Global Language Monitor: Top Global English Word of 2016 is a Meme

Top Global English Word of 2016 is a Meme

May 1, 2017, Austin, TEXAS and NEW YORK — The Global Language Monitor (GLM) today announced that the Global English Word of the Year for 2016 is not a word but a meme: the blood-soaked image of Omran Daqneesh, five years old, sitting in an ambulance while awaiting treatment in Allepo, Syria.

The Global Language Monitor (GLM) also announced that Truth is the Word of the Year for 2017. 


 2016 Words of the Year




Top Word of 2016 is a meme:  Omran Daqneesh, Five years old, Allepo, Syria

2 Refugee A term used to describe migrants that were forced from their homeland by war or civil unrest.
3 Bigly Of considerable size, number, quantity, extent, or magnitude; large.
4 Brexit British Exit from the European Union
5 Zika Virus transmitted by mosquitoes associated with increased incidence of microcephaly in babies born to mothers infected during pregnancy. Impacted attendance at the Rio Games
6 Opioids More deaths than gun violence and automobiles combined
7 Microaggression The brief, everyday exchanges that send mostly unintended derogatory messages to members of various minority groups. Related to the following terms:
8 Climate Changing  GLM will now use the gerund form of the verb ‘change’  to recognize the fact of on-going, continuous condition.
9 Post-truth Oxford: objective facts are less influential  than appeals to emotion or the narrative
10 Anthropocene The current geological age, viewed as the period during in which human activity has been a significant influence on climate and the environment;
11 White Privilege Societal privileges that benefit people identified as white in Western countries, beyond what is commonly experienced by non-white people under the same social, political, or economic conditions.
12 Rio Olympics The 2016 Summer Olympics, the Games of the XXXI Olympiad and commonly known as Rio 2016,
13 Alt-Right Oxford: objective facts are less influential  than appeals to emotion or the narrative
14 Wikileaks Publishes secret information, news leaks, and classified media from anonymous sources.
15 Trans Abbreviation for transgender, people who identify with the opposite of their physical characteristics.
16 Snowflake What unconcerned students call those with the need for safe spaces and warnings about possible trigger events
17 Populism Political movement claiming  to represent the interests of ordinary people against the elite and privileged
18 Migrant  A term that includes refugees from economic, climatalogical changes, and others issues not directly related to war.
19 Evolve The evolution of the word ‘flip-flop’ in political jargon.  More like ‘survival of the fittest,’ it only occurs until the voters first shift their views on a particular subject.
20 Thug Brought to renewed attention by President Obama; from the Hindi (and Sanskrit) words describing Aryan assassins.
The Global Language Monitor © 2017, 2016 All Rights Reserved

During the last 18 months, the world of language in the Industrialized West reflected the turmoil undergoing much of the political systems throughout the Year 2016 and continuing into early 2017, said Paul JJ Payack, presdent and chief word analyst of the Global Language Monitor.

However, it would be a mistake to characterize this time with the World, as a whole, in turmoil. After all, having one nation exiting the EU block of some twenty-eight counties along with the the election of what by European Standards is a Center-Right government in the United States does not equate to 1914, 1939, 1968, the collapse of the Soviet Union, the on-going Middle East conflagration, and/or the emergence of China onto the world economic stage earlier this century, or even the Global Economic Restructuring of 2008 and what continues in its wake.

If you kept abreast of the daily press reports, you would think an outbreak of mass hysteria or at least amnesia had swept over the nations of the West. The world’s leading print and electronic media acted as if the concept of truth had been circumvented, or even, contravened, and sounded alarm after alarm that what we all knew as facts were no longer discernible. The source of this disruption in the news cycle, of course, was what came to be known as fake news and post-truth.

As the various organizations that announced their particular choices for their Words of the Year (WOTY), 2016 had the dubious distinction of being labeled a ‘dumpster-fire’ by the American Dialect Society thereby furthering the concept of fake news. How else could a phrase that was scarcely uttered anywhere in the world in 2016 be chosen for this ‘honor’?

For historical comparisons of a number of the terms used in this analysis, GLM used the Google Ngram Viewer.   You can use the Ngram Viewer to chart frequencies of comma-delimited search strings.  The Google Ngram Viewer uses yearly counts from sources printed between 1500 and 2008, though in some cases later dates of publications are included.

Figure 1. Relative Frequency of citations among words used to describe the Top Words of the Year for 2016

Figure 2. Close-up on Relative Frequency Among Some Top Words of the Year for 2016

Figure 3.  Comparisons for the Words Truth Vs. Lie Since 1740

This is why early in the century, the Global Language Monitor put into place a methodology that clearly states that each considered word or phrase must adhere to the published criteria (see below). The methodology calls for words and phrases from the entire global English linguasphere to be considered, as well as each fulfilling geographic and demographic requirements. This automatically excludes the lists created by those organizations that rely on polls and other such non-scientific tools

A Methodology Optimized for the Wired World -- GLM’s Word of the Year rankings are based upon actual word usage throughout the English-speaking world, which now approaches some 2.38 billion people, who use the language as a first, second, business language. To qualify for these lists, the words, names, and phrases must meet three criteria: 1) found globally, 2) have a minimum of 25,000 citations, and 3) have the requisite ‘depth’ and ‘breadth’ of usage. Depth is here defined as appearing in various forms of media; breadth that they must appear world-over, not limited to a particular profession or social group or geography. The goal is to find the word usage that will endure the test of time.

