibly offensive to Native Americans, since we all know who the forts was being held down against.
  9. Rule of Thumb  (UK) — Originates from the old English dictum that a husband could not beat his wife or children with any stick wider than his thumb.
  10. White Males of European Descent –From press accounts, you would think this population segment should soon be placed on the EPA’s endangered species list.
  11. Handicap (UK) — Aside from the ‘disabled’ reference, ‘handicap can be offensive to beggars, with ‘cap in hand’.
  12. Christmas — Considered by many under siege until supporters realized that the  ’holidays’ in ‘happy holidays’ originated from ‘holy days’ and the ‘X’ in Xmas is the Greek letter ‘chi,’ representing the first two letters of Christ.
  13. Prayer — In public the favored word substitute for ‘prayer’  is now ‘thoughts,’ as in ‘keep hen in your thoughts and wishes’.
  14. Global English – The dominance of the English language worldwide is opposed by those who think it the result of  linguistic imperialism or Western Hegemony.  Either way, not good.
  15. Politically Correct – The term politically correct is still politically incorrect (or is it incorrect?).
  16. Phobes — The Loyal Opposition? How 19th century, of you; opponents are now cast as afraid and fearful, a ‘-phobe’.
  17. Speech Codes — Limiting free-speech by declaring what is considered offensive off-limits. A hot topic on campus.
  18. Settled Science — In 1925 it was settled science that rockets would not fly in Outer Space.  Beware of Settled Science.
  19. Dutch Treat — Possibly offensive to the Dutch, since it portrays them as either (take your choice) thrifty (good) or stingy (bad).
  20. Global Warming/Climate Change — As the temperature continues to rise, the debate continues as to its primary cause.  Either phrase is a potential minefield.

The Top Politically Incorrect Terms and Phrases in previous surveys include:

  • 2009:  Swine Flu – Various governments and agencies for political motives ranging from protecting pork producers to religious sensitivity insist on calling it by its formal name: influenza A(H1N1).
  • 2008:  “He Can’t Win” – Hillary Clinton’s coded reference to Barack Obama’s ethnic background as an insurmountable impediment to him winning the US Presidency.
  • 2007:  Nappy-headed Ho — Radio personality Don Imus’ reference to the women on the Rutgers University championship basketball team.
  • 2006:  Global Warming Denier – Scientists not denying climate change, but the role of humans in the millennia-old process.
  • 2005:  Misguided Criminals – A BBC commentator attempts to strip away all emotion from the word ‘terrorist’ by using ‘neutral’ descriptions for those who carried out the 7/7 tube bombings.
  • 2004:  Master/Slave computer jargon – LA County re-labels computer documentation to remove this alleged slur that has been used for decades describing computer hierarchies.
For a complete list of Politically Correct language and controversies since 2003, click here.

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. Since 2003, GLM has launched a number of innovative products and services monitoring the Internet, the blogosphere, social media as well as the top print and electronic media sites.

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

Proof of Literary Greatness?

GLM Comment :  We think not.  But perhaps an unexpected ability to fashion an English Sentence.

One week ago today, the MoJo DC bureau was consumed by the arrival of Sarah Palin’s emails covering the first half of her half-term as Alaska’s governor. As David Corn detailed, there were plenty of interesting discoveries—a less than chilly attitude toward climate change, for instance, and a sometimes obsessive attitude toward media critics (marginal and otherwise).

While we were poring over the documents, though, Michael McLaughlin of AOL’s Weird News was taking a different approach:

AOL Weird News brought samples to two writing analysts who independently evaluated 24,000 pages of the former governor’s emails. They came back in agreement that Palin composed her messages at an [8.5] level, an excellent score for a chief executive, they said…

“She’s very concise. She gives clear orders. Her sentences and punctuations are logical,” Payack said. “She has much more of a disciplined mind than she’s given credit for.”

Although it’s like comparing apples to oranges, Payack said that famous speeches like Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address was a 9.1 and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” oration rated a 8.8 on the scale.

Having read several thousand pages of the Palin emails, I think apples and oranges might be a bit of an understatement here. But there’s also a bit of truth there: Palin’s written communications are noticeably more coherent than her efforts to explain herself verbally (witness: Paul Revere-gate).



