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Top TeleWords of the 2009/2010 Season

BP SpillCam, Dysfunctional Families,

and All-things Jersey


Seventh Annual Analysis by the Global Language Monitor


Austin, Texas, USA. September 10, 2010. The Global Language Monitor today announced that the BP Spillcam has topped dysfunctional, Guido, realityand nice as the Top Words from Television for the 2009-2010 season. Rounding out the Top Ten were rude, “drama at 10:00,” ‘Chicago-style politics,’ cross-over, and ambush marketing. The awards are annually announced at the beginning of the Fall television season in the US.  This is the seventh annual analysis by Austin-based GLM.

“The Top TeleWords of 2010 encompassed an unintended ‘up-close-and-personal’ view to an unparalleled natural disaster, resonating sitcoms detailing the contradictions, foibles (and joys) of  post-Modern life, a Super Bowl victory for the still recovering city of New Orleans, and more Guidos and Guidettes and one might encounter in a lifetime.” said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of GLM.

The Top Telewords of the 2010 season with commentary follow:

1. BP Spillcam — Provocative, engaging, riveting television delivered to all three screens (and possibly the worst PR nightmare of all time).

2. Dysfunctional – Modern Family: Would you expect otherwise from a series that sprang from the mind of Rev. Jim Ignatowski (Christopher Lloyd)?

3. Guido — Jersey Shore elevates Guidos and Guidettes into the mainstream; but one of several reality shows feeding viewers interest in all-things Jersey.

4. Reality – When Webster defined reality as ‘truth or fact, not merely a matter of amusement,’ he was obviously unaware of reality TV.

5. Nice – The word ‘nice’ is associated with Betty White over 1.1 million times on Goggle. Nice and vicious, dear.

6. Rude — Simon Cowell departs American Idol after a seven-year run; even the Queen has referred to Cowell as ‘caustic’.

7. “Drama at 10:00” – As Jay Leno said of the Late Night kerfuffle with Conan O’Brien, NBC ‘wanted it and they got it’.

8. Chicago-style politics – No we are not talking about Rahm Emanuel and the White House but rather The Good Wife.

9. Cross-over (as in crossover hit) – Nineteen-time Emmy nominee Glee’s cast album rocketed to No. 1 on the Billboard Chart.

10. Ambush Marketing – As advertisers begin to balk at the price of Olympic sponsorships, some are to ‘ambush marketing’ as was widely demonstrated during the Vancouver Winter Games.

11. Bressus: Fan-bestowed nickname for New Orleans Saints Super Bowl winning-quarterback’s nickname — the most watched Super bowl in years.

12. Asperger’s Disease – Temple Grandin’s lesser-known challenge in the eponymously titled biopic from HBO.

13. Lady Gaga –Stephani Germanotta is visible everywhere on global television over the course of the season.

14. The Pacific (War) — Most older folks are surprised to learn that the Pacific War was a different conflict than WWII.


The Top Telewords of previous years:

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”.

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