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No noising, please.

BMW Group Award für Interkulturelles Engagement Aktuell
To read this article in German (and 27 other languages) go to our sister site, Mojofiti.

No noising, please.

Vor kurzem erzielte die englische Sprache einen Weltrekord. Mehr als eine Million Wörter umfasst das Englische nun, laut dem in Austin (Texas) ansässigen Global Language Monitor (GLM), einer Institution, die seit 1999 die Anzahl der Wörter in der englischen Sprache zählt. Zum Vergleich: Die spanische Sprache umfasst etwa 275.000 Wörter, Französisch gerade einmal 100.000.
„Englisch ist eine offene Sprache und absorbiert Wörter sehr schnell“, so der Linguist, Wortanalyst und Gründer des GLM Paul Payack. „Die Franzosen sagen nicht Computer sondern L’Ordinateur. Amerikaner haben kein Problem mit Wörtern wie ‚Kindergarten‘ oder ‚Croissant‘. Sogar ‚Ketchup‘, die Bezeichnung für ein urtypisches amerikanisches Produkt, ist eigentlich ein Wort aus dem Kantonesischen.“

Durch die weltweite Verbreitung der englischen Sprache, erst durch das britische Empire und später durch die von den USA vorangetriebene Globalisierung, hat sich die Aufnahme neuer Wörter noch beschleunigt, so Payack.

Eine noch fundamentalere Evolution erlebt die Sprache jedoch durch die Entkopplung der englischen Muttersprachler von der Verwendung „ihrer“ Sprache. „Wenn sich ein Chinese und ein Franzose unterhalten, dann höchstwahrscheinlich auf Englisch“, erklärt Payack. „Englische Muttersprachler sind daran gar nicht mehr beteiligt. Nun reden diese beiden aber natürlich kein Oxford-Englisch, sondern eine sehr regional geprägte Variante des Englischen: Der Chinese fügt vielleicht am Ende einer Frage ein typisches chinesisches Fragewort wie „ma“ ein und der Franzose benutzt französischen Satzbau.“

So entsteht beispielsweise das Phänomen des sogenannten „Chinglish“ oder „Spanglish“, Mischungen aus dem Englischen und Chinesischen oder Spanischen. Neben neuen Wörtern wie „no noising“ statt „quite please“ oder „airline pulp“ für „airline food“, entstehen so auch ganz neue Sprachstrukturen. Die pure Menge der Nichtmuttersprachler, die Englisch in ihrem täglichen Leben verwenden, ist zu einer treibenden Kraft in der Entwicklung der Sprache geworden. Dieser Prozess führt zur Entstehung einer Spielart des Englischen, die man zum Beispiel auf internationalen Tagungen oder anderen Gelegenheiten beobachten kann, bei denen viele Nichtmuttersprachler gemeinsam auf Englisch kommunizieren. „An Universitäten und in Unternehmen auf der ganzen Welt und vor allem im Internet: Überall und zu jeder Zeit wird englisch von zahllosen Nichtmuttersprachlern gesprochen. Das führt mit Sicherheit zur größten Evolution, die die englische Sprache jemals erlebt hat”, so Payack. „Auch wenn das sehr lange dauern würde, ein solcher Prozess könnte sogar zur Entstehung einer vollkommen neuen Weltsprache führen.“

Solche Szenarien, die konservative Sprachschützer in den Wahnsinn treiben würden, lassen Sprachforscher wie Paul Payack jedoch kalt. Im Gegenteil: Payack begrüßt den Wandel. „Wir haben keine Institutionen die bestimmen, so wird Englisch gesprochen und so nicht. Die englische Sprache bleibt flexibel und kann sich der Zeit anpassen. Ich denke, das ist auch besser so.“

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GLM 2011 Posts Retrospective

Danger of long-term effects Fukushima fallout little discussed in media

 

Prevailing view harmless, Opposing views called laced with hysteria

AUSTIN, Texas. March 23, 2011. With radioactive elements from Japans Fukushima Daiiachi disaster finally reaching the continental US this week, the Global Language Monitor’s NarrativeTracker has found that the possible long-term dangers of Fukushima Daiiachis radioactive fallout has been little discussed in the media. In fact, there has been little or no discussion of the ongoing debate about assessing the long-term risks associated with Cesium-137 and Iodine-131, etc.

The prevailing view of the global print and electronic media is to pronounce the radioactive elements harmless, which is in direct contract to the accepted view of the National Academy of Sciences, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and many others. In fact, the discussion that does appear, labels opposing views as irrational or laced with hysteria, as in a recent article in the New York Times.

According the the Global Language Monitors NarrativeTracker there have been only two references to the controversy in the past week in the major global media, or even to the fact that the analysis of the heath impact of the escaped radiation could be far off base. An article in the Malaysian Star was the most insightful. Even on the web news side, NarrativeTracker picked up fewer that half a dozen references to the controversy in the last week.

On the Internet and in Social Media, there were some 10,000 references to the controversy, which pales in comparison to news about, say Charlie Sheen (who has hundreds of million citations). In addition, there were about three million references to the harmless effects of the Fukushima fallout, with about 7,000,000 references to its dangers.

Therefore, the prevailing and accepted view of the National Academy of Sciences, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and, for that matter, the US Congress has been overlooked in the global media discussion. This is the view that holds sway in legislation ranging from the regulation of cigarettes, CT scans and the Hanford Reservation cleanup. In addition to the risk to human life, billions of dollars in government are at stake.

The controversy concerns Linear No Threshold (LNT) methodology to calculate risk from exposure to radioactive elements. The LNT dose-response relationship is used to describe the relationship between radiation dose and the occurrence of cancer. This dose-response model suggests that any increase in dose, no matter how small, results in an incremental increase in risk. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) accepts the LNT hypothesis as a conservative model for estimating radiation risk.

There are two competing theories here.

1. There is no lower-level threshold to the threat from radioactive exposure. Basically this means that even a small exposure to radioactivity will increase the chance of cancer occurring in a corresponding small percentage of the population. The smaller the exposure, the smaller the risk, but the risk never falls to zero.

2. There is a lower-level threshold to the threat from radioactive exposure. This is model that the media has adopted in claims that the fallout is harmless while still recognizing that it is harmful in large doses. Some scientists adhere to the radiation hormesis model that radiation might even be beneficial in very low doses

The LNT model is generally accepted by most governments and scientific agencies and predicts higher risks than the threshold model. Because the current data is inconclusive, scientists disagree on which methodology should be used.

However, the fact that there has been little or no discussion of the topic in the media is cause for concern.

Tags: cesium-137, Cigarettes, CT scans, fallout, Fukushima, Fukushima Daiichi, Hanford, iodine-131, Linear No Threshold, LNT, National Academy of Sciences, NRC, Nuclear Regulatory Commission

 

Japanese Disasters Need-to-Know Glossary Update

Added: Chest x rays, Black swans, Dinosaur extinction event, Two packs-a-day

AUSTIN, Texas, March 21, 2011 (Updated Daily) The Global Language Monitor has assembled the Japanese Disasters Need-to-Know Glossary to help understand the sometimes obtuse and ofter obscure terminology used in describing the concurrent Japanese Disasters that we are now witnessing.

We will add to the document as events continue to unfold.

This is a tragedy of unprecedented proportions.

We believe it is our responsibility to help people around the globe more fully understand the depth of the destruction and the nature of the circumstances that have already have and continue to unfold, said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of the Global Language Monitor.

Can Your Family or Business Survive a Disaster for Three Days

Term Definition
1.6 microseconds Number of microseconds the Earths spin was increased by the Sendai earthquake
9.0 magnitude The Japanese quake was 9.0 on the Richter Scale. This makes it about 700,000 times more powerful than last years Haitian earthquake. (See Richter Scale.)
12.5 magnitude Theoretical magnitude of the Chicxulub asteroid impact 65,000,000,000 years ago that led to the extinction of the dinosaurs. (However, mammals live through it.)
900 kph The waves of the tsunami traveled traveled about as fast as of typical passenger jetliner (About 560 mph/900 kph)
Black Swan Black Swan: rare but Nation-destroying disasters: an asteroid hitting the earth; a super volcano (Yellowstone Caldera) rending half a continent lifeless; a solar flare that destroys all modern communication systems. The Japanese Tri-Crisis qualifies as a Black Swab.
Cesium-137 Metal of the Alkali group that can signal the presence of a nuclear reaction. The half-life of Cesium 137 is 30 years. This means it would take about 200 years for something contaminated with it to lose all signs of radioactivity. Its name is derived from the Latin for a bluish-gray color
Chernobyl The Chernobyl incident in Ukraine in 1986 was considered the worlds worst nuclear accident until now. A carbon-fed fire sent the radioactive elements high into the atmosphere affecting every country in Europe.
Chest X Ray Each chest x ray exposes you to about .04 mSv. A major surgery might require 1,000 x rays, which would result in 40 mSv. A single CT heart scan results in a 12 mSv exposure.
China Syndrome Theory that a molten nuclear core breeches its containment vessel (in the US) and proceeds through the Earths core all the way to China. This is not actually possible. (See Tierra del Fuego syndrome.)
Containment Building (or vessel) Reinforced concrete structure made to serve as final barrier to entrap radioactive gases
Earthquake Shaking of Earths crust due to underlying tectonic forces
Epicenter The center of the earthquake, ofter miles underground.
Fuel Rods The affected Japanese reactors have thousands of 12-foot long, zirconium-alloy fuel rods. Each contain thousands of uranium-oxide ceramic pellets. The fuel rods are densely packed into the reactor.
Fukushima 50 The fifty workers serving as the final defense against a catastrophic meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi.
Fukushima Daiichi The nuclear reactors site with six boiling water reactors. 1, 2 and 6 were built by General Electric. 3, 4 and 5 were built by Toshiba. Fukushima Daiichi is 241 km (150 miles) from Tokyo.
Half-Life The time it takes radioactive material to expend one half of its radioactivity. The longer the half-life, the more dangerous the material.
Hiroshima Bomb The Hiroshima atomic bomb was detonated on August 6, 1945. Its yield was estimated between 13 and 18 kilotons of TNT. It was set equivalent to a 6.2 magnitude quake.
IAEA International Atomic Energy Agency is headquartered in Vienna.
Indian Ocean Tsunami The Indian Ocean Tsunami on Boxing Day in 2004 resulted in waves over 18 meters (50 feet) high. Over 250,000 people were killed, some 5,000 km (3000 m) away.
International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES) The INES, introduced in1990 by the IAEA, has seven levels, with 1-3 considered incidents and 4-7, accidents. The Fukushima incident was recently moved from Level 4 to 5 (equivalent to Three Mile Island). Chernobyl is the only Level 7 accident on record.). The French Nuclear Agency suggests Fukushima to be a Level 6.
Iodine-131 Iodine-131 is a highly radioactive element that signifies at least a partial meltdown. The half-life of Iodine-131 is about 8 days, which means that it decays far faster than Cesium-137. The radioactive iodine is concentrated in the thyroid, however taking iodine potassium tablets fill the thyroid to capacity so the radioactive Iodine -131 is more likely to be excreted.
Krakatoa Indonesian Volcano that exploded in 1883 with a force equivalent to 8.5 magnitude (and some 200 megatons). Purported to be the loudest sound ever heard up to 5,000 km (or about 3,000 miles). The sound waves were measured to circle the earth seven times.
Linear No Threshold Model LNT basically it means that even a small exposure to radioactivity will increase the chance of cancer occurring in a corresponding small percentage of the population. The smaller the exposure, the smaller the risk, but the risk never falls to zero. The LNT model is generally accepted by most governments and scientific agencies, but is considered controversial in some scientific circles. This is why you hear conflicting views from experts on the cancer risk.
Meltdown When a core meltdown catastrophic melting of the core of a nuclear reactor due to a loss of cooling
No. 5 The earthquake was the fifth strongest since 1900.
Nuclear reactor Devices that use chain reactions of fissionable materials to boil water to create steam. The steam runs through turbines to create power.
Plate tectonics Theory that the continents rest on plates that drift into each other, causing earthquakes and mountain building
Prefecture States or Provinces of Japan. There are 47 prefectures.
Richter scale The logarithmic scale that measures the strength of an earthquake named after Charles Richter. It is a base-10 logarithmic scale. This means that an earthquake that measures 3.0 is 10 times more powerful that one measuring 2.0. The scale is open-ended, though the 1960 Chile quake measured at 9.6.
Sendai Earthquake At 9.0 the Sendai earthquake was the fifth largest since 1900. The Sendai quake was equivalent to about 100,000 Hiroshima-class bombs.
Sievert and millisievert (and millisievert) A unit of measurement for radiation dosage. According to the World Health Organization, the average person is exposed to about 3 millisieverts a year from natural sources and 3 mSv from human-made sources.
Three Mile Island In 1979 Unit No. 2 of the Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania experienced a partial meltdown. Later it was found that the molten radioactive material penetrated within 1 centimeter of breaking through the containment barrier. Because of its location and the prevailing wind patterns, the fallout could have traveled over the heavily populated Eastern Seaboard, passing over Philadelphia, New York and possibly Boston with a population of more than 30,000,000.
Tierra del Fuego Syndrome The China Syndrome when applied to the Far East (See China Syndrome.)
Tokyo Capital of Japan with more than 30,000,000 people in its metropolitan area.
Tsar Bomba The largest hydrogen bomb ever detonated, by the Soviet Union in 1961. It was about equal to a 7.8 magnitude quake in the general range of the San Francisco earthquake 0f 1908 and the Mount Saint Helens volcanic explosion in 1981.
Tsunami From the Japanese tsu (harbor) and nami (wave); waves caused by undersea land movement; usually caused by earthquakes. A tsunami gathers destructive force as it nears land. Depending on the configuration of the shoreline, wave rise over ten-times in height.
Two Packs a Day Smoking two packs of cigarettes a day exposes you to about 17 mSv per year. Smoke for a lifetime thats 850 mSv.
Tags: Black Swan, cesium-137, Chernobyl, chest xray, China Syndrome, containment building, containment vessel, CT scan, earthquake, earthquake magnitude, epicenter, fifth strongest earthquake, fuel rods, Fukushima, Fukushima Daiichi, half-life, Indian ocean tsunami, iodine-131, Japanese casualties, Krakatoa, Linear No Threshold Model, meltdown, millisievert, nuclear reactor, partial meltdown, plate tectonics, Prefecture, radiation exposure, sievert, speed of a tsunami, three mile island, tierra del fuego syndrome, tokyo, Tsar Bomba, Tsunami, Two packs a day
Posted in DisasterTracker | No Comments

 

Casualties in Japan Disasters could reach 25,000 or more

AUSTIN, Texas, March 14, 2011 According to Global Language Monitors NarrativeTracker Technology the ultimate number of casualties resulting from the Japanese Quake and Tsunami should ultimately climb to over 25,000 and possibly reaching 50,000, or more.

The depth of this tragedy is even deeper than what we had already imagined it to be said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of the Global Language Monitor. Only our understanding of the true magnitude of the tragedy, will enable us to move beyond it, to rebuild what needs to be rebuilt and renew what needs to be renewed. Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of those who were struck down and the survivors who carry on.

The analysis is based on NarrativeTrackers analytical methodologies. Statements by public, corporate and military officials as well as outside agencies and various experts were complied and examined with appropriate trendlines extrapolated. The progression has been noted from the earliest reports where casualties were said to be several hundred, then nearly a thousand and now in the tens of thousands.. At the same time, GLM noted the many reports of still-missing trains, ships, and good-sized villages where fewer than half the population has as not yet been accounted for.

The analysis compared trends in casualty-reporting with several disasters including the Haitian earthquake, Hurricane Katrina s inundation of New Orleans, and the Southeast Asia Tsunami.

The analysis assumes that there are no deaths associated with the partial meltdowns of a number of nuclear reactors. GLM notes that this is an analysis is an estimate that is based on trending factors and should be considered as such.

Posted in Analysis, DisasterTracker, NarrativeTracker, Top News | No Comments

 

You can read relevant articles from the GLM archive, such as “Five Years Later, Katrina Continues to Impact Language and “Media Abounds with Apocalyptic-based Messages in Wake of Katrina”.

 

 

Charlie Sheen Tops Gaga, Obama, Kate Middleton Palin in Social Media

However Ranks No. 18 in the Global Print and Electronic Media

Austin, TEXAS.  March 9, 2011.  If it seems as if the actor Charlie Sheen has been everywhere you look or listen, from your smart phone to the Internet to your favorite social media site, you are correct. In an exclusive analysis released earlier today, the Global Language Monitor has found that Sheen tops all Internet and social media discussions with followed by the iPad, Lady Gaga, President Obama and Sarah Palin. Rounding out the Top Ten were David Beckham, Bill Gates, Julian Assange, Nicolas Sarkozy and Kate Middleton.

If it seems as if Charlie Sheen is everywhere you look or listen , that is because it is true He is everywhere and apparently everywhen,” said Paul JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst for the Global Language Monitor.   “The growing pervasiveness of Social Media only enhances this Global Echo Chamber. However, when you insert an editorial process in between the news and the audience Mr. Sheen tumbles to No. 18, following the major newsmakers of the time.”

Check the Reuters Story

The analysis was completed on March 8.  The analysis focused on individual people and things (such as the iPad). Broader topics, such as climate change the Mid-East Unrest were excluded from the analysis.  For this analysis, GLM analyzed the Internet, Blogosphere, and Social Media together. The Global Print and Electronic Media were analyzed separately. That analysis is discussed below.

The Top Twenty Persons of interest on the Internet and Social media list follows.

1 Charlie Sheen
2 iPad
3 Lady Gaga
4 Barack Obama
5 Sarah Palin
6 David Beckham
7 Bill Gates
8 Julian Assange
9 Nicolas Sarkozy
10 Kate Middleton
11 Hosni Mubarak
12 Muamaar Gaddafi
13 Bill Clinton
14 Queen Elizabeth II
15 Silvio Burlusconi
16 David Cameron
17 Angela Merkel
18 Vladimir Putin
19 Hu Jintao
20 Pope Benedict XVI
.

In the Top 75,000 Print and Electronic media sites Charlie Sheen ranks as No. 18, which shows what happens when you have an editorial process that helps discern which news is most significant for the reader. For those sites the Top Stories concerned Barack Obama, Nicolas Sarkozy, Hosni Muburak, Angela Merkel and David Cameron. Completing the Top Ten were Silvio Burlusconi, Julian Assange, Bill Clinton, Sarah Palin and lady Gaga.