John McWhorter on Palin’s ‘remarkedly lucid prose’

 

Palin’s Emails: What Her Remarkably Lucid Prose Says About the Art of Teaching Writi

  • John McWhorter
  • June 16, 2011 | 12:00 am

Sarah Palin’s emails are telling us something about remedial writing classes at our universities and colleges, and it’s not what you think. Call her defensive or parochial based on the cache of her spontaneous writings while serving as governor of Alaska, but

something easy to miss is that Palin, in contrast to her meandering, involuted speaking style, is a thoroughly competent writer—more so than a great many people most of us likely know, including college graduates.

Indeed, her facility in writing proves something one might be pardoned for supposing she was exaggerating about in Going Rogue, her autobiography, in which she limns a childhood portrait of herself as a bibliophilic sort of tot:

Reading was a special bond between my mother and me. Mom read aloud to me – poetry by Ogden Nash and the Alaska poet Robert Service, along with snippets of prose …. My siblings were better athletes, cuter and more sociable than I, and the only thing they had to envy about me was the special passion for reading that I shared with our mother.

That’s right, Sarah “you betcha” Palin was, of all things, a bookworm, excited to learn to spell “different” and winning a poetry contest for a poem about Betsy Ross. And as such, it is predictable that her emails would evidence such casually solid command of the language—even if her oral rendition of it is a different matter entirely.

Once we understand that, it leads to some serious questions, as posed by books getting buzz at present such as Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa’s Academically Adrift and In the Basement of the Ivory Tower by the anonymous “Professor X.” How sensible is our assigning millions of freshmen each year to classes intended to teach them a skill so deeply rooted in unconscious facilitation at an early age?

To get a sense, it helps to see a few of these emails. Because email is written speech, it’s easy to miss artfulness in them. Yet, take this Palin passage: “Even CP has admitted locking up tax rates as Glenn suggests is unacceptable to the legislature, the Alaskan public, this administration, and the Constitution.”

The spelling is flawless—and unlikely to be completely a product of spell-check, which misses errors and often creates others. More to the point, she has an embedded clause (“locking up tax rates”) nested into a main one, with another clause “as Glenn suggests” nested within the embedded one. That’s good old-fashioned grammar school “syntax.” I have known plenty of people with B.A.s who could barely pull it off properly at gunpoint, and several others who would only bother to at gunpoint.

Equally graceful despite its mundane content: “Cowdery telling a kid what’s acceptable and what isn’t inside these four walls??? Puleeeze. A three-pound puppy vs. all the CBC crap that he helped dump around here?” You hear an actual human voice here. We tell some people “I can hear your voice in the way you write”—because it’s unusual for people to be able to “write” themselves. Palin is one of the people who can. [Read More.]

Palinpalooza: GLM analysis for Huffington Post

Sarah Palin’s Emails Written At 8th Grade Level — Better Than Some CEOs

.

.

The huge cache of Sarah Palin’s emails released Friday offered not only a chance to see what she was writing about during her uncompleted term as Alaska’s governor, but also an opportunity to see how well she writes.

AOL Weird News brought samples to two writing analysts who independently evaluated 24,000 pages of the former governor’s emails. They came back in agreement that Palin composed her messages at an eighth-grade level, an excellent score for a chief executive, they said.

“I’m a centrist Democrat, and would have loved to support my hunch that Ms. Palin is illiterate,” said2tor Chief Executive Officer John Katzman.

“However, the emails say something else. Ms. Palin writes emails on her Blackberry at a grade level of 8.5.

“If she were a student and showing me her work, I’d say ‘It’s fine, clear writing,’” he said, admitting that emails he wrote scored lower than Palin’s on the widely used Flesch-Kincaid readability test.

“She came in as a solid communicator,” said Paul J.J. Payack, president of the Global Language Monitor. The emails registered as an 8.2 on his version of the test. “That’s typical for a corporate executive.”

An example of Palin’s strongest writing came on Jul. 17, 2007 in an email to Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell about the controversial Gravina Island Bridge, infamously called the “Bridge to Nowhere.”