Global Language Monitor began to use newly available technologies to document the Words of the Year for Global English at the turn of the 21st century, with the idea to encapsulate and capture the essence of the preceding twelve months in a sort of linguistic amber.

About the Global Language Monitor

In 2003, The Global Language Monitor (GLM) was founded in Silicon Valley by Paul J.J. Payack on the understanding that new technologies and techniques were necessary for truly understanding the world of Big Data, as it is now known.

Today, from its home in Austin, Texas GLM provides a number of innovative products and services that utilize its ‘algorithmic services’ to help worldwide customers protect, defend and nurture their branded products and entities. Products include ‘brand audits’ to assess the current status, establish baselines, and competitive benchmarks for current intellectual assets and brands, and to defend products against ambush marketing.

These services are currently provided to the Fortune 500, the Higher Education market, high technology firms, the worldwide print, and electronic media, as well as the global fashion industry, among others.

For more information, call 1.512.801-6823, email, or visit

Apocalyptic language has been widely cited as word of the year worthy for the last several years — and rightly so. In fact, Apocalypse and Armageddon took Global Language Monitors’ honors as Top Global English Words of 2012. And though GLM’s proprietary algorithms have displayed a predictive element, it’s entirely possible that Apocalyptic language did indeed peak some three years too soon.

The Top Words, Phrases, and Names since the Turn of the Century

Top Words:  No. 1  Truth, No. 2  Narrative, No. 3, #Resist
Top Phrases:   No. 1  Make America Great Again No. 2 When they go low, we go high No. 3 The Electoral College
Top Names:   No. 1 Donald Trump, No. 2 Vladimir Putin, No. 3 Neil Gorsuch
Top Words:  No. 1  Microaggression
Top Phrases:   No. 1 Migrant Crisis
Top Names:   No. 1 Donald J. Trump
Top Words:  No. 1 The Heart ♥ Emoji (for love) , No. 2 Hashtag , No. 3 Vape
Top Phrases:   No. 1 Hands Up, Don’t Shoot;  No. 2 Cosmic Inflation, No. 3 Global Warming
Top Names:   No. 1 Ebola, No. 2 Pope Francis, No. 3 World War I
Top Words: No. 1  ‘404’, No.2 Fail, No.3 Hashtag
Top Phrases: No. 1 Toxic Politics, No. 2 Federal Shutdown, No.3 Global Warming/Climate Change
Top Names: No. 1. Pope Francis, No. 2 ObamaCare, No.3 NSA
Top Words: No. 1 ApocalypseArmageddon, No.2 Deficit, No. 3 Olympiad
Top Phrases: No. 1 Gangnam Style, No. 2 Climate Change/Global Warming, No. 3 Fiscal Cliff
Top Names: No. 1 Newtown and Malala Yousafzai, No. 3 Xi Jinping
Top Words: No. 1 Occupy, No.2 Fracking, No.3 Drone
Top Phrases: No. 1 Arab Spring, No. 2 Royal Wedding, No.3 Anger and Rage
Top Names: No. 1 Steve Jobs, No. 2 Osama bin-laden and Seal Team Six, No.3 Fukushima
Top Words: No. 1 Occupy, No.2 Fracking, No.3 Drone
Top Phrases: No. 1 Anger and Rage, No. 2 Climate Change, No. 3 The Great Recession
Top Names: No. 1 Hu Jintao, paramount leader of China, No. 2 iPad, No. 3 Barack Obama
Top Words: No. 1 Twitter, No. 2 Obama-, No. 3 H1N1
Top Phrases: No. 1 King of Pop, No. 2 Obama-mania, No. 3 Climate Change
Top Names: No. 1 Obama, No. 2 Michael Jackson, No. 3 Mobama
Top Words: No. 1 Change, No. 2 Bailout, No. 3 Obama-mania
Top Phrases: No. 1 Financial Tsunami, No. 2 Global Warming, No. 3 “Yes, We Can!”
Top Names: No. 1 Barack Obama, No. 2 George W. Bush, No.3 Michael Phelps
Top Words: No. 1 Hybrid (representing all things green), No. 2: Surge
Top Phrase: Climate Change
Top Name: Al Gore
Top Word: Sustainable
Top Phrase: Stay the Course
Top Name: Dafur
Top Words: No. 1, Refugee No. 2: Tsunami No. 3: Katrina
Top Phrase: Outside the Mainstream
Top Name: (acts of ) God
Top Word: Incivility (for inCivil War)
Top Phrase: Red States/Blue States No. 2: Rush to War
Top Name: Dubya/Rove
Top Word: Embedded
Top Phrase: Shock and Awe, No. 2: Rush to War
Top Name: Saddam Hussein, No. 2 Dubya
Top Word: Misunderestimate
 Top Phrase: Threat Fatigue
Top Name: W (Dubya)
Top Word: Ground Zero
Top Phrase: ‘Lets Roll’
Top Name: The Heros
Top Word: Chad
Top Phrase:
Top Name: W (Dubya)


“Make No Mistake” — Obama’s Favorite Buzzwords

March 28th, 2011
You Don’t Say
This article has been shared from The Daily’s iPad app

Make no mistake —  Obama is a big fan of his own catchphrases


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.