The Top Twenty Persons of Interest in the Global Print and Electronic Media follows.

1 Barack Obama
2 Nicolas Sarkozy
3 Hosni Muburak
4 Angela Merkel
5 David Cameron
6 Silvio Burlusconi
7 Julian Assange
8 Bill Clinton
9 Sarah Palin
10 Lady Gaga
11 Vladimir Putin
12 Hu Jintao
13 Muamaar Gaddafi
14 iPad
15 Queen Elizabeth II
16 David Beckham
17 Kate Middleton
18 Charlie Sheen
19 Pope Benedict XVI
20 Bill Gates
.

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.

About Global Language Monitor

Austin-based Global Language Monitor is the pioneer in web-based media analytics. Founded in Silicon Valley, GLM collectively documents, analyzes and tracks trends in language usage worldwide, with a particular emphasis upon the English language.

GLM is particularly known for its Word of the Year, political analysis, college and university rankings, High Tech buzzwords, and social media analytics. One of its algorithmic methodologies is the NarrativeTracker for Internet and social media analysis. NarrativeTracker is based on the national 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 print and electronic media, as well as new social media sources (such as Twitter).

For more information, go to www.LanguageMonitor.com, call 1.512.801.6823, or email pjjp@post.harvard.edu.

Tags: Beckham, Bill Gates, Burlusconi, Charlie Sheen, IPad, Julian Assange, Kate Middleton, Lady Gaga, Merkel. Cameron, Muiburak, Obama, Sarah Palin, Sarkozy
Posted in NarrativeTracker, Predictive Quantities Indicator, Social Media | No Comments

Social Media Have Become Warrior Media

Social Media as a Strategic Weapon

By Edward ML Peters and Paul JJ Payack

Austin, Texas. March 1, 2011 An analysis by the Global Language Monitor has found that a new weapon has recently been detected in the worlds strategic arsenal.

According to Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of GLM, To the uninitiated, it might appear to be part neutron bomb, which destroys only living things with little collateral damage, part some as yet unidentified weapon, which has the ability topple dictators, regimes and unsuspecting governments while rendering both living things and physical structures unharmed.

We are speaking, of course, about Social Media (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc.), which have the apparent ability to re-align the social order in real time, with little or no advanced warning.

In June 2009, we named Web 2.0 the 1,000,000th word in Global English.  Many in the media were confused by our definition: the next generation of products and services from the web, currently beyond imagination.  Later in 2009, we named Twitter the word of the year.  Some were surprised when we defined Twitter as the ability to encapsulate human thought in 140 characters. They were thinking of Twitter as a means for BFFs to gratuitously unfriend each other. We were thinking of it as a radical new form of communication.

Social Media is adhering to its etymological roots more tightly than one might expect. The word social ultimately derives from secg, an Old English word for warrior. The social media warrior now understands that the role of social media is not a fad but a mechanism to better understand socio-economic trends and issues in real time.

So it is even more surprising that the events of the last six weeks in the Middle East appear to have come as a shock to the Western Powers and Global Media.

Again.

Three years ago the media was shocked when an unexpected series of financial events set the global financial markets spinning out-of-control. In retrospect, we now see that only the strongest intervention of the Western Central Banks prevented what was horrific into becoming something downright catastrophic. The Western economies still suffer from the consequences.

A few month later, the media was shocked by the unprecedented run of a relatively unknown and untested Black man to the presidency to the United States. (Undoubtedly, it would have been shocked if his primary nemesis, the current US Secretary of State, had successfully navigated her campaign to become the first female president of the United States.)

Then a year ago, the media was shocked by 1) the rise of the Tea Party, 2) the shellacking the President took in the Mid-term elections, and 3) now the upheavals in the Middle Eastern world that appear to have come as a shock to both the Western Powers and Global Media.

At least we are consistent in our on-going sense of shock.

The question becomes why do we continue to be shocked whenever we witness this new reality foisted upon us by means of communications never before imagined Obviously, even to the casual observer, there is an on-going global transformation of industries, wealth and influence as evidenced by the evolving role of nation-states, the rise of Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs), and the proliferation of trans-national causes and corporations that is apparently out of the span of command of many contemporary institutions.

Read More From These Authors on The Hill

The question remains: why the surprise Why the sense of shock Weve seen this all before, but have apparently lacked the vision to put it all together. A common thread among recent strategic advances is that all are new forms of communications. We should keep this in mind and not dismiss social media as a passing fad for the young and foolish, but rather as new tools, new social instruments, or even strategic weapons that can, will and are having societal and strategic influences around the globe today.

So once again we have a list of surprises to confront:

People voting with their thumbs
Simultaneous uprisings in the Middle East
Long-ingrained totalitarian dictatorships falling
Christian and Muslim groups celebrating together
And our astonishment only continues to grow as the future unfolds.

After all, weve never seen anything like this before.

Again.

Tags: Facebook, Middle East Uprisings, NGO, Social Media, Strategic Weapons, Twitter, YouTube
Posted in Analysis, High Tech Buzzwords, NarrativeTracker | No Comments

 

Did Watson Really Beat Humans on Jeopardy We Think Not!

Analysis into the natural language processing claim.

AUSTIN, TEXAS. March 1, 2011 An analysis by the Global Language Monitor has found that Watson, the IBM Computer specifically designed to compete on the Jeopardy television show was not the victory of a machine tackling natural language processing that many had been led to believe but rather a a massive marketing coup, as described in the Boston Globe.

When Watson bested two live-wear, carbon-based lifeforms named Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, on the Jeopardy Television show a few days ago, it was widely viewed as a great advance in natural language processing. Natural Language Processing is concerned with the interactions between computers and human (natural) languages.

As Ben Zimmer in the New York Times put it, Watson ‘came through with flying colors.’ And he was certainly not alone in his judgment. There were many comparisons to the John Henry man vs. machine tale where the legendary steel-driving railroad man challenges a steam hammer, and wins, only to collapse and die shortly thereafter. It appeared as if the entire media went a little bit gaga (no pun intended) with stories on this great milestone in cyber (and possibly human) history.

Is this analysis true As Steve Colbert might put it, there is some truthiness in the statement. Watson did, in fact, best his human competitors, but if we are to speaking truthiness to power, we should ensure that we fully understand the nature of the competition.

Comments like the above missed the mark for a very simple reason”, said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst at GLM. “Watson did not prove adept at processing language in a manner similar to humans. In fact, computers have dramatically failed at this task for four decades now. What Watson has accomplished is a far cry from natural language processing”.

Rather what Watson achieved was a very close approximation of appearing as if it had acquired an acuity at understanding of the English language. This, in itself, is an accomplishment to be acknowledged. (But as in the old joke goes about a dog talking, its not that it was done well but rather that it was done at all.) After all, Watson was designed from the ground up as a question-answering machine, as IBM readily admits. However this, in itself, is not quite accurate because Watson was specifically built as a Jeopardy game-show answering machine .

One problem is that few commentators understand what it means to actually program a computer at all, let alone the machine coding which might be construed as the most basic unit of computer thought. Even those who are familiar with todays coding techniques are familiar with HTML or a variation of C++ or Linux, etc. All of these languages are as distant from machine coding technology as they are from understanding the mathematics of the Higgs boson and why it has been described as the God particle at CERN. Unfortunately, there will be no friendly, Watson-like, avatar that will announce from the CERN lab that the God Particle has been identified, when and if ever. We might also find out about that discovery when (as has been estimated by the CERN staff) the acceptable risk the 1 out of 50,000,000 chance hits and the whole enterprise results in the destruction of the entire planet though the creation of an, admittedly small, black hole.

The field of artificial intelligence has for decades been handicapped with the idea of emulating humans; whether their thinking, their speaking, their chess-playing ability or their ability to perambulate. To make the advances we have seen recently, computer scientists had to literally re-think (and in many cases reverse) their earlier positions.

The key, as found in recent research, is not to emulate humans; rather the key is to define machine logic or how would a machine do it, given its capabilities and limitations. In other words do not attempt to see like the human eye sees but attempt to see as a machine would see. Rather than teach a machine everything there is to know about how a human gets around, the task becomes to teach a machine the few basic rules it needs to move forward, back up and to work around obstacles. This is much different than a baby learning how to crawl which involves cognition, motor skills, sight, volition, and the sense of feel.

In the same way most would construe natural language processing would be the ability to understand basic sentences, concepts or instructions in a straight-forward manner. Is this what Watson accomplished. Consider the following:

Heres what Watson needed to handle the natural language of Jeopardy.

90 IBM Power 750 servers
Each of the 90 IBM Power 750 servers is equipped with eight processors
A total 2,880 Central Processing Units (CPUs)
1 network-attached storage (NAS) cluster
21.6TB of data
15 full-time technical professionals, as well any number of advisors and consultants
5 years of development time
1,000s of computer algorithms to run simultaneously
1 overlying algorithm to review the results of all the others
1 power robotic finger
Incidentally, the effort required a minimum of $100,000,000 funding for personnel, some $25,000,000 in equipment, as well as all the costs associated with cooling, administration, transportation, and the like.

All of this reminds us of Gary Kasparov losing the famous chess match to IBMs Deep Blue back in 1997. IBM was allowed to modify its program between games. In effect, this let IBM programmers compensate for any Deep Blue weaknesses Kasparov exposed during the game. How, in any way, could this be considered a level playing field Once this was discovered, Kasparov requested a rematch, but IBM had already dismantled Deep Blue.

As for those comparisons with the legendary iron-driving man, we have one piece of advice: John Henry, call your lawyer.

Note: Each year GLM releases the Top High Tech Words Everyone Uses But Nobody Quite Understands. This years edition will be released in conjunction with SXSWi on March 13, 2011.

Tags: Alex Trebek, Brad Rutter, carbon-based lifeforms, IBM, Jeopardy, Ken Jennings, liveware, Natural language processing, SXSWi, Watson
Posted in Analysis, High Tech Buzzwords | No Comments

 

Kate Middleton Tops Gaga for Top Fashion Buzzword

The Annual Analysis by the Global Language Monitor

Austin, TX February 8, 2011 Kate Middleton, the commoner set to marry Prince William in Westminster Abbey on April 29th who is having a most uncommon effect upon the world of fashion, was declared the Top Fashion Buzzword of the upcoming season by the Global Language Monitor (GLM). Knock-offs of Kate s royal blue Issa dress that she wore to her engagement announcement, sold out on-line within hours.

Top Fashion Capitals here

Kate dethrones Lady Gaga, the enigmatic performance artist, nee Stefani Germanotta, who fell to No. 2. MObamna, Michelle Obama s moniker as a fashion icon, moved back into the Top Ten after a lackluster 2010. Recently criticized for wearing an Alexander McQueen gown to a state dinner, MObama responded, Look, women, wear what you love. Thats all I can say. Thats my motto. This is the first time that three names broke into the top ten of GLM s annual ranking.

Rounding out the top ten after Kate and Gaga were Sheer, Shirt Dresses, Sustainable Style, Articulated Platforms, MoBama, Stripes, and Monet Redux (flowers everywhere).

New York Fashion Week begins February 10th and kicks off the global calendar, immediately followed by London, Milan, and Paris.

Fashion provides an oasis of personal expression to millions around the world in these sometimes troubling times, said Bekka Payack, the Global Language Monitor s Manhattan-based fashion correspondent. Accordingly, the upcoming season will provide women with an eclectic palette of globally influenced fashion choices.

The words were chosen from the global fashion media and nominated by key fashionistas from around the world. This exclusive ranking is based on GLM s TrendTopper MediaBuzz technologies that track words and phrases in print and electronic media, on the Internet and throughout the blogosphere, now including social media. The words and phrases are tracked in relation to their frequency, contextual usage and appearance in global media outlets.

 

The Top Fashion Buzzwords with commentary follow:

Kate Middleton Kate dethrones Lady Gaga as the No. 1 fashion buzzword for the upcoming season, reaching a crescendo on the occasion of her April 29th wedding to Prince William.
Lady Gaga Gaga s global influence continues unabated especially among her ever-growing legions of little monsters (reportedly surpassing the 8,000,000 mark).
Sheer Translucent, transparent and transcendent again en vogue for the season.
Shirt Dresses From the Upper East Side to 6th Street in Austin to LaJolla, California shirt dresses are everywhere (and everywhen).
Sustainable Style Clothing make of recycled fabrics now entering the mainstream.
Articulated Platforms Move over Armadillos, platforms are taking on a life of their own, now to be found with every type of embellishments from McQueen inspired butterflys, to florals and feathers. What s new Flatforms.
MoBama Moving up the list again after a lackluster 2010.
Stripes Classic black and white stripes with striking mathematically inspired motifs.
Flowers Everywhere Monet redux: As if Monet updated his water lily meme to the 21st c. catwalk.
Blocked Colors Bright and bold, color blocks are ever so popular (and fashionable).
Edun Mrs. Bono s (Ali Hewson) line of ethical couture gets a boost with the Louis Vuitton for Edun bag.
White Shirts Clean and crisp for a classic, say Aubrey Hepburn, look.
Fruit vs. Fruit Salad Either way fruit is big (as are animals). Veggies Not so much.
Leggins Flourishing around the globe. Women voting with their feet, er, legs.
Anime Anime inspired looks with big eyes and pursed lips; definitely not haute but hot, especially among young Asians.
That 70s Look The Neo-Bohemian, updated from the 60s but cleaner and more refined.
Embellishments Embellishments now encompass tassels, pewter, sequins and studs to anything else that works.
Black Swan Natalie Portman s adds to the ever-popular ballerina meme.
Yama Girls Trekking outfits include fleece miniskirts brightly colored leggings and style-conscious boots.
Jersey Shore wear Unsophisticated, tawdry, outrageous, And definitely not to be seen in polite company. But that s precisely the point, isn t it.
Global Fashion Capitals

Each Summer, the Global LanguageMonitor ranks the Top Fashion Capitals by Internet presence. New York has regained the title of World Fashion Capital of 2010, after being bested by Milan in 2009 according to the Global Language Monitor s annual survey. Topping the list for 2010 are New York, Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Los Angeles. Milan, Sydney, Miami Barcelona and Madrid followed. This was the first time the two Iberian cities were ranked in the Top Ten.

Top movers included Hong Kong, Madrid and Melbourne. In the battle for the Subcontinent Mumbai again outdistanced Delhi, while Sao Paulo continued its leadership over Rio, Buenos Aires and Mexico City in Latin America. Top newcomers to the expanded list included No.17 Amsterdam, Nos. 23 and 25 Cape Town and Johannesburg, No. 27 Vienna and No. 32, Bali.

Tags: Fashion, Fashion Week, Lady Gaga, MObama
Posted in Fashion, Fashion Capitals | No Comments

 

Obama Echoes Lincoln and King in Dignified Tucson Memorial Address

Could presage a new narrative for the president

AUSTIN, Texas January 13, 2011 Echoing Lincoln, King, and, even, Bill Clinton, President Barack Obama gave his strongest speech, perhaps since his Yes, We Can! victory speech delivered in Chicagos Grant Park last November.

The president delivered the speech with the cadence of a eulogy to the packed audience of some 12,000 at the University of Arizonas McKale Memorial Center. The crowd had none of the hallmarks of a hand-selected, pre-screened crowd that we have come to expect for such occasions; tickets were distributed on a first-come first-served basis.

Obamas remarks echoed Lincoln and Martin Luther King in at least two respects: 1) the use of scriptural passages to set the tone, 2) and the emphasis on worthiness and living up to expectations of the children, particularly those of Cristina Green, the inspirational nine-year old girl, who was born on September 11, 2001.

Structurally, the address was nearly identical to his Yes, We Can! speech, Martin Luther Kings I have a Dream, and Lincolns Gettysburg Address . Though delivered to differing audiences in different eras, the speeches each had nearly identical understandability statistics in terms of grammatical constructions, rhetorical elements, tone and vocabulary. In terms of empathetic concern, he echoed Bill Clinton, who was often referred to as the Mourner in Chief with his I feel your pain mantra.

It was a somber, sorrowful message filled with future-related, hopeful constructions with words such as hope, light, and love address delivered to a respectfully attentive crowd. With the 2010 Mid-term elections now in his wake, this can be an opportunity to begin a new narrative for the remainder of Obama s term.

Tags: Abraham Lincoln, Bill Clinton, Book of Job, Cristina Green. Tucson, Gabby, Gettysburg Address, Grant Park, I Have a Dream, Job, Martin Luther King, Obama, Psalms, Readability, Rhetorical Flourish, tone, Understandability, University of Arizona, vocabulary, We Can, Yes
Posted in Obama, Obama Tracker | 2 Comments

 

Top 300 Colleges and Universities Ranked by Internet Brand Equity

Wisconsin Tops Chicago and Harvard in Universities; Davidson over Occidental and Williams in Colleges

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Historic Re-alignment of what is considered an elite school

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AUSTIN, Texas January 11, 2011 (Updated) The University of Wisconsin at Madison, one of the nations most storied land-grant institutions, leaped over Chicago, Harvard, MIT, Columbia and two-time defending No. 1 (and fellow Big Ten academic powerhouse) Michigan, as the Top University according to the TrendTopper MediaBuzz Internet analysis released by the Global Language Monitor.

There have now had three different schools taking the top spot for Universities in the last three years: Harvard, Michigan and now Wisconsin. As for Harvard, it slipped to No. 3, while the University of Chicago moved into the No. 2 spot. Cornell University and the University of California at Berkeley broke into the Top Ten, knocking out Stanford and Princeton. UCLA also fell out of the Top Ten. Other big movers included Georgetown, California-Davis and CalTech, each moving up 10 or more spots.

The flight to quality continues unabated. The savvy consumer of the education marketplace appears centered on the price-sensitive public ivies and technology-centered schools, as well as on-line alternatives. The solidly performing little ivies are now now fairly well distributed across the country and are holding their own, said Paul JJ Payack, President of the Global Language Monitor. One aftermath of the recent recession is that consumers understand that it is smart not to accept retail pricing and that colleges are no different in this regard from any other institution.