“We cant afford it, the Feds won’t pay for it, the general populace isn’t placing it as a high priority … can you diplomatically express that?! Of course we want infrastructure — and this is NOT a “bridge to nowhere” (that is so offensive), but as it stands today with the highest-cost bridge design selected by the Ketchikan community, we need to find a lower-cost alternative [if] a bridge will be built.”

“She’s very concise. She gives clear orders. Her sentences and punctuations are logical,” Payack said. “She has much more of a disciplined mind than she’s given credit for.” [Read More.]




Make No Mistake: Obama’s Favorite Buzzwords

You Don’t Say

This article has been shared from The Daily iPad app

 

..

‘Make no mistake,’ Obama is a big fan of his own catchphrases

.

BY ANTHONY DECEGLIE AND JENNY MERKINMONDAY, MARCH 28, 2011

.

Statistics gathered by the Global Language Monitor reveal that Obama has said it 2,924 times since he was sworn into office more than two years ago.

.

Other signature Obama sayings include “Here’s the deal” (1,450 times) and “Let me be clear,” (1,066 times). In a nod to the tough financial times he has faced, the president’s fifth most popular motto is “It will not be easy.”

Obama’s reheated rhetoric has recently come under fresh scrutiny. Parts of his speech warning Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi to honor the United Nations’ cease-fire pact were strikingly similar to the words spoken by President George W. Bush when he launched military strikes in Afghanistan.

“Our goal is focused. Our cause is just. And our coalition is strong,” Obama said. Bush, nearly a decade earlier: “Your mission is defined. Your objectives are clear. Your goal is just.”

Make no mistake, The Daily is hoping Obama lifts his creative game and “wins the future” (another rhetorical crutch) when it comes to this public speaking deal. Although we understand it will not be easy.

Scale of Top Sayings (Source: The Global Language Monitor, as of March 25)

#1 “Make no mistake” — 2,924 times

#2 “Win the future” — 1,861 times; 9 times in his 2011 State of the Union address

#3 “Here’s the deal” — 1,450 times

$4 “Let me be clear” — 1,066 times

#5 “It will not be easy” — 1,059 times

BBC: An explanation for ‘bunga bunga’

.

At last an explanation for ‘bunga bunga’

By Kathryn Westcott,  BBC News



Top Politically Incorrect Words of 2009

Swine Flu, Flush Toilet, Green Revolution, Minority, and Saint named top politically (in)Correct  words and phrases of 2009

The Sixth Annual Global Survey

Austin, Texas October 2, 2009 – Swine Flu, Flush Toilet, Green Revolution, Minority, and Saint have been named the top politically (in)Correct  words and phrases of the past year according to The Global Language Monitor in its sixth annual survey of the English Language. Rounding out the top ten were the term Politically Correct, Oriental, Founding Fathers, Black Sheep, and Senior Citizen.

“Once again, we are seeing that the attempt to remove all bias from language is itself creating biases of their own,” said Paul JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst of The Global Language Monitor. “At this point it is becoming increasingly difficult to engage in any form of public dialogue without offending someone’s sensitivities, whether right, left or center.” .

The Top Politically Correct Words and Phrases for 2009 include:

1. Swine Flu – Though hundreds of millions know of the current pandemic as Swine Flu, various governments and agencies for political motives ranging from protecting pork producers to religious sensitivity have chosen to address the virus by its formal name, influenza A(H1N1).

2. Flush Toilet – Flush toilets, toilet paper and toilet use in general are now coming under the watchful eyes of the green movement.

3. Green Revolution – In the 1960s the scientific consensus was the world was on the brink of a ‘Malthusian’ collapse. The Green Revolution changed all that, but now there are those who believe that the world has paid a “stiff price in environmental degradation”.

4. Minority – Talking about minorities is considered insensitive to minorities since this can make them feel, well, like minorities.

5. Saint – In addition to the word ‘saint,’ Oxford University Press has removed words such as ‘bishop,’ ‘chapel,’ and ‘Pentecost’ from the Junior Dictionary.

6. Politically Correct – The term politically correct has, itself, is now politically correct, Be careful how you use it.

7. Oriental – In the US considered offensive to Asians because the term is based on the geographic relationship of Asia from a Western perspective. In Europe (and in most Asian nations), however, Oriental is acceptable.