Obamas 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




1,000,000th English Word Announced

Web 2.0 beats Jai Ho & N00b as 1,000,000th English Word

English passed the Million Word mark earlier today, June 10 at 10:22 am GMT

Word Number 1,000,001: Financial Tsunami

Austin, Texas June 10, 2009 – The Global Language Monitor today announced that Web 2.0 has bested Jai Ho, N00b and Slumdog as the 1,000,000th English word or phrase. added to the codex of fourteen hundred-year-old language. Web 2.0 is a technical term meaning the next generation of World Wide Web products and services. It has crossed from technical jargon into far wider circulation in the last six months. Two terms from India, Jai Ho! and slumdog finished No. 2 and 4. Jai Ho! Is a Hindi exclamation signifying victory or accomplishment; Slumdog is an impolite term for children living in the slums. Just missing the top spot was n00b, a mixture of letters and numbers that is a derisive term for newcomer. It is also the only mainstream English word that contains within itself two numerals. Just missing the final five cut-off,  was another technical term, cloud computing, meaning services that are delivered via the cloud. At its current rate, English generates about 14.7 words a day or one every 98 minutes.

Millionth English word’ declared

A US web monitoring firm has declared the millionth English word to be Web 2.0, a term for the latest generation of web products and services.

Matt Frei reports on English’s unique linguistic evolution and then spoke to Global Language Monitor’s Paul Payack who helped find this millionth English word.

BBC NEWS | Programmes | World News America | ‘Millionth English word’ declared

“As expected, English crossed the 1,000,000 word threshold on June 10, 2009 at 10:22 am GMT. However, some 400 years after the death of the Bard, the words and phrases were coined far from Stratford-Upon-Avon, emerging instead from Silicon Valley, India, China, and Poland, as well as Australia, Canada, the US and the UK,” said Paul JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst of the Global Language Monitor. “English has become a universal means of communication; never before have so many people been able to communicate so easily with so many others.”
The English language is now being studies by hundreds of millions around the globe for entertainment, commercial or scientific purposes. In 1960 there were some 250 million English speakers, mostly in former colonies and the Commonwealth countries. The future of English as a major language was very much in doubt. Today, some 1.53 billion people now speak English as a primary, auxiliary, or business language, with some 250 million acquiring the language in China alone.

These are the fifteen finalists for the one millionth English word, all of which have met the criteria of a minimum of 25,000 citations with the necessary breadth of geographic distribution, and depth of citations.
1,000,000: Web 2.0 – The next generation of web products and services, coming soon to a browser near you.
999,999: Jai Ho! – The Hindi phrase signifying the joy of victory, used as an exclamation, sometimes rendered as “It is accomplished”. Achieved English-language popularity through the multiple Academy Award Winning film, “Slumdog Millionaire”.
999,998: N00b — From the Gamer Community, a neophyte in playing a particular game; used as a disparaging term.
999,997: Slumdog – a formerly disparaging, now often endearing, comment upon those residing in the slums of India.
999,996: Cloud Computing – The ‘cloud’ has been technical jargon for the Internet for many years. It is now passing into more general usage.
999,995: Carbon Neutral — One of the many phrases relating to the effort to stem Climate Change.
999,994: Slow Food — Food other than the fast-food variety hopefully produced locally (locavores).
999,993: Octomom – The media phenomenon relating to the travails of the mother of the octuplets.
999,992: Greenwashing – Re-branding an old, often inferior, product as environmentally friendly.
999,991: Sexting – Sending email (or text messages) with sexual content.
999,990: Shovel Ready – Projects are ready to begin immediately upon the release of federal stimulus funds.
999,989: Defriend – Social networking terminology for cutting the connection with a formal friend.
999,988: Chengguan – Urban management officers, a cross between mayors, sheriff, and city managers.
999,987: Recessionista – Fashion conscious who use the global economic restructuring to their financial benefit.
999,986: Zombie Banks – Banks that would be dead if not for government intervention and cash infusion.
 —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  — -
In addition, the 1,000,001st word is Financial Tsunami – The global financial restructuring that seemingly swept out of nowhere, wiping out trillions of dollars of assets, in a matter of months
Each word was analyzed to determine which depth (number of citations) and breadth (geographic extent of word usage), as well as number of appearances in the global print and electronic media, the Internet, the blogosphere, and social media (such as Twitter and YouTube). The Word with the highest PQI score was deemed the 1,000,000th English language word. The Predictive Quantities Indicator (PQI) is used to track and analyze word usage.
Global Language Monitor has been tracking English word creation since 2003. Once it identifies new words (or neologisms) it measures their extent and depth of usage with its PQI technology.