The TrendTopper MediaBuzz Rankings are a way of seeing the schools through the eyes of the world at large. It is a democratic, self-generating ratings system, since it captures the brand equity associated with each of these fine institutions. GLM s TrendTopper MediaBuzz Rankings actually removes all bias inherent in each of the other published rankings, since they actually reflect what is being said and stated on the billions of web pages that we measure.

The TrendTopper MediaBuzz Analysis uses the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching s classifications as the basis to distinguish between Universities and Liberal Arts Colleges. The schools were ranked in the last week of December with a mid-year snapshot, and the last day of 2009 as the base.

TrendTopper MediaBuzz utilizes a mathematical model that normalizes the data collected from the Internet, social media, and blogosphere as well as the top 75,000 print and electronic media. The end result is a non-biased analytical tool that provides a gauge of relative values among various institutions, as well as measures of how that value changes over time.

The Top Ten Universities by the TrendTopper MediaBuzz Internet rankings follow.

1. Univ. of Wisconsin Madison

2. University of Chicago

3. Harvard University

4. Mass. Institute of Technology

5. Columbia University

6. Univ. of Michigan Ann Arbor

7. Cornell University

8. University of CaliforniaBerkeley

9. Yale University

10. University of Texas Austin

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The Top Twenty Universities now include four Ivy League schools, four Public Ivy s (two from the Big Ten), one technological institute and the always formidable University of Chicago.

The College category also produced a new No. 1, Davidson College of North Carolina. This is the fourth different college to take the top spot since these rankings began which now have been represented by the West (Colorado College), the East (Wellesley College) and the Midwest (Carleton College). Wellesley was also the only Womens College to top a general college ranking.

Davidson, as well as L.A. s Occidental College (where President Obama spent his first year in college) both leaped over the Little Three (Amherst, Williams and Wesleyan University) as well as all three previous No. 1 s.

The Top Ten Colleges by the TrendTopper MediaBuzz Internet rankings follow.

1. Davidson College

2. Occidental College

3. Williams College

4. Wesleyan University

5. Carleton College

6. Amherst College

7. Bucknell University

8. Oberlin College

9. United States Air Force Academy

10. Pomona College

The Top Ten among colleges included Bucknell, Oberlin, Pomona and the US Air Force Academy. The Top Twenty included the Little Three, four of the former Seven Sisters (though Vassar is now co-ed), two Patriot League schools, two US Service Academies, the top Catholic College in the US (College of the Holy Cross), two of the Claremont Colleges, and two schools that are not included in the traditional college rankings: the Juilliard School and Pratt Institute, both in New York City.

The TrendTopper MediaBuzz Rankings are the only to include specialty schools, such as Art, Business, Design, Music, as well as Internet-based (and for-profit) All these were included in the College category with the exception of the online university, which was assigned to the University category.

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In addition, the BOC notation signifies Best of Class; it is noted for those schools that are either first in the overall ranking, or first in a specific classification.
Top in the US/Best of Class (BOC) designation was awarded for:
[Read More]

Download your TrendTopper MediaBuzz College Guide for only $9.97!

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Tags: top colleges
Posted in TrendTopper Media Buzz, top colleges | 28 Comments

Wikileaks declared English-language Word
By: PJJP
Published: December 21st, 2010
Another New Media Company that Passes into the Language

AUSTIN, Texas December 21, 2010 WikiLeaks.ch, which that has increasingly upped the ante of the kind of information that it leaks into the public sphere from anonymous sources, has been deemed an English language word by the Global language Monitor. GLM recognizes a word as being part of the English language once it meets the requisite criteria of geographic reach as well as depth and breadth of recorded usage.

In the case of wikileaks, the word appeared sporadically in the global media in 2006 until it has now been cited more than 300 million times, even with a quick Google search. This, of course, correlates with WikiLeaks most recent release of diplomatic correspondence and other classified government information. GLM standards include a minimum of 25,000 citations of a new term in the global media that encompass the English-speaking world, which now encompasses some 1.58 billion people. (In 1960, there were about 250 million English speakers, mostly in former British colonies.)

Wikileaks joins a number of new media and high technology companies whose names and functions are being incorporated into the language, said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of Austin-based Global Language Monitor. These include Google, Twitter and the friending function of Facebook. The most recent language spin-off from Google appears to be Xoogler, referring to ex-Google employees who bring their talents to other start-ups.

The word wiki is Hawaiian in origin and is usually defined as quick or fast especially when used in rapid succession: wiki, wiki, wiki!. In computing, a wiki describes software that lets any user create or edit Web-server content. The WikiLeaks organization was originally set-up as a wiki.

There is no official English language institution charged with maintaining the purity of the English language and to maintain vigilance of the corrupting influence of other languages. English accepts any and all contenders as long as they meet the requisite criteria of geographic reach as well as depth and breadth of usage. The LAcad mie fran aise is the official arbiter of the French language; it has famously declared the word email (as well as hamburger ) verboten from official French correspondence. The Royal Spanish Academy serves the same function for the Spanish language; it has recently eliminated two letters from the Spanish alphabet to the howl of Spanish speakers outside Spain.

The most recent words acknowledged by the Global Language Monitor include refudiate a malapropism coined by Sarah Palin, vuvuzela the brightly colored plastic horns made (in)famous at the South African World Cup, and snowmageddon that President Obama used to described the winter storms that nearly shut down Washington, DC during the recent winter.

Tags: Facebook, Google, L’Acad mie fran aise, President Obama, Refudiate, Royal Spanish Academy, Sarah Palin, snowmageddon, South African World Cup, Twitter. xoogler, Vuvuzela, Wikileaks
Posted in High Tech Buzzwords | 13 Comments

 

Top News Stories of 2010 by Internet Ranking

South African World Cup tops iPad Launch and Rise of China; US Healthcare Reform & Wikileaks follow

First time a product launch contends for the top spot; First time a sporting event reaches the top spot

Austin, TX December 19, 2009 In an exclusive global analysis performed by the Global Language Monitor, the Top News Stories of 2010 are South African World Cup, the iPad Launch, the Rise of China, US Healthcare Reform, and Wikileaks. The Tea Party movement, the fall of Obama, the Gulf Oil Spill, Haitian Earthquake, and the Political Anger and Rage witnessed in the major western economies, followed. The list is notable for two firsts: the first time a sporting event tops the list and the first time a product launch contends for the top spot.

Chinese Dignitaries

The globe has witnessed the major news sources of the 20th century fragment into thousands of micro-focused outlets in the twenty-first. At the same time, the major global media are playing an ever-more important role when major events occur, as aggregate communities for shared experiences, said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of the Global Language Monitor, the media analytics and trend tracking company. For these reasons we performed two independent analyses. The first focused on the number of citations found over the course of the year on the Internet, blogosphere, and social media sites. The second focused on the top 75,000 print and electronic media sites. Finally, the two analyses were normalized with the final results appearing here.

The Top News Stories of 2010 follow.

Rank/Story/Comment

1. South African World Cup The South African World Cup towered over all other news stories.

2. iPad A product launch is the No. 2 worldwide news story!

3. Rise of China Top Story of the First Decade of the 21st century, still very strong.

4. Health Care Reform The debate over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Ac t continues unabated.

5. Wikileaks Not a wiki in the usual sense of an open environment which anyone can edit, the story of revealed institutional secrets that will continue to resonate well into 2011.

6. Tea Party The US political movement which emphasizes scaled back government intrusion, influence and spending.

7. Fall of Obama His fall is relative to the great heights to which he ascended.

8. Gulf Oil Spill An unprecedented environmental catastrophe broadcast live around the world via the BP Spillcam.

9. Haitian Earthquake Hundreds of thousands killed, millions displaced and the agony continues.

10. Political Anger and Rage Frustration in the US and much of the developed world about the financial and political situation.

11. EU Financial Crisis The economies of Ireland, Portugal, Greece and Spain threaten to consume Billions of Euros in bailouts.

12. Shanghai Expo The Grand Gathering of the World Cultures was visited by some 70 million in 2010.

13. Growth of Facebook With 400 million members it now touts itself as the fourth largest nation on the planet. However, there is no word of UN membership or plans for a standing army.

14. Pakistan Floods Garnered more attention worldwide than in the US.

15. Scott Brown Election The turnover of the Kennedy seat after half a century to this upstart, pickup-driving Republican caused quite a stir.

16. Tiger Woods Previously notable for the first golfer to earn a billion dollars, the news of his serial infidelities continues to impact the golf world.

17. British coalition government David Cameron and Nick Clegg lead a new coalition into power.

18. Chilean Miners The dramatic saga and rescue of Los 33, provided riveting drama (and television) to a world weary of disheartening news.

19. Polish President Killed Lech Kaczynski, his wife, and dozens of high government officials died en route to a memorial service honoring the 20,000 Poles who died in the Katyn forest.

20. Global economic restructuring Also known as the Great Recession in the US, but felt worldwide especially among developed Western nations.

21. Vuvuzela The brightly colored plastic horns that caused much consternation at the South African World Cup.

23. Ground Zero Mosque Officially known as 45 Park Place, the controversial Islamic center planned a few blocks north of Ground Zero.

24. Icelandic Volcano The unpronounceable Eyjafjallaj kull volcano that disrupted air travel over much of Northern Europe.

25. Snowmageddon The unusually heavy snowfalls that virtually shut down Washington, DC during an exceptionally snowy winter.

Tags: China, Eyjafjallajoekull, FIFA World Cup, Gulf Oil Spill 2010, gulf Spill, healthcare reform, iPad launch, Obama, Obamamania, Sarah Palin, Social Media, Social Networking, South African World Cup, Top News Stories of 2010. Top News of 2010
Posted in Top words | 1 Comment

 

Top Words of 2011, Yes 2011

Published: December 6th, 2010
AUSTIN, Texas December 8, 2010 (Updated) The Global Language Monitor has announced the Top Words of 2011, yes 2011.

Typically, we gather our top words throughout the year and rank them according to the number of citations, the size and depth of their linguistic footprint and momentum. To project possible top words for 2011, we analyzed the categories that we monitor and then choose words from each representative of various word trends, said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of GLM. Over the last ten years, we ve frequently been asked the question, so this year we are providing our projections.

The words are culled from throughout the English-speaking world, which now numbers more than 1.58 billion speakers.

Projected Top Words of 2011 Rank / Word / Comments

Twenty-Eleven The English-speaking world has finally agreed on a common designation for the year: Twenty-eleven far outstrips two thousand eleven in the spoken language. This is welcome relief from the decade-long confusion over how to pronounce 2001, 2001, 2003, etc.
Obama-mess David Letterman s neologism for 2010 also works for 2011. This word is neutral. If Obama regain his magic, he escaped his Obama-mess; if his rating sinks further he continues to be engulfed by it.
Great Recession Even the best case scenario has the economy digging out of this hole for the foreseeable future,
Palinism Because the media needs an heir to Bushisms and Sarah Palin is the candidate of choice here.
TwitFlocker Can t say what the name of the next Twitter or Facebook will be, so we ll use TwitFlocker as the place holder. (What is TwitFlocker Join the Discussion Here.)
3.0 2.0 has settled into the vocabulary in a thousand differing forms Obama 2.0, Web 2.0, Lindsey Lohan 2.0, so we project 3.0 being used to one-up the 2.0 trend.
9/11 Next September is the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on US soil, so there is sure to be a great resurgence in use of the phrase.
Climate Change (or global warming) Both of these phrases have been in the Top Ten for the last decade, so we see no reason the English-speaking public will abandon either or both of the phrases.
China/Chinese The emergence of China is the Top Story of the Decade and there is little indication that is emergence on the world stage will continue in the media.
Hobbit and/or Parseltongue The blockbuster movies of 2011 will be sure to include Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 and the Hobbit (though the Hobbit premiers on Dec. 31) are sure to spin out some word or phrase that will remain memorable to the Earthly-audience.
For methodology, see Top Words of 2010 announcement.

Tags: 2.0, 20-11, 2011, 3.0, 9/11, Bushism, Chinese, Climate change, David Letterman, Deathly Hollows, Emergence of China, Facebook, global warming, Great recession, Harry Potter, Hobbit, Obama-mess, Palinism, Parseltongue, Refudiate, SEO, SMS, Top Words of 2011, Trending, trends, TrendTopper, Twenty-eleven, TwitFlocker, Twitter, Web 2.0 Lindsey Lohan 2.0
Posted in Top words | 1 Comment

 

Top Words of 2010

Spillcam is the Top Word, Anger and Rage the Top Phrase
and Chinese Leader Hu Jintao the Top Name

AUSTIN, Texas November 27, 2010 (Updated) The Global Language Monitor has announced that Spillcam is the Top Word, Anger and Rage the Top Phrase and Chinese Leader Hu Jintao the Top Name of 2010 in its annual global survey of the English language. Spillcam was followed by Vuvuzela, the Narrative, Refudiate, and Guido. Deficit, Snowmageddon, 3-D, Shellacking and Simplexity rounded out the Top 10.

Our top words this year come from an environmental disaster, the World Cup, political malapropisms, new senses to ancient words, a booming economic colossus, and a heroic rescue that captivated the world for days on end. This is fitting for a relentlessly growing global language that is being taken up by thousands of new speakers each and every day, said Paul JJ Payack, President of The Global Language Monitor.

The words are culled from throughout the English-speaking world, which now numbers more than 1.58 billion speakers.

Methodology: The Global Language Monitors WOTY was conceived in 1999 as a way to create a cultural record of the year as reflected in the worlds current global language, English. Previous efforts were decided by small groups of academics or lexicographers; our idea was to reflect the words used by the worlds 1.5 billion English Speakers.

Accordingly, GLM monitors million of web pages on the Internet, Blogosphere, and social media in addition to over 80,000 print and electronic media sites. In this way we search for words that are the most relevant to various aspects of culture, such as world events (the rise of China, the South Asian Tsunami), politics (the election of Obama to the US Presidency), prominent deaths (Pope John Paul II, Michael Jackson), war and terror (Iraq, Afghanistan and the Terrorist Attacks on the US and London), film (Jai Ho!, Brokeback), sports (Beijing Olympics, South African World Cup), and the like. We then use our analytical engine to determine the number of citations for the words, their prominence, how quickly they are rising or falling in use, and the geographic breadth and depth (various forms of publication) of their use.

 

The Top Words of 2010

Rank / Word / Comments

1. Spillcam The BP Spillcam instantly beamed the immensity of the Gulf Spill around the world to the dismay of environmentalists, BP s PR staff and the President.

2. Vuvuzela Brightly colored plastic horns that first came to prominence at the South African World Cup.

3. The Narrative Though used at least since The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass in 1845, The Narrative has recently been gaining traction in the political arena, virtually replacing the need for a party s platform. (Cf. to truthily .)

4. Refudiate Conflation of refute and repudiate (un)officially coined by Sarah Palin.

5. Guido and Guidette Hey! All things Jersey are hot, capish (Actually, capisci in standard Italian.)

6. Deficit A growing and possibly intractable problem for the economies of most of the developed world.

7. Snowmagedden (and Snowpocalypse ) Portmanteau words linking snow with apocalypse and armageddon , used to describe the record snowfalls in the US East Coast and Northern Europe last winter.

8. 3-D Three-dimensional (as in movies) is buffo box office this year, but 3-D is being used in new ways generally describing robustness in products (such as toothpaste).

9. Shellacking President Obama s description of the old-fashioned thumpin in George W. Bush s words, that Democrats received in the 2010 US Mid-term elections.

10. Simplexity The paradox of simplifying complex ideas in order to make them easier to understand, the process of which only adds to their complexity.

Also Noted: (Spoken Only) Twenty-ten: Finally, a common way to refer to the year; Obamacare (noted as one of the Top Political Buzzwords).

 

The Top Phrases of 2010

Rank / Phrase / Comments

1. Anger and Rage Characterizations of the US electorate by the pundits, though closer analyses has revealed more frustration and disappointment. Also witnessed in France, Spain and Greece.

2. Climate Change (and Global Warming) No. 1 Phrase for the first decade of the 21st century; starts out second decade at No. 2.

3. The Great Recession The media term frequently used to describe the on-going global economic restructuring.

4. Teachable Moment Turning any undesirable outcome into a positive opportunity by using it as an object lesson. Unfortunately, there were a plethora of teachable moments in the first year of the new decade.

5. Tea Party An emerging political movement in the US that has upset the balance of power in the US Congress.

6. Ambush Marketing Cashing in at an event by taking on the appearance of a sponsor of the event. Most obviously displayed at the Vancouver Winter Olympics and South Africa s World Cup 2010.

7. Lady Gaga Gaga, herself, became a buzzword in the global entertainment industry in 2010.

8. Man Up This election cycle s signature retort from the women running for office to their male opponents.

9. Pass the bill to be able to see whats in it Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi s now infamous quip underlying the complexity of the Healthcare Reform legislation.

10. Obamamania Notable only in it fall from grace; Obamamania now ranks at the bottom of this year s political buzzwords.

Also Noted Dont Touch My Junk: One reaction to the TSA new search policies.

 

The Top Names of 2009

Rank / Name / Comments

1. Hu President Hu Jintao, paramount leader of China. Rise of China was the No. 1 Story of the 1st decade of the 21st century; now Hu begins the second decade in the top spot.

2. IPad With over eight million sold in a matter of months, the IPad is now a name on everybody s lips. (Sorry, Steve Jobs, the IPads tests better than you.)

3. Barack Obama President of the United States has had a tough sophomore year.

4. Chilean Coal Miners The ordeal and heroic rescue is perhaps the top inspirational story of the year.

5. Eyjafjallajoekull Does a name that no one can pronounce deserve a spot on a top name s list

6. Nancy Pelosi Speaker of the US House of Representatives, presided over the passing of the healthcare reform bill and the decimation of her party in the Mid-term elections.

7. Sarkozy Nicolas Paul St phane Sark zy de Nagy-Bocsa, the current French president, is attempting to re-define what it means to be citizen of the Republic.

8. Tea Party Leaderless movement in US political circles, the center of much of the angst in the electorate.

9. Jersey Shore Not quite the Cote d Azure, The Shore, as the locals call it, is now known as a breeding ground for guidos and guidettes.

10. David Cameron and Nick Clegg The leaders of the UK s new coalition government.

Also Noted Kate Middleton, recently engaged to Prince William.

 

Top Words of the Decade:

The Top Words of the Decade were Global Warming, 9/11, and Obama outdistance Bailout, Evacuee, and Derivative; Google, Surge, Chinglish, and Tsunami followed.