8. Founding Fathers – Though all the Signers of the American Declaration of Independence were men, this is considered sexists in some quarters. Founders, please.

9. Black Sheep – Though originally referring to the rare birth of a lamb with black fur, now considered ethnically insensitive; the same is true for Black Day, Conversely, terms like White Collar and Whiter than White all can be used to encourage a hierarchical value of skin tone.

10. Senior Citizen – In the name of ‘inclusiveness,’ the UK’s Loughborough University’s suggests replacing senior citizen with ‘older person’.

The Top Politically Incorrect Terms and Phrases for previous years include:

  • 2008: “He Can’t Win” – Hillary Clinton’s coded reference to Barack Obama’s ethnic background as an insurmountable impediment to him winning the US Presidency
  • 2007: Nappy-headed Ho — Radio personality Don Imus’ reference to the women on the Rutgers University championship basketball team.
  • 2006: Global Warming Denier – Scientists not denying climate change, but the role of humans in the millennia-old process.
  • 2005: Misguided Criminals – A BBC commentator attempts to strip away all emotion from the word ‘terrorist’ by using ‘neutral’ descriptions for those who carried out the 7/7 tube bombings.
  • 2004: Master/Slave computer jargon – LA County re-labels computer documentation to remove this alleged slur that has been used for decades describing computer hierarchies.

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.

 

ObamaVision Tops Financial Meltdown as Top TV Word of 2009

The Death of Michael Jackson, the emergence of Susan Boyle and the rise of Hulu.com follow.

The Sixth Annual Analysis by the Global Language Monitor

Austin, Texas, USA. September 24, 2009. The Global Language Monitor today announced that ObamaVision topped the global Financial Meltdown as the most profound influences on the English Language from Television in 2009. These were followed by the death of Michael Jackson, the emergence of Susan Boyle and the rise of Hulu.com. Rounding out the Top Ten were Vampires, Dar Dour, the Wizards of Waverly Place, the phrase, ‘And that’s the way it is,’ and Jiggle. This was the Sixth Annual Analysis by the Global Language Monitor.

“The three screens in the post-Modern home became even more apparent during this television season, with viewers moving seamlessly among their flat screen TV, their laptop, and their 3G phone,” said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of GLM. “This year was dominated by the advent of ObamaVision, to the newest reality show: the Global Financial Meltdown. And then Michael Jackson’s death commandeers the worldwide airways for weeks on end.”

The Top Telewords of the 2009 season with commentary follow:

  1. ObamaVision — From the primaries to the election to the Inauguration to the middle school classroom: all Obama, all the time, everywhere.
  2. Financial Meltdown – The most authentic of all reality shows. National economies on the brink! The Bailout! The Bonuses! What surprises can we expect from Season II?
  3. Michael Jackson – The biggest TV funeral in history. What’s the King of Pop’s next act?
  4. Susan Boyle – Britain’s surprise spinster singing sensation demonstrated the power of the ‘third screen’.
  5. Hulu.com – For the first time, GLM is recognizing a website (the much hailed second screen) for broadcasting made-for-television shows over the internet.
  6. Vampires – All over the tube: ever chaste (with human girls); ever so exotic and popular.
  7. Dar Dour — The Iraqi TV show that spoofs the futility (and humor) found in the pitfalls (and pratfalls) in the attempt to lead an ordinary life.
  8. Wizards (from the Wizards of Waverly Place) – Wizards that need a bit of science to maintain their powers.
  9. “And that’s the way it is” – Walter Cronkite’s shadow over television news spans the decades.
  10. Jiggle – Before HBO, ABC introduced ‘jiggle’ with Farah Fawcett as one of the main contributors to the concept.

The Top Telewords of previous years were:

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”.



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,’ Hanukah’ in a variety of spellings, and ‘Kwanzaa’.  [Read More.]

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%).

Notes:  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:

 

obal 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.”

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)



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.

 

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 GlobalLanguage 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 professedintent 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’il vous 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 urbe condita) 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)

unexpected T_ENDIF in /nfs/c01/h12/mnt/44840/domains/languagemonitor.com/html/wp-content/themes/website/footer.php on line 23