Climate Change was top phrase; Heroes was top name.

Previous Words of the Year include:

2009:

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

2008:

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

2007:

Top Words: No. 1 Hybrid (representing all things green), No. 2: Surge

Top Phrase: Climate Change

Top Name: Al Gore

2006:

Top Word: Sustainable

Top Phrase: Stay the Course

Top Name: Dafur

2005:

Top Words: No. 1, Refugee No. 2: Tsunami No. 3: Katrina

Top Phrase: Outside the Mainstream

Top Name: (acts of ) God

 

2004:

Top Word: Incivility (for inCivil War)

Top Phrase: Red States/Blue States No. 2: Rush to War

Top Name: Dubya/Rove

2003:

Top Word: Embedded

Top Phrase: Shock and Awe, No. 2: Rush to War

Top Name: Saddam Hussein, No. 2 Dubya

2002:

Top Word: Misunderestimate

Top Phrase: Threat Fatigue

Top Name: W (Dubya)

2001:

Top Word: Ground Zero

Top Phrase: Lets Roll

Top Name: The Heros

2000:

Top Word: Chad

Top Phrase: Dot.com

Top Name: W (Dubya)

Tags: 3-d, ambush marketing, anger and rage, Chilean Coal Miners, Climate change, David Cameron, deficit, Don’t touch my junk, Eyjafjallajoekull, Great recession, Guido, Hu Jintao, IPad, Jersey Shore, Kate Middleton, Lady Gaga, Man Up, Nancy Pelosi, Narrative, Nick Clegg, Obama, Obamacare, Obamamania, Pass the bill to be able to see what’s in it, Prince William, Refudiate. Telewords, Sarah Palin, Sarkozy, shellacking, simplexity, sno, snowmageddon, Tea Party, Teachable Moment, Top Names of 2010, Top Phrases of 2010, Top Words of 2010, Vuvuzela
Posted in Top words | 16 Comments

 

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#Universities with largest online presence http://bit.ly/eLelkH @escholar #brandequity #socialmarketing @languageMonitor #BrandRankings 31 Jan

Two College Rankings: #SocialMedia Impact http://wapo.st/grew2S #Stanford & #Wisconsin-Madison @Klout @languagemonitor #twitter vs Overall 19 Jan

TrendTopper MediaBuzz #CollegeGuide ready for download http://bit.ly/dOeQcP Top #Colleges & #Universities Ranked by Brand Equity #HigherEd 17 Jan

Obama Echoes Lincoln and King in Dignified Tucson Memorial Address http://f.ast.ly/x9J4G 13 Jan

#Obama Echoes #Lincoln and #King in #Tucson Memorial http://bit.ly/eLBysR http://bit.ly/hTrVUA Could Presage New #Narrative @LanguageMonitor 13 Jan

Buzz-Worthy Schools, @HuffingtonPost issues a challenge: Did your school make the list http://huff.to/dUtT7p More at http://bit.ly/dOeQcP 10 Jan

The Most Buzzed-About Universities http://bit.ly/fb0RSi via @TIMENewsFeed The whole story at http://bit.ly/dOeQcP @LanguageMonitor 5 Jan

@UWMadison named top #Internet brand in #highered for Spring 2011, @Davidson named top #Internet brand for #colleges http://bit.ly/dOeQcP 30 Dec

Wisconsin Tops Chicago and Harvard as Top University http://f.ast.ly/HbP69 30 Dec

Christmas Quiz: What common English word can be spelled like this: ghoughpteighbteau Hint: Its a starchy vegetable http://econ.st/gFXkiI 24 Dec

Cherokees First to Use iPhones for Native Language http://bit.ly/dV7CXa 24 Dec

Top words of 2011, Yes 2011 http://ping.fm/Pc7Z2 #2011Predictions 23 Dec

Wikileaks declared English-language Word http://f.ast.ly/ucXse 21 Dec

wikileaks becomes #English-language #word http://reut.rs/h1MZzn @LanguageMonitor.com 21 Dec

Top global news stories of 2010 The Hills Congress Blog thehill.com/blogs/congress via @AddThis 21 Dec

Apple #iPad Launch is the No. 2 Global News Story for 2010 http://bit.ly/f23ZX5 20 Dec

Top News Stories of 2010 by Internet Ranking http://f.ast.ly/uCakT 18 Dec

Top New Stories of 2010 by Internet Ranking http://bit.ly/e3ofFO More at #LanguageMonitor.com 18 Dec

#Google #Book Tool Tracks Cultural Changes With #Words http://n.pr/e6zE3j Number of Words in #English Language, today http://bit.ly/eZSUh1 17 Dec

We created TwitFlocker as a fictional social media product to debut 11. But what is it Add your thoughts: http://on.fb.me/eq2NFd Dec 7

Fighting Words: Palinism, Obama-mess Among 2011 Buzzwordshttp://bit.ly/fXRDo5 @TIMENewsFeed See entire list @languagemonitor Dec 7

Palinism, Obama-mess, TwitFlocker among #TopWords of 2011, Yes 2011 http://ping.fm/CM2zQ Dec 6

Top Words of 2011, Yes 2011 http://f.ast.ly/aLnM2 Dec 6

Avoiding an American Lost decade http://ping.fm/q75FX #TheHill#Recession 30 Nov

Words Can Develop Into Something Ugly From Michael Shmith (#TheAge, Australia) Michael Shmith Thinking of EVOO! 26Nov

The Royal Spanish Academy rewrites the Spanish Alphabethttp://nyti.ms/fjLHnZ 26 Nov

Listen to #Chinese Radio Intl on what Top #Words of 2010 tell us about the past year http://bit.ly/eoVeu4 25 Nov\

Top Ten #Words of 2010: Perspective from 2 #Chicago #Teachershttp://bit.ly/eSmC1r Checkout entire story @languagemonitor.com 24 Nov

Number of Words in the English Language: 1,007,711http://f.ast.ly/5yRk7 24 Nov

Talk like a Noo Yawker Heres the cure. http://nyti.ms/aLstbVCheck out the latest news on Global English at (GLM)LanguageMonitor.com 21 Nov

The story of the word Kumbaya being co-opted by politics and business http://ping.fm/8DROu 20 Nov

From MTV India: RT @_mattters_ @MTVIndia: acc: GLM Top Name of 2010 is Hu Jintao. Who Jintao Hes the President of China.#agreeordisagree 19 Nov

Via @nprnews: Tracking 2010s Most-Used Words, Names And Phrases | n.pr/areRAL 19 Nov

German to be allowed in internet domain names The Localthelocal.de/sci-tech/20101 via @TheLocalGermany 19 Nov

 

Miniskirts on Mount Fuji; Japans Yama Girls Spur Trekking

Forget the ice ax and $500 climbing boots.

The mode du jour for today s mountain hikers in Japan is the miniskirt and leggings.

North Face, maker of the Gore-Tex waterproof jacket, and Alpine Tour Service Co. are targeting yama girls, or mountain girls, the nickname of the growing number of women who are taking to the hills of Japan wearing short pants or fleece skirts with leggings and designer trekking boots.

I want to wear something cute like a skirt, said Machiko Miyauchi, 25, who made her first ascent of Mount Fuji, Japan s highest peak, earlier this year after buying new equipment and shoes. Climbing is healing. You can breathe fresh, clean air.

Visitors to Mount Fuji in the two months ended Aug. 31, the busiest climbing season, were the most since the government began tracking traffic using infrared sensors in 2005. The number of women applying for Alpine s treks jumped sixfold from last year, prompting the Tokyo-based company to increase women- only tours to 13 this year from six in 2009, spokesman Yasushi Kodama said.

Clothing companies have hired mountain fashion pioneers like Yuri Yosumi to promote new women s lines for mountaineers. Yosumi s Love Trek website includes red mini dresses and pink bush hats from Paris-based Aigle.

Berghaus Ltd., a U.K. outdoor wear maker, introduced skirts jointly developed with Yosumi in 2009, while and Jarden Corp. s Marmot Mountain LLC, a U.S. outdoor clothing company, followed this year, according to Yosumi s husband Daisuke.

Pants Only

We re giving an option to the market where only pants were available before, Daisuke Yosumi said. He said his wife was not available to comment.

Japan s fashion scene is famous for striking cult trends that sweep the industry, typically for a few years, such as the ganguro look that mixed deep fake tans with white lipstick, brightly colored clothes and orange-to-blond hair. Tokyo ranked 14th this year in Global Language Monitor s annual list of world fashion capitals, trailing Hong Kong and Shanghai in Asia.

 

 

Avoiding an American Lost decade

Published: November 3rd, 2010

What we are experiencing is not a recession, neither great nor small, but rather a global transference of wealth, power and prestige on an unprecedented level, carried out, in von Clausewitz s words by other means.

Note: This is the second in a series; you can see the first article directly below this one.

November 30. Where do we go from here We ve already established that this is not a typical business cycle and this recession falls out of scope of previous recessions. Even the Great Depression was typical in the sense that it set off a worldwide fall in demand and productivity. It is now widely understood that while government intervention did stop the catastrophic collapse of the global economy, this intervention did little to revitalize global economic growth which did not resume until the onset of World War II.

This post first appeared on TheHill.com

Now, fast forward to September 2008 and months following shortly thereafter. There is wide agreement that the direct and dramatic Bush/Obama interventions did, indeed, prevent a global economic collapse. However, for many nations, including the U.S., the revitalization has yet to occur. While the stimulus spending saved many jobs in the public sector, few jobs were created in the private or wealth-creating sector. In retrospect it now appears that the stimulus was the equivalent to eating empty calories when hungry; a temporary rise in blood sugar without sustained nutrition.

This lack of wealth-building focus has led to a weak economic performance of 2.4 percent projected growth in GDP, hardly what one expects after such spending. (This growth rate has already been revised downward to 1.6 percent in the last quarter.) If this scenario does play out as expected, the eight million lost jobs will be replaced with new ones by the 2020 time frame. By way of comparison, the Reagan Recovery created over 11,000,000 new jobs with four years.

While President Obama s economic policies and overall execution of leadership is the current focus of many commentators, it remains a fact that this situation didn t sneak up on us. The United States manufacturing sector has declined as a percentage of non-farm employment from about 30 percent in 1950 to just 9.27 percent in 2010, according to the October estimate of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Also, an underlying statistic is that the U.S. has been losing not just manufacturing jobs, but entire factories, over 40,000 of them since 2000. The ramifications here go far beyond the manufacturing sector itself. Indeed, by some estimates, there is a 15-1 multiplier between other jobs (including manufacturing and service) and each manufacturing position. Therefore, this unprecedented loss of an industrial base and its concomitant plethora of supporting positions leave a greatly reduced platform upon which to launch a successful and timely recovery.

And so the question remains: Where do we go from here

First, take a deep breath, look in the mirror and repeat; the world is different from what it was in 1982 and wishing and acting like it was the same will not bring those lost manufacturing jobs back. No matter what we do, trying to recapture global leadership in industries where the average U.S. salary (excluding benefits) is over $20/hr where the similar cost in China or Mexico is between $2-$6/hr is a losing proposition. This is not to say that the U.S. should not continue to innovate and look to manufacture world-class products, only that we will have to pick our battles in places where we have a strategic competence and a willingness to compete. Specifically, management must be willing to continually analyze each process for best in class behaviors and continually work to improve in order to maintain a leadership position.

Second, focus strategic investment in industries where the U.S. has a substantial lead or could develop one in future. Good examples here are in the area of information technology, where private investment continues to create new enterprises and wealth and green technology whose future is yet to unfold. We need to remind ourselves of the effectiveness of the U.S. Space Program, not only in accomplishing its primary mission, but creating entire industries and market that are still returning value to this day.

Third, fully accept that the old manufacturing jobs will not be repatriated and implement a program that will both create true value for the economy while putting people back to work. In past recessions, workers were typically called back to their jobs as the economy improved. This time however, with the loss of so many factories, the jobs platform is significantly smaller and is unable to support the type of recovery we have seen in the past. Now, we must both create jobs in new markets and industries as well as find employment for those whose skill base will not readily transfer to the new jobs platform(s).

A good example of this is the proposal by the Center for American Progress that outlines a plan to develop an energy efficiency industry to retrofit approximately 40 percent of the country s buildings (approximately 50 million structures) within the next decade. This would require more than $500 billion in public and private investment and create over 600,000 sustainable jobs. Under the plan, energy use in those buildings would be reduced up to 40 percent and generate between $32 billion and $64 billion in annual consumer savings. Those savings would be used to re-pay the construction loans that would support the program.

This type of program would both create private sector jobs and help re-build U.S. infrastructure for the next five decades, all the while creating a buffer between the current economic environment and the one that will emerge.

One word of caution: we need a dozen or more initiatives of this kind to even come close to replacing the 8,000,000 lost jobs.

Paul JJ Payack is president of Austin-based Global Language Monitor. Edward ML Peters is CEO of Dallas-based OpenConnect Systems. Their most recent book is The Paid-for Option , which describes how healthcare reform can actually pay for itself through the application of process intelligence and its attendant gains in productivity.

Tags: Center for American Progress, GDP, Great Depression, Great recession, percent of manufacturing jobs in US economy. President Obama, percentage of the non-farm payroll in manufacturing, Reagan Recovery
Posted in Obama | 1 Comment

 

A Recession Neither Great Nor Small

Published: November 3rd, 2010

What we are experiencing is not a recession, neither great nor small, but rather a global transference of wealth, power and prestige on an unprecedented level, carried out, in von Clausewitz s words by other means.

.Note: This is the First in a series; you can see the second article directly above this one.

This post first appeared on TheHill.com

November 3, 2010. It is about time that we admit that what we are experiencing is not a recession, neither great nor small, but rather a global transference of wealth, power and prestige on an unprecedented level, carried out, in von Clausewitz s words by other means .

Originally alluded to as a Financial Tsunami or Financial Meltdown, the major global media seem to have gained a consensus on The Great Recession . In the beginning, most comparisons were being made to the Great Economic Depression of the 1930s, more familiarly known, simply, as The Depression in the same way that many still refer to World War II as The War . But even these comparisons frequently ended up referring to the recession of 1982, yet another so-called Great Recession .
Our recent analysis has shown that while the major print and electronic media have settled upon Great Recession , the rest of the Internet, blogosphere and social media world have largely eschewed the term. We believe the difficulty here stems from the fact that this economic crisis is difficult to express in words because it does not resemble any economic crisis in recent memory but rather a crisis of another sort.

On War is one of the most influential books on military strategy of all time. Written by Prussian military theorist Carl von Clausewitz (1780 1831), it recorded one of his most respected tenets, War is not merely a political act, but also a real political instrument, a continuation of political commerce, a carrying out of the same by other means, which is frequently abbreviated to War is diplomacy carried out by other means .

We believe that the reason the Great Recession label does not now fit is because what we are experiencing is not a recession, neither great nor small, but rather a global transference of wealth, power and prestige on an unprecedented level, carried out by other means .

This fact has entrapped two U.S. presidents, from radically diverging political viewpoints, in the same dilemma: describing an economic phenomenon, that doesn t play by the old rules. Hence, the difficulty experienced by President Bush as he struggled to describe how the U.S. economy was not in a recession since the GDP had not declined for two consecutive quarters, the traditional definition of a recession, even though jobs were being shed by the millions and the global banking system teetered on the brink of collapse. Now we have President Obama, attempting to describe how the U.S. economy has emerged out of a recession, though the collateral damage in terms of the evaporation of wealth, mortgages, and jobs remains apparently undaunted and unabated.

The regional or global transfer of wealth, power and influence, the destruction of entire industries and the so-called collateral (or human) damage are all hallmarks of what is now being experienced in the West.

If one carefully disassembles the events of the last decade or two, you can see them as the almost inevitable conclusion of a nameless war that began with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the embrace of a form of the free-market system by China, India and the other rising states, an almost unprecedented transfer of wealth from the Western Economies to the Middle East (energy) and South and East Asia (manufactured goods and services), and the substantial transfer of political power and influence that inevitably follows.

It currently appears that the Western Powers most affected by these transfers cannot adequately explain, or even understand, their present circumstances in a way that makes sense to the citizenry, let alone actually reverse (or even impede) the course of history. In fact, the larger events are playing out while the affected societies seemingly default to the hope that they ultimately can exert some sort of control over a reality that appears to be both out of their grasp and control.

The good news here is that the transfers of wealth, power and influence has proven relatively bloodless but nonetheless destructive for the hundreds of millions of those on the front lines of the economic dislocations.

And it is in this context that the perceived resentment of the Islamic and Arab states should be more clearly viewed. This is especially so as they, too, watch helplessly as the new global reality and re-alignments unfold.

In conclusion, it can be argued that the reason the Great Recession label doesn t seem to fit now is because what we are experiencing is not a recession, neither great nor small, but rather an on-going transformational event involving the global transfer of wealth, power and influence on an unprecedented level, carried out by other means .

Paul JJ Payack is president of Austin-based Global Language Monitor. Edward ML Peters is CEO of Dallas-based OpenConnect Systems. Their most recent book is The Paid-for Option , which describes how healthcare reform can actually pay for itself through the application of process intelligence and its attendant gains in productivity.

Tags: Clausewitz, financial meltdown, financial tsunami, GDP Soviet Union, Obama

 

The New Silk Road

Published: November 3rd, 2010

Una serie de reportajes por m s de 25 pa ses, para explicar la conquista silenciosa del mundo por parte de China. Esta serie constituye un viaje desde las minas de la Rep blica Democr tica del Congo hasta las explotaciones de gas en el desierto entre Uzbekist n y Turkmenist n, pasando por la Venezuela de Hugo Ch vez o el Ir n de los ayatols.

En diciembre de 2009, el centro de an lisis estadounidense The Global Language Monitorpublicaba un dato significativo de nuestro tiempo: la emergencia de China era la noticia de la d cada . El crecimiento y expansi n del gigante asi tico desbancaba al atentado del 11-S en Nueva York o la victoria de Barack Obama como hecho noticioso m s publicado, buscado y comentado desde el arranque del nuevo siglo en medios de comunicaci n tradicionales (radio, prensa, televisi n), foros y redes sociales.

Que la emergencia del gigante asi tico sea la noticia de la d cada puede suponer para muchos una sorpresa. Pero no es m s que la consecuencia de una tendencia silenciosa e inexorable que est llamada a cambiar el signo del mundo actual: la expansi n de China por los cinco continentes, el deseo de Pek n de volver a ser una superpotencia.

Esta serie lleva por t tulo La Nueva Ruta de la Sedapor razones hist ricas. Y es que durante siglos la Ruta de la Seda, el comercio, en definitiva, fue una de las pocas -si no la nica, junto a las misiones religiosas europeas- forma de contacto de la China imperial con el resto del planeta, particularmente Asia Central, Oriente Medio y Europa. Si la corte de la dinast a Qing (1644 1912) rechazaba en 1792 la visita del enviado del rey brit nico Jorge III, George Macartney, para abrir m s puertos comerciales a la Corona, hoy Pek n avanza en sentido contrario: un proceso de internacionalizaci n sin parang n en su historia que la lleva a los cuatro rincones del globo.

 

 

Obamas final narrative: A negative melange of historic proportions

Published: November 1st, 2010

 

AUSTIN, Texas, November 1, 2010. The final narrative for President Obama, twenty-four hours before the Mid-term Elections has evolved into a negative m lange of historic proportions. This was reported by the Global Language Monitor (GLM), which has been tracking the narratives that have dominated the perception of the administration and its handling of both its achievements and crises.

In July, the President s five most prominent narrative arcs included being out-of-touch or aloof; being responsible for the ever-increasing deficit; not responding with enough vigor or authority to the Gulf Oil Spill; the victory of pushing through Healthcare Reform; and gaining a reputation as a Chicago-style pol. The President s Oval Office Address on the Gulf Oil Spill seems to have been the temporal demarcation point between a positive or negative narrative carrying over into the 2010 Mid-term Election. Since that time there are many who contend that Obama s narrative has been shaped by forces largely out of his control. And indeed, this may be true.

In the following months no single narrative has risen above the others; on the contrary the five Obama Narratives have largely blended into a largely negative, yet muddled, story line. The result has been an admixture of these five narratives, resulting in an unfortunate amalgam for the president and his party to overcome.

GLM has also been tracking political buzzwords for the last three election cycles. An analysis of the Top Buzzwords of the Mid-Term Elections completed yesterday, and published in a separate release, lend support to these conclusions.

Below is a list of the Obama narratives that have evolved through the last year.

1. Obama as out-of-touch or aloof

This has only grown stronger over time. Professorial has now been added to the mix, which is often considered condescending by certain academic communities.

2. Obama and the deficit

Words linking Obama to deficit have steadily increased as those linking Bush to the deficit have declined.

3. Obama and the Oil Spill

The completion of the relief well apparently did not provide the president with relief from the issue. In fact, the President now has more negative ties to the Katrina inundation of New Orleans than George W. Bush.

4. Obama as HealthCare Reformer

The president s signature achievement has been largely avoided by members of his party for fear of the overall negative reception to the program adversely affecting their personal chances of (re-)election. The mistake is explain away the frustration with how the bill was passed, where many had a first-hand look at congressional (and presidential) wheeling dealing as it best (or worst).

5. Obama as the Chicago-style pol

This usually conveys the ability to make things happen though in a stealthy, force-your-hand manner reminiscent of the days of cigar-filled back rooms. Even this has been undone by the ongoing public perception of Obamas seeming inability to get things done (in spite of the things he actually did).

GLM has been tracking political language for the last three election cycles As we have detailed over the last two years, while in the midst of the positive media frenzy of the election and inauguration, we were already finding the elements of anger and outrage as one of the highest on record. At that time, GLM examined the global print and electronic media for the seven days after the following events: the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the start of the Iraq War, and the week after the Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast, and the awarding of the AIG bonuses.

The ranking of outrage found in the media was surprising, even startling.

The AIG Bonuses, 2009
The 9/11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001
Hurricane Katrina and the Inundation of New Orleans, 2005
The start of the Iraq War, 2003
During the last several months our analysis shows that anger and rage largely have been replaced by frustration and disillusionment.In fact, our continuing NarrativeTracker analysis has found what appears to be a major disconnection between what is reported in the media and what is being discussed in Social Media and the rest of Cyberspace. This includes a number of Media Memes that resonant among the media.

These Media Memes include:

1. Outrage in the Electorate

To a large extent, the rise of Outrage in the electorate (accompanying the AIG bonuses) was overlooked while the focus was on the ebullience accompanying the Obama election and Inauguration. Only this year have anger and rage become a focus while the citations show that the electorate has moved beyond this Media Meme to disappointment and frustration .

2. The Great Recession

The electorate makes no distinction between Recession and Great Recession. In fact, the Great Recession Media Meme is found to be used only in the elite media, while the electorate seems to believe that something far larger is taking (or has taken) place. The analysis shows the underlying belief to be that that economy has undergone a structural change that will take years to mend, if ever. (They knew this when Bush tried to explain why the US, according to traditional definitions, was not yet in a recession, and again know this as todays economists try to explain how the Great Recession is now over because we grew 2% in the last fiscal quarter).

3. The Idea of Insurgency

The consensus is that there are now about one hundred, or fewer, congressional seats in play, which means that some 77% of the seats are basically locked in. The idea of insurgency makes great headlines (and ensures a plethora of more great headlines as the future unfolds). But the fact remains that a minimal number of congressional seats are now in play.

4. The Tea Party

Tea Party members have turned out to be older, better educated, and far more influential than their originally portrayal. If the war in Afghanistan is fighting the last wars (the Surge in Iraq and the Vietnam quagmire then viewing the Tea Party as anything other than a grass roots movement, was a mis-reading of the Obama insurgency of 07 and 08.

5. The 24-hour News Cycle

The 24-hour news cycle is true only insofar as the headlines constantly shift. But the deeper currents are a much more prevailing force that apparently actually drive and shape events. Focusing on the swirling froth of the ever-changing headlines, allows many to miss the structural changes that are occurring below much like a tsunami is only apparently when the submerged wave finally hits the shoreline.GLMs Top Political Buzzwords are based on the Narrative Tracker Index. Narrative Tracker is based on the national discourse, providing a real-time, accurate picture of what the public is saying about any topic, at any point in time. Narrative Tracker analyzes the Internet, blogosphere, the print and electronic media, as well as new social media sources (such as Twitter). In addition to the NTI, the NarrativeTracker Arc follows the rise and fall of sub-stories within the main narrative to provide a comprehensive overview of the narratives being tracked.

 

For more information, call 1.512.801.6823, email editor@LanguageMonitor.com, or visit www.LanguageMonitor.com

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Top Words of the Year 2014 — Emojis

Even long stories can be reduced to a small string of symbols. Comprehension may still be a problem, however. CreditJames C. Best, Jr. for 

It started about six months ago, with a smiley face here and there, a sequence of pictograph red hearts when friends would send baby pictures or a string of blown kisses to say good night. I especially liked the face with a toothy, uncomfortable-looking grimace: “Yikes,” it seemed to say. Perfect for “I’m sorry I’m late!” or “Eek, it’s 1 p.m. and I just woke up.”

Eventually I was replacing words with characters, adding a series of flexing biceps to the encouraging “you can do it!” text. Then one day I spent a full 10 minutes obsessing over the perfect way to say “I’m a writer. I don’t do math” in a message to my accountant: [Girl symbol] (meaning me) + [Pen and paper] (writer) + [calculator] (math) = “?!?!?” Right, it doesn’t sound so complicated. But by finding said emoji, putting them in sequence and spacing them out, I could have typed the statement 17 times. Mid-composition, I got a phone call from a source I had been waiting to talk to. I pressed ignore.

This was emoji chaos; it had to stop.

The roots of smiley faces and emoticons go back to the 1880s, but the story of the emoji, those little pictorial icons on your cellphone, began in Japan in the mid-1990s when it was added as a special feature to a brand of pagers popular with teenagers. It wasn’t until 2008 that a uniform emoji alphabet was created (the idea was to minimize inconsistency across platforms), and Apple adopted it in 2011, adding it to its iOS5 operating system.

But what was once the domain of tech geeks and Honshu tweens has infected the masses. Emoji was crowned as this year’s top-trending word by the Global Language Monitor, and it was added to the Oxford English Dictionary (funny, because it’s a word that describes the concept of not actually using words). There is now a blog, Emojinalysis, that purports to psychoanalyze users’ most frequently used emoji (take a screenshot and send); a beta site, Emoj.li, for the first emoji-only social network (yes, as in only emoji); and the Unicode Consortium, the nonprofit devoted to emoji standardization across platforms, recently said it would add 250 emoji to Apple, Microsoft and Google products. I seriously considered adding an emoji sequence to my résumé this week.

Continue reading the main story

“A guy just asked me out in emoji [wineglass] + [boy-girl faces] + [?],” a friend told me, when I asked if she thought we had reached an emoji tipping point. “We carried on an emoji-only conversation for about 45 minutes.”

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Find out how well you communicate using emojis in this 10 question quiz.

OPEN INTERACTIVE FEATURE

According to the website Emojitracker, which uses Twitter to calculate emoji usage, people are averaging 250 to 350 emoji tweets a second. Smiley faces and hearts abound, but there are more complicated sequences, too. There’s emoji as punctuation [excited face], as emphasis [sob], as a replacement for words (“Can’t wait for [palm trees] [sun] [swim]!”) or to replace words altogether. (The accompanying emoji graphic, recently sent by a friend, describes a weekend date that started out well, including a trip to the vineyards of Sonoma County, but then ended with her realization that the relationship would go no further. Hence: a frustrated face symbol.)

There is emoji for when you don’t really know what to say, but don’t want to be rude by not responding [Thumbs up], and for when you just don’t really want to respond at all. “I love emoji because I don’t like to make small talk,” one woman said. There are emoji sequences to express real-life concepts, too. “In the wake of the Hobby Lobby ruling,” said Caroline McCarthy, a start-up consultant, “I created an emoji sequence for ‘vasectomy.’ ” It was: [scissors], [eggplant], [screaming face].

In their short life, emoji managed to find an exceptional cultural range: One Internet wit put out an emoji translation of Beyoncé’s “Drunk in Love,” and an emoji-only version of “Moby Dick,” called “Emoji Dick,” was recently accepted into the Library of Congress. Legal experts have even discussed whether an emoji death threat [gun and face] could be admissible in court. “I’m not sure you can really speak of it as a full-fledged language yet,” said Ben Zimmer, a linguist, “but it does seem to have fascinating combinatorial possibilities. Any sort of symbolic system, when it’s used for communication, is going to develop dialects.”

As with any new medium, there are growing pains. “Even with my glasses on, I can’t see those little things very well,” said Ruth Ann Harnisch, 64, a writer and philanthropist. Emoji also tend to mistranslate when sent between platforms, or they get jumbled if you don’t have the right font. So while a heart may be a heart on your phone, it may end up as a series of glitch squares on Facebook or if you read your email in Chrome. (Conducting interviews about emoji, over multiple platforms, was a comedy of misinterpretations.)

The current emoji package has been criticized as too limited: not enough emoji diversity, and in the height of the summer vacation season, not even a lobster icon (no crabs, either). There’s also a certain subjective quality to the sequences. Depending on whether you think the little face with the teardrop on his forehead is sweating or crying, your friend may have either just been dumped or been to SoulCycle. “I think it’s clear that a rough grammar exists for emoji, or is at least emerging,” said Colin Rothfels, a developer who maintains a Twitter feed, @anagramatron, that collects tweets (and thus emoji) that are anagrams.

The Unicode Consortium, the agency that governs this sort of thing, is in the process of rolling out its new emoji icons — including a hot pepper (hot or spicy) and a man in a business suit levitating (jump). And yet, more options may only exacerbate a problem well known to those fluent in emoji-speak (or at least this person fluent in it): With no standardized keyboard, how are we supposed to sort through all of those options?

It’s enough to make anyone want to [scream face].

Related Quiz: Are You Fluent in Emoji?

Correction: August 3, 2014 
An article last Sunday about emoji, icons used for shorthand communication, misspelled the name of a blog on the subject. It is Emojinalysis, not Emojanalysis.
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Chiconomics, Michele Obama, Sheer, Metallics, and Gladiator

Top FashionSpeak of Fall 2009/10 Season

Chiconomics, Michele Obama, Sheer, Metallics, and Gladiator

Top FashionSpeak of Upcoming Fall/Winter 2009/10 Season

 

Austin, TX February 5, 2009 – Chiconomics, Michele Obama, Sheer, Metallics, and Gladiator were named the Top Fashion Buzzwords of the of Upcoming Fall/Winter 2009/10 Season by the Global Language Monitor (www.LanguageMonitor.com).  New York Fashion Week begins February 12th.

The words were chosen from those gathered from the worldwide fashion media and nominated by key fashionistas. This exclusive ranking is based upon GLM’s Predictive Quantities Index, a proprietary algorithm that tracks words and phrases in print and electronic media, on the Internet and throughout the blogosphere. The words and phrases are tracked in relation to their frequency, contextual usage and appearance in global media outlets.

“The fashion world is affected by the global economic meltdown like everyone else this year and are reflected in this season’s buzzwords,” said Millie L. Payack, director and fashion correspondent of the Global Language Monitor.”  Another significant influence is that of Michele Obama as the first Lady of the United States, who already is subject of vast Internet and Blogosphere buzz.”

The Top Fashion Buzzwords with commentary, follow:

  1. Chiconomics – The drive to chicness remains strong though affected by economic crisis.
  2. Michele Obama – Michelle says ‘Yes, we can!’ to bringing back a sense of fashion to the White House; further popularizes the single-shoulder look.
  3. Sheer (not see-through, please!) – Though sheer is synonymous with see-through often to embarrassing results (See Renée Zellweger at the Golden Globes.)
  4. Metallics – Move over silver and gold this year it’s coppers and bronze as well as pewter tones.
  5. Gladiators – From chunky platforms to criss-crossed flats, one of the biggest shoe trends of the new century.
  6. Recessionista — Fashion designers, trend-setters and icons set out to weather the world economic crisis.
  7. Voluminous – As in volume-mungous.  Sometimes combined with the sheer look to dramatic results.
  8. Ferosh – A combination of ‘fierce’ and ‘ferociousness’ popularized by Project Runway’s Christian Siriano.
  9. Shoe Boot – Or booties, favored by fashion-forward A-listers.
  10. Lemongrass – The color of Ms. Obama’s Inauguration gown (designed by Isabel Toledo).
  11. Draping or Grecian or goddess – The Greco-Roman goddess look continues its 2500-year comeback.
  12. Eco-Fashion – Couture with carbon-offsetting properties; the Green movement has not invaded haute couture – yet.
  13. On Trend – The ’oh so trendy’ way to say trendy.
  14. Ethnicware – Also known as Multicutural.
  15. Fast Fashion – The successor to High Street; the ability to produce low-cost knock-offs, includes such retailers as H&M and Target.
  16. Fruit Salad (or Macedonian) – Mixed prints are big and bold.
  17. Tie-dyed Silk – Black silk is everywhere even in tie-dyed creations.
  18. Muffin Top fashion – No worries on the runway but a muffin top is seen  when the belly spills over the waistband in exposed ‘midriff’ fashion.
  19. Palettes – Including Mimosa (yellow) and Blue Iris (purple).
  20. Tribe – Fashion tribes are still en vogue whether hipsters or EMOs.

Each July, the Global Language Monitor ranks the Top Fashion Cities of the Year ranked by Internet presence in a global survey.    Topping the list for 2008 were New York, Rome, Paris, Milan, London, Los Angeles, Sydney, Las Vegas, Berlin and Tokyo.  Madrid (No. 15), Stockholm (No. 20), Cape Town (No. 23) and New Delhi (No. 24) broke into the Top 25.  Notble movement included Sydney moving up five spots to No.7 and Dubai jumping up twelve spots to No.12.



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Part Two: The Unraveling Begins — The Mid-term Elections of 2010

End of Part One

Part Two: The Unraveling Begins — The Mid-term Elections of 2010

We pick up the story with the Mid-terms of 2010 rapidly approaching. The nation is beginning to better understand its new president. Unlike his immediate predecessors, President Obama has never been properly vetted. at least not in the way that Bush 43 and 41, were and Al Gore and Bob Dole had been.

By 2010, people began to understand that Barack Obama was more than a self-made man: Obama was a self-defined man. As a self-defined man, much of the traditional vetting provided by the media was compressed into a number of months, and much of that was taken directly from Obama’s autobiographies, “Dreams from My Father” and “The Audacity of Hope”. And so we are back to the self-defined man, to a large extent, vetting himself.

And so it is none too surprising that many of the buzzwords surrounding the midterms are about Obama as a man, a person, a personality.

Comparing data from just before the 2008 general election, we see much the same patterns as today. Citations about Obama’s religion, his supposed “aloofness,” and even his smoking were much higher than what we had seen for other candidates (Bush, Kerry, Gore, etc.) in the previous two election cycles.

What we are seeing in the data appears to be a continuation of the process that ordinarily would have been ongoing for a decade or more. So the public vetting of the president continues on the Internet, in the blogs, throughout social media, and in the print and electronic media itself.

Paul JJ Payack

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This MetaThought Commentary was written by Paul JJ Payack, commentator, author, speaker and Big Data Analyst, and president of both the ThoughtTopper Institute and the Global Language Monitor.

You have permission to publish this work as long as proper attribution accompanies the copy since it is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

MetaThought Commentary is a service of the ThoughtTopper Institute.

For more information call 1.512.801.6823.




Top 300 US Colleges and Universities by Internet Media Buzz

Michigan Again Bests Harvard as Top University

UCLA, Texas break into Top Ten

Carleton Beats Williams and Pomona on College List


Austin, Texas, July 29, 2010 – The University of Michigan again edged out Harvard atop the Global Language Monitor’s TrendTopper Media Buzz list of the nation’s Top 300 Colleges and Universities.  Notably UCLA and the University of Texas moved into the Top Ten for the first time.  In the College category, Carleton College beat Williams and Pomona to notch the Top Spot for the first time.  In the Fall 2009 edition, Wellesley came in No. 1.

“The TrendTopper MediaBuzz Rankings are a way of seeing the schools through the eyes of the world at large. It is a democratic, self-generating ratings system, since it captures the brand equity associated with each of these fine institutions,” said Paul JJ Payack, the president of Global Language Monitor.  “GLM’s TrendTopper MediaBuzz Rankings actually removes all bias inherent in each of the other published rankings, since they actually reflect what is being said and stated on the billions of web pages that we measure.”

The Top 25 Universities by TrendTopper MediaBuzz include the following.


Summer/Spring 2010
Rank
1 University of Michigan—Ann Arbor
2 Harvard University
3 University of Chicago
4 University of California—Los Angeles
5 Stanford University
6 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
7 University of Texas—Austin
8 Princeton University
9 Yale University
10 Columbia University
11 Washington University in St. Louis
12 Cornell University
13 University of California—San Diego
14 University of California — Berkeley
15 University of Wisconsin—Madison
16 Pennsylvania State University
17 University of Washington
18 Duke University
19 University of Pennsylvania
20 Johns Hopkins University
21 New York University
22 Virginia Tech
23 University of Virginia
24 University of Minnesota
25 University of Rochester

.

For University Rankings Nos. 26 to 162, go here.

The Top 25 Colleges by TrendTopper MediaBuzz include the following.

Summer/Spring 2010
Rank
1 Carleton College
2 Williams College
3 Pomona College
4 Middlebury College
5 University of Richmond
6 Wellesley College
7 Vassar College
8 Union College
9 Cooper Union
10 Hamilton College
11 United States Military Academy
12 Colgate University
13 Sarah Lawrence University
14 Colorado College
15 College of the Holy Cross
16 Pratt Institute
17 Bard College
18 Bucknell University
19 Reed College
20 Drew University
21 Harvey Mudd College
22 Davidson College
23 Occidental College
24 Skidmore College
25 Claremont McKenna College

.

For College Rankings Nos. 26 to 150, go here.

The Top Specialty schools listed in their categories as well as overall rank include:

  • Top Engineering Schools:   MIT (6 overall, university), The Cooper Union (9 overall, college), Harvey Mudd (21 overall, college), California Institute of Technology (CalTech) (35 overall, university), and Carnegie Mellon University (42 overall, university).
  • Top Online/For Profit Schools: the University of Phoenix  (63 overall, university), Kaplan University (124 overall, university) and Capella University (140 overall, university)Top Christian School:  Wheaton College, IL (16 overall, college)
  • Top Military Academies: the United States Military Academy (11 overall, college), the United States Naval Academy (26 overall, college), and the United States Air Force Academy (31 overall, college), United States Coast Guard Academy (118 overall, college), and United States Merchant Marine Academy (119 overall, college).
  • Top Art and Design Schools:  Pratt Institute (16 overall, college), Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) (51 overall, college), and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (66 overall, college), California Institution of the Arts (70 overall, college), and Minneapolis College of Art and Design (92 overall, college).
  • Top Music Schools: the Julliard School (39 overall, college), Berklee College (87 overall, college), the Curtis Institute, (108 overall, college), the Cleveland Institute of Music (110 overall, college), and the New England Conservatory of Music (131 overall, college).
  • Top Business School:  Babson College (37 overall, college).

The Global Language Monitor publishes the TrendTopper Media Buzz College and University Rankings.  twice a year, with spring and fall editions.  Many institutions of higher education, including Harvard, Boston College, and Vanderbilt have used the rankings as a validation of their recent reputation management decisions.

The complete report, including short term and long term change, rankings by state, and complete PQI index  is available for $198. For more information, call 1.512.801.6823 or email pjjp@post.harvard.edu



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Obama Narrative 2.0

Out-of-touch moves into No. 1 position over Deficit Spending; Oil Spill tops Health Care Reformer

Austin, Texas, July 24, 2010 – As the political calendar inexorably heads toward the Mid-term elections, the focus on President Obama’s competing ‘narratives’ continue to play out in the media.

Since his Oval Address on the Oil Spill, Obama’s personal narrative is being shaped by forces largely out of his control, such as the on-going Gulf drama.  These are how the five most prevalent competing narratives compare, according to Austin-based Global Language Monitor (GLM).  GLM has been monitoring the language of politics since 2003.

The ranking of the President’s five most prominent narrative arcs include:

  1. Obama as out-of-touch or aloof – This is up 1200% since the beginning of the year; this is the converse of Hope and Change.
  2. Obama and the deficit — Words linking Obama to deficit have increased some 2500% since the beginning of 2010.
  3. Obama and the Oil Spill — A very fast mover now ahead of Obama as Health Care reformer.  Could the completion of the relief well turn this around?
  4. Obama as HealthCare Reformer —    Losing steam quickly for the president’s signature achievement.
  5. Obama as the Chicago-style pol — A continued, steady rise in linking Obama to old-style Chicago politics.

“At this point, all five narratives in play are problematic for the president,” said Paul JJ Payack, GLM’s president and chief word analyst. “With the Mid-terms some hundred days away, the president needs a series of (possibly unexpected) positive events to stem this tide.”

Obama Narrative 2.0, the underlying storyline that will largely define the president in the run-up to the Mid-term elections and, possibly, for time remaining in his term.   The ‘narrative’ refers to the stream of public opinion captured by blogs and other social media outlets on the Internet, as well as the leading print and electronic databases.

The NarrativeTracker Index  (NTI), the first product specifically designed to use social media-based monitoring to better understand the issues driving any particular topic. Because the NTI is based on the national discourse, it provides a real-time, accurate picture of what the public is saying about any topic, at any point in time. In addition to the NTI, the Narrative Tracker Arc™ follows the rise and fall of sub-stories within the main narrative to provide a comprehensive overview of the opinions surrounding a single issue.

NTI tracks the ‘narrative’ of a subject, as well as projecting future trajectories for the narrative.    The result has several advantages over traditional polls:  1) Immediacy; 2) The lack of any bias that tends to creep into traditional polling, e.g., when individuals answer questions with what they think are the ‘correct’ answers rather than their true opinions; and 3) NTI lets policy and decision makers focus on the true issues driving perceptions and concerns rather than being driven by false and phantom concepts.  In addition, the Narrative Tracker Arc™ follows the rise and fall of sub-stories within the main narrative.

NTI is more effective in capturing the true opinion of the public because it tracks unfiltered keywords in Social Media and other sources, rather than how that opinion is interpreted by the news media or by pollsters.

The NTI is based on the GLM’s Predictive Quantities Indicator™ (PQI™). The PQI tracks the frequency of words and phrases in global print and electronic media on the Internet, throughout the Blogosphere and other social media outlets as well as accessing proprietary databases. The PQI is a weighted index that factors in long-term trends, short-term changes, momentum, and velocity.



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World Cup 2010’s Dubious Linguistic Achievement

Vuvuzela accepted into English language lexicon

Austin, TX July 12, 2010 – The World Cup 2010 was an historical affair in many regards, the a first for the African continent; a first for the South African people and, of course, a first for Spain.

Another perhaps unintended consequence of World Cup 2010 is the acceptance of the word, vuvuzela, into the English language lexicon according to the qualifying criteria established by Austin-based Global Language Monitor.

The vuvuzela are the seemingly ubiquitous brightly colored plastic horns, said to have the potential to inflict lasting hearing loss because of the loudness and pitch of a typical vuvuzela (B flat below middle C, according to the BBC).

“Vuvuzela appears certain to achieve a place (or at least some notoriety) within the ranks of the English language.  Vuvuzela has already appeared some 2450 times in a recent search of the New York Times archive,” said Paul JJ Payack, president of the Global Language Monitor.  “That is quick a few citations for the ‘first draft of history; even a quick Google search yield  over 6,000,000 hits on the term.”

The thresholds to cross into the English Lexicon include 25,000 citations meeting criteria for breadth of geographic dispersion along within a depth of media formats including the Internet, blogosphere and social media along with various formats of print and electronic media.  Since 2003, the Global Language Monitor has been recognizing new words or neologisms once they meet these criteria.

The word vuvuzela, itself of uncertain origin.  Some think it is related to the summoning horn, the kudu, for African villages.  Others speculate it to be derived from an onomatopoeic Zulu word for the sound ‘vu-vu’, or a word for noise making, while many believe it to be ‘township slang’ for shower (of noise).

English gets a new word - thanks to SA

Jul 18, 2010 12:00 AM | By Sashni Pather


The World Cup was historic in a few ways: a first for the African continent, South Africa’s people and for Spain.

WHAT A HOOT: Vuvuzela has won global recognition

Read More



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Healthcare NarrativeTracker Detects Growing Concern about Containing Costs

Keeping Costs Low vs. Rising Costs

..

DALLAS & AUSTIN, Texas, July 7, 2010 — The Healthcare NarrativeTracker™ has detected a growing wave of concern throughout the nation about containing rising Healthcare costs. The catalyst stems from the new regulations being now written to implement The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. At this point the affordability issue is coalescing around the President Obama’s oft-stated pledge that you can keep current Health Insurance plans if you so choose.  As M.I.T. health economist Jonathan Gruber recently stated, “It’s unclear that companies will want to have the same insurance plan in 2014 that they have in 2010.”

These facts have not gone unnoticed by the public and are considered by many to be a significant turnaround from earlier analyses, where people took at face value the President’s oft-stated words: “If you like your healthcare plan, you’ll be able to keep your healthcare plan, period.” Obama declared in a speech to the American Medical Association last June, “No one will take it away, no matter what.” In fact, the New York Times recently reported that the government calculates that while 70 percent of small-business plans will remain grandfathered in 2011 that number will drop to 34 percent in 2013. Apparently, even the routine changes that occur every year as employers search for better products can be defined as changing the plan enough to obviate the provision that allows you to keep your current insurance, potentially leading to increasing costs for employer and employee alike.

Subsequent analysis of the Internet, blogosphere, the print and electronic media, as well as new social media sources (such as Twitter) has shown that the public is aware of this shift. The results of the Healthcare NarrativeTracker Index™ (NTI™) were reported by OpenConnect, the leading company in event-driven intelligence solutions, and The Global Language Monitor, the media analytics company.

“Policies need to be evaluated by the effect they will have on the cost incurred with their implementation. The economics of healthcare reform need to be based on changes that help pay for themselves rather than make the problem worse. Only by realizing the type of efficiencies that have kept America in the forefront of world economic growth for the past century and a half will we be able to keep costs under current projections. All that is necessary is to summon the courage to make the tough choices ahead,” said Edward M.L. Peters, CEO of OpenConnect and author of The Paid-for Option, which details the methodology that has proven effective in the healthcare industry.

The Healthcare NarrativeTracker has detected rising concern about price increases perceived to be associated with the implementation of yet-to-be written regulations. The public is well-aware of the overall trillion dollar cost of the program, as well as associated costs, such as the so-called ‘Doc Fix’ not directly counted with the Healthcare Reform effort budget.

In the first three months of this year, conversations about keeping the price of insurance low were exceeded by conversations with those concerned about the rising costs of their healthcare by some 40%.

In the same manner, in the first three months of this year, conversations about keeping one’s insurance were surpassed by those about losing their insurance by some 54%. For the first six months of this year, the conversations about keeping one’s insurance were surpassed by those about losing their insurance by some 43% but with volume of the conversations increasing over 11,200%.

In summation, the media discussion resonating throughout the Internet, blogosphere and social media is driving the online discussion and conversations. This is particularly true when such narratives are being driven by articles such as those written by Dr. Marc Siegel who concludes, “the regulations impose a major vise on private insurance, restricting a company’s ability to increase cost sharing (such as coinsurance, deductibles and out-of pocket limits) as well as copayments (“more than the sum of medical inflation plus 15 percentage points or $5 increased by medical inflation”). So it is unlikely that many insurers will be able to remain viable without raising premiums (not restricted by the regulations) or slashing services.”

The NarrativeTracker Index is the first product specifically designed to use social media-based monitoring to better understand the issues driving healthcare reform. Because the Healthcare NTI is based on the national discourse, it provides a real-time, accurate picture of what the public is saying about any topic related to healthcare, at any point in time. In addition to the NTI, the NarrativeTracker Arc™ follows the rise and fall of sub-stories within the main narrative to provide a comprehensive overview of the opinions surrounding a single issue.

The NTI is based on the GLM’s Predictive Quantities Indicator™ (PQI™). The PQI tracks the frequency of words and phrases in global print and electronic media on the Internet, throughout the Blogosphere and other social media outlets as well as accessing proprietary databases. The PQI is a weighted index that factors in long-term trends, short-term changes, momentum, and velocity.

The Healthcare NTI is released monthly. The first analysis completed in May 2010 details the various narratives surrounding Massachusetts Healthcare reform, a healthcare model which has been adopted in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as the national healthcare reform bill.



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Air Date: Week of July 2, 2010
The BP oil disaster is a failure of technology and lexicology. The words that we use to describe the Gulf of Mexico disaster don’t begin to define the scope of the catastrophe. Is it a spill? A gusher? Host Jeff Young tracks the flow of words with Paul Payak from the Global Language Monitor.
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YOUNG: Millions - maybe billions - of words have been written about BP’s runaway oil well. Yet words still fail us—we still lack the right term for what’s happening in the Gulf. So we turn to Paul JJ Payack for guidance. He’s President of the Global Language Monitor in Austin, Texas, where he tracks changes in the language, including the words most often used to describe the oil in the Gulf.

PAYACK: Overwhelmingly, overwhelmingly, the top word is oil spill, which is sort of a disappointment. Many times when you have new events in a language, the language leads the event. You can actually… there are new words that pop up in profusion.

YOUNG: Uh huh.

PAYACK: And, in this case, we haven’t seen that many new words. What we’ve seen is the old way to describe an oil spill. The Exxon Valdez has a crash, spills the oil out, and that’s a spill. But this is different; this is a lot different than a spill.

YOUNG: Because a spill connotes a fixed amount that spilled from a container into where you don’t want it. That’s not what’s happening here at all.

PAYACK: In our case, we’re not talking about a spill, we’re talking about an oil field that’s estimated at 3, 4, 5 billion barrels erupting, but we still refer to it as a spill.

Read More



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The Internet’s Fury Scorned

Obama Oval Office speech analysis provokes unprecedented response


Austin, Texas, July 2, 2010.  The first decade of the 21st century has witnessed a great many terrible, sad and historical events, with a few, unfortunately fleeting moments of great joy sprinkled between the dirges.  We have done our best to analyze the impact of these events on the global print and electronic media as well as on the Internet, throughout the blogosphere, and now the emerging social media.

After analyzing political speeches for a decade now, as well as all 55 Presidential Inaugural Addresses and transcripts of historical interest (including Washington’s Farewell Address, the Lincoln-Douglas Debates, FDR’s ‘Live in Infamy’ radio address, Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a Dream’ speech) you would think that we had seen and heard everything by now.

However, it wasn’t until our analysis of the President’s Gulf Spill Oval Office address, that we experienced the full force of the Internet’s fury scorned.

And this for an analysis that we considered basically non-newsworthy.

President Obama had given yet another address to the nation.  GLM used the same standardized, widely available, language tools that we used to name Obama’s Grant Park  ”Yes, we can!” victory address as one that ranked with the greatest of presidential orations.  Now these same standardized, time-tested tools are being conveniently criticized as of questionable repute.

We were told that our analysis was either ‘bashing Obama’ or ‘excusing Obama’. At the same time, we were either ‘insulting the people’ or ‘insulting the President’. Finally, it was suggested that we were rather transparently calling for the President to ‘dumb down the rhetoric’ so that one and all might understand  the superior intelligence of ‘his highness’.  Whoa!

Apparently, many readers never got over the headline, missing the actual analysis and what the numbers told us about the speech. Our concern was that our initial headline, Obama Oil Spill Speech Echoes Elite, Aloof Ethos might be considered demeaning to the President.  Wrong.  It was considered demeaning to everyone on the Left and the Right.

For general information on the readability tests used by GLM, click here.

For scientific literature about readability tests, enter Flesch or readability into the ERIC database.

We were surprised to learn that offense was, apparently,  taken in equal proportions by both the Right (Language Expert: If You Didn’t Like Obama’s Oil Spill Speech, It’s Probably Because You’re Stupid) and the Left (Obama Oil Spill Speech Criticized By CNN’s Language Analyst For Not Being Moronic Enough) of the political spectrum.   Nevertheless, we were quite amused by The ColbertReport’s send-up of our (and CNN’s) report, which somehow struck a middle chord.

It was also enlightening to see a significant proportion of this criticism to be ad hominem attacks, focusing on ourselves rather than our analysis.  (Read FAQ about GLM and Paul JJ Payack here.)

This past December, we encountered fierce criticism from the Chinese government dailies because  we named ‘The Rise of China” as the No. 1 news story of the decade.  (You can follow the narrative arc of this controversy here. )  But the criticism that accompanied the Obama Gulf Spill speech, was a good bit nastier, indeed.

Our analyses of the three preceding US Presidential elections were praised from many quarters from the New York Times to Nicholas Kristof to NPR to the worldwide media.  During the preceding ten years, few alleged political motivation, or denounced the standard language-measurement tools as inherently flawed. In fact, as long as readers basically agreed with the more predictable outcomes, there were few complaints.  Here were some of those results:  Ross Perot scored the lowest we’ve ever recorded, John F, Kennedy and Ronald Reagan were stars, both Bushes settled in the middle of the middle school years, and Obama’s ‘Yes, we can!’ speech had nearly equivalent numbers to Martin Luther King’s “I have a Dream’ speech and Lincoln’s ‘Gettysburg Address’.   So far, so good.  We did have a few outliers, such as Sarah Palin achieving quite a high score during her debate with Joe Biden, which was duly noted by New York Magazine and quite easy to explain.

Here’s what we attempted to communicate:

1.  Obama’s speech, though deserving a ‘solid B’ did not live up to his past efforts.

2.  Obama’s most well-regarded speech came in a at 7.4 grade level.  This is not talking down to the American people.  This is communicating clear and concisely to his audience.  This is Obama at his best, communicating with a deft combination of vision, passion and rhetoric.

In fact, our headline for that effort read: Obama’s “Yes, We Can” Speech Ranked with “I have a Dream,” “Tear Down this Wall,” and JFK Inaugural. Rather high praise, indeed.

Our commentary read:

Obama’s “Yes, We Can” speech delivered Tuesday night in Chicago’s Grant Park ranked favorably in tone, tenor and rhetorical flourishes with memorable political addresses of the recent past including Martin Luther King, Jr.’s   “I have a Dream” speech, “Tear Down this Wall,” by Ronald  Reagan and John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address.

“As is appropriate for a forward-looking message of hope and reconciliation, words of change and hope, as well as future-related constructions dominated the address,” said Paul JJ Payack President and Chief Word Analyst of the Global Language Monitor.  “Evidently, Obama is at his best at connecting with people at the 7th to 8th grade range, communicating directly to his audience using simple yet powerful rhetorical devices, such as the repetition of the cadenced phrase ‘Yes, we can’, which built to a powerful conclusion.”

Well-regarded, indeed (and well-deserved).

3.   GLM and our predecessor site, yourDictionary.com have analyzed every presidential inaugural since that of George Washington.  The idea was, and continues to be, to look at the presidents’ words in the total historical context of the American presidency.

In 2001, we were quoted as saying,

Our goal was to spot trends that are all to easily overlooked in the political (and all too partisan) passions of the moment” [and continued that our] analysis included patterns of word usage choices, the use of such grammatical constructions as passive voice, the length of words and sentences, the number of paragraphs, and other parameters of language to gauge the content [including] the well-regarded Flesch-Kincaid Reading Scale.

4.  The use of Industry-standard language analytics.  The Fogg Index, the Flesch Test, the Flesch-Kinkaid Reading Scale, and many others, are used in all forms of publishing from technical manuals to ensuring proper comprehension levels for textbooks used for various ages and classes.  This has been true for more than fifty years.

The reason we choose to use the standard tests and analytical tools was a simple one:  to enable the same set of measurements over any period of time.  And also that these analyses could be replicated by scholars and historians and journalists the world over.

5.  We use our proprietary tool, the Predictive Quantities Indicator or PQI to measure media analytics, narrative tracking, and TrendTopper Media Buzz, as such we do not use the PQI for this task.

By the Way, here are a few historical precedents;

  • Washington’s Farewell Address of 1796 — 12.0.
  • Lincoln-Douglas debates, 1858 — Stephen Douglas’ seven speeches averaged a 12th-grade level 11.9; Lincoln’s averaged 11.2.
  • President Franklin Roosevelt’s declaration of war in December 1941 — 11.5.
  • Nixon-Kennedy Debates, 1960 — The first nationally televised debates:  Kennedy, 9.6 ; Nixon, 9.1.
  • Carter-Ford Debates, 1976 — Carter, 10.4; Ford, 11.0.
  • Carter-Reagan debate   — Carter, 12.0; Reagan, 10.7.
  • Reagan-Mondale debates — Reagan, 9.8;  Mondale, 8.7.
  • Dukakis-Bush debates of 1988 — Dukakis, 8.9; Bush, 6.7 grade.
  • Bush-Clinton-Perot debates of 1992 — Carter, 8.5, Bush, 6.5, Perot, 6.3.
  • Bush-Gore debate of 2000 — Bush, 7.1, Gore, 8.4.
  • Cheney-Lieberman, V.P. Debate — Lieberman, 9.9; Dick Cheney, 9.1.

And for good measure, Hamlet’s ‘To Be or Not to Be Soliloquy’, Shakespeare, c. 1600, comes in at 10.6.

Now Kathleen Parker has considerably upped the ante when applied readability statistics in her premise about Barack Obama as the first ‘feminine president’ ….



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How Obama lost control of the oil-spill narrative

WORD OF MOUTH:  Colleen Ross

Colleen Ross


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The usual key to staying on top in the murky world of politics is to control the narrative. And, by all linguistic accounts, Barack Obama’s control of the oil spill narrative has slipped away.

Lonely warrior. Barack Obama counting tar balls on a Louisiana beach in May 2010. (Larry Downing/Reuters)

Lonely warrior. Barack Obama counting tar balls on a Louisiana beach in May 2010. (Larry Downing/Reuters)

In his first prime-time address from the Oval Office recently, Obama attempted to take back the reins by employing warrior-like language.

In his best Churchill impression, he spoke about “the battle we’re waging against an oil spill that is assaulting our shores and our citizens,” going on to vow that “we will fight this spill with everything we’ve got for as long as it takes.”

The president then talked about creating a battle plan as well as the need to develop energy independence and to “fight for the America we want for our children.”

Click Here to Listen to Colleen Ross’ Podcasts

The president then talked about creating a battle plan as well as the need to develop energy independence and to “fight for the America we want for our children.”

In fact, Obama’s rhetoric around America’s biggest environmental disaster has intensified in recent weeks.

Accused of not being angry enough at the company that has still not managed to fully plug a gushing oil well, “No Drama” Obama, as he was once known, is using tougher language and framing the oil spill as an environmental 9/11.

He also uttered the now oft-quoted explanation of why he’s spending so much time talking to experts: So he can “know whose ass to kick.”

Oil-spill enabler

But in this unfolding drama, with a wavering protagonist, a motley crew of characters and a slick, unrelenting enemy, one is compelled to shout in frustration: “Words, words, words!”

Duelling narratives

(An unscientific, comparison)

BP: Use remotely operated underwater vehicles to try to reactivate blowout preventer.

Political narrative: Remotely control response, i.e. let Coast Guard handle it.

BP: Introduce small tube into burst pipe to slow flow.

Political narrative: Introduce oil spill commission and temporarily stop offshore drilling

BP: Drill relief wells, this is going to take awhile.

Political narrative: Drill home the need for relief/compensation (this is going to take awhile)

Therein lies the problem, says language analyst Paul Payack. Words alone mean nothing if they are not backed up by action and, as a result, Obama has lost control of what he wants to say.

He who wins control of the narrative controls the story in terms of political capital,” says Payack. And at the moment, Obama isn’t doing so well, which could hurt his party in the November mid-term elections.

According to Payack, the most important storyline currently defining the president is “Obama as oil spill enabler.”

Read more

Keep Presidential Speeches Smart

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Medialand

Trevor Butterworth, 06.22.10

Trevor Butterworth is the editor of stats.org, an affiliate of George Mason University that looks at how numbers are used in public policy and the media. He writes a weekly column for Forbes.

If the Gulf oil spill is a national tragedy, the arguments over President Obama’s response to it have descended into a national farce. When former law professors go looking for “ass to kick,” they end up looking like the eponymous hero of Kickass, a nerdy kid copying moves he’s seen in comic books. The difference is that the fictional Kickass was ennobled by failure, which, sadly, is not the kind of outcome open to the President of the United States in matters of national importance.

Obama’s mistake was to respond to the Rock’Em Sock’Em Robots of punditry. The country didn’t want Spock at the helm during environmental armageddon, they protested; the situation demanded a theatrically-appropriate response — as if the presidency was the background music to the movie of our lives, rousing in adversity, compassionate in suffering, a boom box of linguistic effects.

If style is the image of character, you cannot go from the calmest, most judicious intellectual in the room to a Schwarzenegger character in leather trousers and expect to be perceived as authentic. This is why responding to his critics was the wrong thing to do. By following their lame advice, by trying to be someone he isn’t, Obama sounded bathetic.

All of this is an object lesson in how democracy isn’t helped by the media. Just as an analysis of the Katrina response shows that it was a complex systematic failure of government and not a simple fumble by George W. Bush and “heck of a job” Brownie, the Gulf oil spill is not really in the league of a car wreck caused by distracted texting. The very intractability of the problem demands openness, an admission of complexity and a detailed description of solutions that are being pursued. And yet, according to one manufacturer of conventional wisdom, the problem was not that Obama’s White House address on the spill was too simple or vague, it was that it wasn’t simple enough. As CNN reported:

Obama’s speech may have gone over the heads of many in his audience, according to an analysis of the 18-minute talk released Wednesday by Paul J.J. Payack, president of Global Language Monitor. Tuesday night’s speech from the Oval Office of the White House was written to a 9.8 grade level, said Payack, who gave Obama a ‘solid B.’ His Austin, Texas-based company analyzes and catalogues trends in word usage and word choice and their impact on culture.”

The president’s 19.8 words per sentence apparently “added some difficulty for his target audience.” But 19.8 words is well within the breath of television’s cutthroat culture of political sound bites, which now stands at seven seconds. Indeed, as Elvin T. Lim notes in his brilliant historical and linguistic analysis of presidential rhetoric, The Anti-Intellectual Presidency, the average presidential sentence in recent years (as defined by speeches) has ranged from 15 to 20 words, well within the assumed attention span of the presumptive television viewer.

But now, even this is apparently too difficult for most Americans to follow. It gets worse. Take the following sentence from the President’s speech, “That is why just after the rig sank, I assembled a team of our nation’s best scientists and engineers to tackle this challenge — a team led by Dr. Steven Chu, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist and our nation’s Secretary of Energy.” According to Payack, this is the kind of phrasing that makes the President seem “aloof and out of touch.” It’s too professorial, too academic and not “ordinary enough.” Perhaps the President should just have tweeted “I got smart folks fixin’ to fix the oil spill” and let everyone go back to their regular broadcast fare or communicating with each other in grunts and clicks.

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New York Magazine: Textbook Obama

Flash from the Past ( September 21, 2009) by Paul Bonanos

Which predecessor does his rhetoric most nearly echo? The data don’t lie: It’s Ronald Reagan.

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On Tuesday, President Obama spoke to schoolchildren; on Wednesday, to Congress. The easy punch line (same grade level, guys?) raises a real question: How does this president, whose comments on health care in particular had been criticized for lacking a clear take-home message, pitch his language? Does he strategically streamline his explanations for different audiences? To find out, we called upon science, in the form of Paul J. J. Payack, “president and chief word analyst” at an Austin, Texas, trend-watching outfit called the Global Language Monitor.

What Payack found when Obama’s speeches bubbled through his software was that the president didn’t treat Congress like a bunch of kids. His health-care speech clocks in at 9.0, indicating a ninth-grade reading level; the classroom speech, at 6.6. Those two figures more or less bookend the range for contemporary oration. Both Presidents Bush tended to fall around grade 7, as did Obama’s “Yes, We Can” speech. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” comes in at 8.8.

There’s plenty of room for sophisticated ideas at that level. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is sixth-grade material. So is The Hobbit. The Gettysburg Address rates a 9.1. That’s low for the nineteenth century, when florid oratory was in vogue—the Lincoln-Douglas debates took place at an eleventh-grade level, rarely heard today. “You can imagine how they’d talk—three, four hours long,” Payack says. “It really changed with the advent of radio.”

Nor is ninth-grade language too tough for a mainstream audience. Payack says that Ronald Reagan, the master of folksy explanation, is Obama’s closest match among recent presidents, with speeches that usually come in around 9 or 10. “The word was that he spoke in sound bites, but they’re very well-crafted sound bites.” The two presidents may differ in affect, content, and approach—Obama sometimes seems to develop his ideas through the very process of turning them into oratory, whereas Reagan more or less only had one idea—but not in linguistic complexity. Indeed, Obama has often expressed admiration for the Gipper’s ability to frame issues.

Payack explains that his proprietary algorithm is a variant of the standard Flesch Reading Ease Test, which is performed on many textbooks and educational materials: “It analyzes words per sentence, syllables per word, things of that nature. The theory is that the more complex the structure, the more syllables per word, the more difficult it is to understand.” Polysyllabicism and subclauses add complexity, and skew the score toward older readers. “To reach the greatest number of people, to communicate most crisply, to make sure your idea moves from your mind to someone else’s, you should speak in short sentences.” (Representative Joe Wilson’s “You lie!” achieves a prekindergarten rating.) For comparison, a Maureen Dowd column from last week was a 10.8, a Paul Krugman piece was a 12.5, and the story you’re reading now has a Flesch score of ninth grade.

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Language mavens exchange words over Obama’s speech

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Nearly 2,700 words with little jargon
  • People understand spoken and written word differently
  • Payack gives Obama “Solid B”

(CNN) — Language experts weighed in Thursday after poring over the nearly 2,700 words of President Obama’s Oval Office speech on the Gulf oil disaster.

It was straightforward and easy to understand,” said Ron Yaros, assistant professor at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, referring to the explanations of the crisis and its possible solutions. He divided the speech into 1,200 “idea units,” each of which represents a point the president was trying to make.

He then looked at how many of those idea units contained jargon — unexplained terms that the average person might not recognize — and found none in the 65 idea units that explained the problem.

Of the 417 idea units that discussed what Obama planned to do, “I found only one idea unit that probably would be potentially confusing to a nonexpert. That was the term ‘relief well.’ He never explained that.”

BP is digging a relief well that is expected to intersect with the blown-out well in August. At that point, BP plans to pump heavy drilling fluid into the runaway well, ending the flow.

If you look at the entire speech, and you look at the amount of jargon, it came out to 1.5 percent,” he said.

iReporter:Obama’s speech too fuzzy on details

But Obama’s speech may have gone over the heads of many in his audience, according to an analysis of the 18-minute talk released Wednesday by Paul J.J. Payack, president of Global Language Monitor.

Tuesday night’s speech from the Oval Office of the White House was written to a 9.8 grade level, said Payack, who gave Obama a “solid B.” His Austin, Texas-based company analyzes and catalogues trends in word usage and word choice and their impact on culture.

He singled out this sentence from Obama as unfortunate: “That is why just after the rig sank, I assembled a team of our nation’s best scientists and engineers to tackle this challenge — a team led by Dr. Steven Chu, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist and our nation’s secretary of energy.”

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See “The Colbert Report’s”  Send-up of GLM’s Oval Office Analysis

A little less professorial, less academic and more ordinary,” Payack recommended. “That’s the type of phraseology that makes you [appear] aloof and out of touch.”

Yaros disagreed, supporting the quality of the president’s explanation for spelling out the efforts under way, even if they have not succeeded in ending the flow.

He’s just trying to be transparent,” Yaros said. “We can’t cure cancer, but I’m comforted to know that the best researchers in the nation are devoted to finding a cure.”

Payack found these three sentences insensitive: “Already, this oil spill is the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced. And unlike an earthquake or a hurricane, it is not a single event that does its damage in a matter of minutes or days. The millions of gallons of oil that have spilled into the Gulf of Mexico are more like an epidemic, one that we will be fighting for months and even years.”

You shouldn’t be saying that in Katrina-land,” said Payack, referring to the 2005 hurricane that devastated the Gulf Coast. “New Orleans lost a third of its population [to evacuees who did not return]; it’s still recovering.”

But he praised Obama’s phrase “oil began spewing” as active and graphic.

Obama’s nearly 10th-grade-level rating was the highest of any of his major speeches and well above the grade 7.4 of his 2008 “Yes, we can” victory speech, which many consider his best effort, Payack said.

The scores indicate that this was not Obama at his best, especially when attempting to make an emotional connection to the American people,” he added.

Though the president used slightly less than four sentences per paragraph, his 19.8 words per sentence “added some difficulty for his target audience,” Payack said.

Mark Liberman, a linguist at the University of Pennsylvania, was unimpressed with Payack’s criticism of the sentence length.

I think we can all agree that those are shockingly long professor-style sentences for a president to be using, especially in addressing the nation after a disaster,” Liberman wrote on his blog.

Why, they were almost as long as the ones that President George W. Bush, that notorious pointy-headed intellectual, used in his 9/15/2005 speech to the nation about Hurricane Katrina, where I count 3,283 words in 140 sentences, for an average of 23.45 words per sentence! And we all remember how upset the press corps got about the professorial character of that speech!”

Yaros challenged the value of Payack’s analysis. “There’s a tremendous amount of difference between analyzing the written word and interpreting the spoken word,” said Yaros, a former science reporter who studies how to make complex topics understandable.

Payack acknowledged Thursday in a telephone interview that his analysis is indeed based on a written version of the speech, but said that does not necessarily render it invalid. “With the internet, probably as many people read the transcript as heard it,” he said. “To think it’s not read and analyzed by tens of thousands of bloggers is looking at the old model.”

Yaros countered that he doesn’t just count words and sentences, but instead measures the audience’s comprehension of news content.

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Obama Oil Spill Speech Echoes Elite, Aloof Ethos

When Obama is at his best (such as the Grant Park ‘Yes, We Can speech), the President has a direct and emotional connection with the American people.  This speech, simply, did not live up to that high standard — and the numbers reflect it.

Comparisons with previous addresses and those of other presidents

Passive Voice highest for any major presidential address this century

Surprisingly high tenth-grade reading (and hearing) level


Austin, TX, June 17, 2010 – According to an exclusive analysis by The Global Language Monitor, President Obama’s Oil Spill speech echoed his elite ethos, with a broad plan for an alternative-energy future and few specifics.  The only specifics of the address were the continuation of the off-shore drilling ban, effectively putting tens of thousands of Gulf Coast jobs in jeopardy.  The President’s first Oval Office address came in at a surprising high tenth-grade reading level, with some 13% passive constructions, the highest level measured in any major presidential address in this century.  In political speaking, the passive voice is generally used to either deflect responsibility, or to have no particular ‘doer’ of an action

GLM on Obama’s ‘Yes, We Can!’ victory speech: Ranked Among the Greatest

See “The Colbert Report’s”  Send-up of GLM’s Oval Office Analysis

A previous analysis using GLM’s NarrativeTracker™, found the president’s primary narrative arc to be that of ‘Obama as an Oil Spill Enabler’.  Nothing in the address would appear to change that narrative, though formal analysis will be forthcoming in the next week.

Kathleen Parker’s ‘Empiracally Vacuous Meme-replication’

Alternet’s Dumbing Down of Obama’s speech to the seventh-grade level.

The Readability Analysis of the Oval Office address appears below:

  • Passive Voice — With some 13% passive constructions, the highest level measured in any major presidential address this century.  In political speaking, the passive voice is generally used to either deflect responsibility, or to have no particular ‘doer’ of an action, at least when speaking about himself or his Administration.  Otherwise, BP was the clear ‘doer’.
  • Sentence Length — Obama’s spoke in long, though well-crafted, sentences about 20 words in length.
  • Sentences per Paragraphs – Just below four sentences per paragraph.  Usually four sentences in a paragraph would be quite easy to understand, but the 19.8 words per sentence, added some difficulty for his target audience.
  • Characters per words – Obama’s words had an average of 4.5 letters in them, a bit longer than typical for him.
  • Flesch Reading Ease – Reading Ease came in at 59.1. The Closer to 100, the easier to read.  This is well within the normal range for Oval Office Addresses.
  • Flesch-Kincaid Grade-Level – 9.8 Grade Level.  This is the highest of any major Obama speech.  Obama’s closest match among recent presidents is Ronald Reagan, whose speeches generally ranged from the 9th to 10th grade levels.  (President George W. Bush usually spoke at a seventh grade level.)

Grade-Level comparisons with other speeches of note include:

Kennedy Inaugural Address       10.8

Reagan ‘Tear Down This Wall”   9.8

Lincoln “Gettysburg Address”     9.1

Martin Luther King: ”I have a dream”   8.8

Obama 2004 Democrat Convention      8.3

Obama Victory Speech “Yes, we can”   7.4

“The scores indicate that this was not Obama at his best, especially when attempting make an emotional connection to the American people,” said Paul JJ Payack, president of GLM.  “For example, the numbers are significantly different than the ‘Yes, I can” speech, which many consider his best effort.”

Read More:

How Obama lost control of the oil-spill narrative (Colleen Ross, CBC)

Keep Presidential Speeches Smart (Trevor Butterworth, Forbes)

Textbook Obama (New York Magazine by Chris Bonanos)

Obama Narrative 2.0 (GLM)

The President, the Spill and the Narrative that got away (Simon Mann, The Age)

FAQs about GLM, Paul JJ Payack, and the Million Word March



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Obama Narrative 2.0

Five Narratives Compete for the Title Tuesday Night


Austin, TX, June 15, 2010 – There are now five main narrative ‘arcs’ competing for the Obama Narrative 2.0 title, the underlying storyline that will largely define the president in the run-up to the Mid-term elections and, possibly, for time remaining in his term.

The ‘narrative’ refers to the stream of public opinion captured by blogs and other social media outlets on the Internet, as well as the leading print and electronic databases.

The Global Language Monitor’s NarrativeTracker™, found the primary narrative arcs in descending order of importance to be:

1.    Obama as Oil Spill Enabler – OK, he didn’t cause it, but in today’s parlance, he appears to be enabling the perpetrators (BP or British Petroleum).  It’s score was some fifteen times higher than that of No. 5, Healthcare Reform.

2.    Obama as the Big Spender – This is a good story line if your goal is to play to the left.  Independents and the right see it as far less favorable.  Spending is have ten times the impact as that of Healthcare Reform.

3.    Obama as the Chicago-style pol – Since the beginning of the year, this narrative is up 640%.  Good for Chicagoland, not so favorable for the rest of the nation.

4.    Obama as out-of-touch or aloof – Taking time to ascertain whose ‘ass to kick’ and calling in an ever growing number of academics to resolve problems usually left to Red Adair (or Bruce Willis) has resulted in a thirteen hundred percent rise in this narrative arc.

5.    Obama as HealthCare Reformer – The bloom is off this rose far more quickly than such a triumph would typically entail. It has fallen from the No. 1 position just a few months ago.

“As of this moment, Obama Narrative 2.0 will emerge far less favorable than that of 1.0:  the  Washington outsider, who will stare-down both Beltway denizens and Politics as usual,” said Paul JJ Payack, president of GLM.  “The Narratives emerging from this inexorably slowly unfolding ecological disaster are running roughshod over those earlier, far-more positive narratives the president is attempting to revive.

The rise of the narrative can render positions on the issues almost meaningless, since positions now matter less than how they fit into a particular narrative. The NarrativeTracker is more effective in capturing the true opinion of the public because it tracks unfiltered keywords in Social Media and other sources, rather than how that opinion is interpreted by the news media or by pollsters.

The NarrativeTracker is based on the GLM’s Predictive Quantities Indicator™ (PQI™). The PQI tracks the frequency of words and phrases in global print and electronic media on the Internet, throughout the Blogosphere and other social media outlets as well as accessing proprietary databases. The PQI is a weighted index that factors in long-term trends, short-term changes, momentum, and velocity.

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. For more information, call 1.925.367.7557, send email to pjjp@post@harvard.edu, or visit www.LanguageMonitor.com.



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Making ‘One Whole’ After the Spill

The Associated Press

By Cristina Silva, Saint Petersburg Times

Lambasted by charges that his response to the gulf oil spill comes across as emotionally flat, President Barack Obama has made repeated vows to stand by the victims “until they are made whole.”

His ambitious promise now stands as the rhetoric of choice among political leaders looking to sympathize with those affected by the environmental and financial crisis. Coast Guard Rear Adm. Mary Landry and Gov. Charlie Crist have made near identical pledges and a trio of Democratic congressmen demanded oil giant BP postpone $10 billion in dividend payments to stockholders until “the people of the gulf (are) made whole.”

Problem is, what does it mean?

”That is the one question I have been asking for five weeks,” said Orange Beach Mayor Tony Kennon, who fears the sheets of oil sliding toward the shores of his Alabama tourist haven will bring new financial hardships after weeks of canceled hotel reservations and half-empty seafood shacks. “That is the one question we need to know before we can move forward.”

Politicians are well aware of the power of words.

Obama, a legal scholar with a penchant for headline-grabbing speeches, hasn’t elaborated on his definition of “made whole,” but his repetition suggests he thinks it is a good message. It means he wants to help. It means he cares. But, as with many political messages, “made whole” has more than one layer.

In legal jargon, “made whole” implies full restitution. A stolen laptop is replaced. Hospital bills are paid. A cracked windshield is repaired.

But the Gulf of Mexico crisis likely won’t be so easily resolved. Some losses could be hard to prove in court or even single out, creating a complicated web of cause and effect that might not immediately produce a culprit, said economic and legal scholars.

”What (Obama) said is true. They (BP) are going to be responsible for the damage they did,” said Fred Levin, a trial lawyer in Pensacola. “The question is, what is the damage they did?”

In other words, will those indirectly hurt by the oil spill be “made whole,” too? Or does the promise only apply to the victims who can successfully make their case in court?

Consider some potential ramifications. If affected business owners can no longer afford to send their children to private schools, should the schools file a claim? If the private schools hire fewer teachers because of declining enrollment, do the unemployed teachers get help? And if those teachers then can no longer afford to buy quality meat from the local supermarket, how does the supermarket prove its losses are tied to the oil spill?

It’s simply not clear, said Peter Henning, a former federal prosecutor who teaches criminal law at Wayne State University in Detroit.

”To the extent you are talking about just the cleanup, yes, BP is on the hook, but to the extent that you are saying we are going to return these communities to what they were, the law does not appear to extend that far,” he said. “While it is couched in legal terms, this is really more of a political promise than a legal assertion.”

Wordsmiths countered “made whole” is not an abstract concept.

”To ‘make whole’ means exactly what it says, meaning not to kind of prop you up, not to give you some aid, but to put you back precisely where you were,” said Paul JJ Payack , president of the Global Language Monitor based in Austin, Texas, which analyzes speech. “It is a very precise choice of words and they know it.”

BP so far has paid $49 million to individuals or small businesses through its claims process and sent out roughly 18,000 checks, spokesman Max McGahan said.

”We have said we will compensate individuals and businesses in full for whatever damages or loss of income has resulted from the oil spill. We have made that commitment very clearly,” McGahan said.

He declined to address the “made whole” pledge.

Read More in the St Petersburg Times



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Flashback: Gulf Oil Spill and Rise of the Narrative in Politics

Flashback: Gulf Oil Spill and Rise of the Narrative in Politics
The Importance of  Tracking Evolving Narratives
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Gulf Oil Spill Vs. Katrina
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Obama vs. BP
The Lesson of the Gulf Oil Spill narrative is the importance of controlling the narrative since whoever wins of the narrative, controls the story in terms of political capital for good or ill.

Austin, TX, June 02, 2010 (Updated May 24, 2014) In an exclusive analysis by The Global Language Monitor’s NarrativeTracker™, there are now several differing story lines emerging from the Gulf Oil Spill. The ‘narrative’ refers to the stream of public opinion captured by blogs and other social media outlets on the Internet, as well as the leading print and electronic databases.

Colleen Ross:  How Obama Lost Control of the Oil-Spill Narrative (CBC)

The Narratives emerging from this on-going (and slow-moving) disaster include: Obama was Slow to Respond – 95% of the social media conversations characterize President Obama as ‘slow to respond’. Obama vs. BP: who’s in charge? 52% see BP in charge of the spill. This may or may not be a political liability. Democrats need the blame assigned to BP; at the same time, Obama needs to be seen as in overall control of the disaster Worst environmental disaster ever – 42% see the current spill the worst environmental disaster ever. Federal Response 57% see the Federal response using ‘poor’ or related keywords. Not a good month for the Feds; come to think of it, not a good year for the Feds. Katrina vs. Exxon Valdez – 61% make the comparison to the Exxon Valdez; about 39% compare the ongoing spill to the inundation of New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

 

Biblical Prophecies Abound Once More About 61% of all references involve the Bible. (Even Ted Turner has a theory how the oil spill might be a warning from God.) These are markedly different in tone than those used with Katrina where the references focused on apocalyptic imagery, End-of-the-World scenarios and doom. The Obama Style of Leadership – This is a close one 52% see Obama as ‘hand’s on’ leadership, 48% see ‘hand’s off’. Again, this is either positive or negative depending on your political bias.

Clarence Page:  How stories, true or not, drive politics

Ronald Reagan was seen as a ‘hand’s off’ president and that was considered good. Jimmy Carter was a ‘hand’s on’ type president and that was considered bad. “The development of the Gulf Oil Spill narrative is important to track since he who wins control of the narrative, controls the story in terms of political capital – for good or ill,” said Paul JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst of GLM. “With the mid-term elections just five months away, and the prospect of the Gulf Oil Spill continuing unabated for months, control of the narrative is more important than ever.” The rise of the narrative can render positions on the issues almost meaningless since positions now matter less than how they fit into a particular narrative.

The NarrativeTracker is more effective in capturing the true opinion of the public because it tracks unfiltered keywords in Social Media and other sources, rather than how that opinion is interpreted by the news media or by pollsters. The term ‘narrative’ in this sense is now appearing thousands of times in the global media on the Internet and blogosphere as well as throughout the world of social media, meaning the main streams of public opinion running in the media that needs to be fed, encouraged, diverted or influenced by any means possible. GLM recently announced The Healthcare NarrativeTracker Index™ (NTI™), in partnership with OpenConnect Systems of Dallas. The Healthcare NTI is the first product specifically designed to use social media-based monitoring to better understand the issues driving healthcare reform, providing a real-time, accurate picture of what the public is saying about any topic related to healthcare, at any point in time. The NarrativeTracker is based on the GLM’s Predictive Quantities Indicator™ (PQI™).

The PQI tracks the frequency of words and phrases in global print and electronic media on the Internet, throughout the Blogosphere and other social media outlets as well as accessing proprietary databases. The PQI is a weighted index that factors in long-term trends, short-term changes, momentum, and velocity. About the Global Language Monitor Austin-Texas-based Global Language Monitor analyzes and catalogs 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.

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Mandela Tops All Media Funerals, except John Paul IIs, Since 1997

No. 3 Ronald Reagan, No. 4 Princess Diana, No. 5 Michael Jackson, No. 6 Mother Teresa
Lady Thatcher Does Not Make the Cut

Ranked by TrendTopper Internet MediaBuzz

Austin, TX January 2014 – In an exclusive analysis performed by the Global Language Monitor, the death of Nelson Mandela has topped those of all global influencers since 1997 with the exception of Pope John II, back in 2005.

The emergence of Nelson Mandela into the No. 2 position is a testimony to the universal appeal of the man and his ideals, said Paul JJ Payack, president and the Chief Word Analyst of GLM, especially in a time when superficialities such as twerking and the taking of so-called selfies, seem to monopolize the airways in all their many forms.

The re-emergence of John Paul II into the top spot also is seen by some as a worthy tribute to a man who helped end Communisms grip over Eastern Europe and beyond.  The legacy of  Ronald Reagan presidency is viewed as transformational by both US political parties which can account for his continued high regard.

John Paul II and Nelson Mandela Lead the Lisrt
John Paul II and Nelson Mandela Lead the Lisrt

 

Pope John Paul II
Pope John Paul II

 

Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan

 

 

Princess Diana
Princess Diana

 

Mother Teresa
Mother Teresa

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Nelson Mandela took the No. 2 spot, ahead of Ronald Reagan (2004), Princess Diana (1997), the mother of the future line of British Monarchy, including Prince William, his wife Kate and their new son, George, Michael Jackson (2009) the entertainment icon, Mother Teresa (1997).

Lady Thatcher, the long-serving British Prime Minister who died last April just missed the survey cutoff.Read more

Obama and the null set narrative

Reprinted from The Hill, May 31, 2009

Obama and the null set narrative

By Paul JJ Payack

We have been analyzing the narrative of Barack Obama for some years now. In fact, we’ve tracked three differing narratives in the course of his campaign and the first term of his presidency. We’ve tracked the president’s highs (the Yes we can! Grant Park Speech, and others of soaring rhetoric), and his lows (the much more pedestrian Gulf Oil Spill effort).

We’ve been praised for our astute analysis, and condemned for announcing his premature political death. At the time, the Global Language Monitor’s analysis of the BP Oil Spill speech was actually pulled off CNN and replaced by a far milder critique. In retrospect, that speech was a harbinger of what was to come — Barack Obama bereft of Hope and Change.

Not that we didn’t have hints about of what was about to transpire. Consider the disposition of these hope-and-change type promises: (1) the immediate shutdown of Guantanamo, (2) the end of the K Street revolving door and (3) holding the bankers accountable for their part in the financial meltdown. How exactly do you make sense of these countervailing (or even contradictory) positions?

Obama and the null set narrative.

Now consider the president’s recent speech on U.S. defense policy: after ramping up the use of drones against enemy combatants, with hundreds of civilians deaths by the administration’s own estimate, he stands firmly against gratuitous drone strikes. After keeping Gitmo open for going on five years now, he will now do everything in his power to close it. How to make sense of these seemingly oppositional positions?

The null set narrative.

In the run-up to the 2010 midterms, we began to formally track the president’s narrative. We were curious to better understand how the word ‘narrative’ rose to be the No. 1 political buzzword at that time and what it meant to this presidency. Other terms frequently used to describe Obama at the time, included: detached, aloof, hands-off or professorial. Some took these words to be demeaning and/or insulting.

Clarence Page of the Chicago Tribune wrote, “The danger comes when politicians and their operatives essentially use narrative … the version of the truth that they want us to believe even when they dont believe it.”

Since his reelection last November, we have remained silent on the subject — awaiting the second term narrative to emerge. With the recent series of crises, scandals and/or events, we now are, indeed, witnessing this new narrative: the null set narrative.

Consider, if you will, the current plight of one Jay Carney.

It is always interesting how one’s attributes can be used to praise or condemn depending on the narrative in which they are described.

However, this is a narrative that can fit around any news, story or scandal; more to the point, it is completely irrelevant to the words ensconced within it. Any words, anytime, anywhere. This is the narrative of choice for the administration at this point in time.

And now detached, aloof, and hands-off are the favored phrases in this administration’s null set narrative.

Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/the-administration/302749-obama-and-the-null-set-narrative#ixzz2UuzupYr7

 

2013 Major Golf Championships Ranked by Internet Media Buzz

British Open No. 1 by the wide margin, Masters No. 2

 

In Analysis The Players Ranks higher than the PGA

 

Biggest Problem:  Nicklaus adds three Majors (to 21), Woods adds only one (to 15).

Austin, Texas. May 11, 2013. (Updated)  Open Championship has been declared the Top Golf Major by Internet Media Buzz, according to an analysis using Global Language Monitors Sports Brand Affiliation Index (S-BAI).

One major point of resistance:  By elevating the Players to Major Status means Nicklaus adds three Majors to his total (to 21), while Woods adds only one (to 15).
The S-BAI analysis compared the strength of affiliation of each of the currently recognized events (The Masters, The US Open, The Open Championship or British Open and the PGA Championship) to the concept of major championship.  GLM then added the Players Championship for comparison with the four recognized events.  In an associated finding, the Players Championship has entered into the top ranks of the golfing world as one of the sports major championship events or Majors.  In fact, the Players Championship is in a virtual tie with the US Open for third.
There are now five Majors by MediaBuzz Concensus
There are now five Majors by MediaBuzz Consensus
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The Open Championships S-Brand Affiliation Index (147.59) was followed by the Masters at 106.62.  The US Open and Players Championships finished in a virtual tie for third at 90.74 and 90.17, respectively.  The Open Championship scored nearly twice as high as the PGA Championship (79.40).
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Ranklng the Golf Majors by Sports BAI 
1.  The British Open 147.59
2.  The Masters  106.62
3.  The US Open  90.74
4.  The Players  90.17
5  The PGA  79.40
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After forty years, the Players Championship has earned its place among the Major Golf Championships, said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of GLM.   Forty years is certainly an excellent vantage point to judge its worthiness. And the data has spoken.
Payack added,  Since 1860 The Open is the championship against which all future Majors would be judged.  Now over one hundred and fifty-years later, we see that it towers above all others in the world of golf.
In the early to mid 20th century, the Majors were considered to be those tournaments won by Bobby Jones during his historic 1930 season:  the US and British Amateurs, the Open Championship and the US Open. Later Jones own tournament, the Masters, gained in importance as did the Western Open (considered a Major by many for a number of decades) as the British PGA fell from favor.  As recently as 1960 there was no official recognition of the Majors, as such.
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For this analysis, GLM employed proprietary ‘algorithmic methodologies’ such as the Brand Affiliation Index.  The BAI computes and details the relative brand equity of people, products or events based on the analysis of global discourse, providing a real-time, accurate assessment at any point in time.  To do so, GLM analyzes the billions of pages on the Internet, millions of blogs, the top 175,000 global print and electronic media, as well as Twitter and new social media sources, as they emerge.
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GLM will perform another analysis following the conclusion of the 2013 Majors.
About Global Language Monitor:  We Tell the World What the Web is Thinking
Founded in Silicon Valley, Austin, Texas-based GLM collectively documents, analyzes and tracks trends worldwide, with a particular emphasis upon the English language. For more information, individualized reports, or a monthly subscription, call 

Obama: du candidat super star au président mal aimé

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La couverture de l’élection de Barack Obama a été sans commune mesure avec les élections présidentielles de 2000 et 2004. Jacques Portes explique pourquoi le président des Etats-Unis na pas réussi à transformer ce succès planétaire en atout au cours de son mandat. Extraits de Obama, vers un deuxième mandat ? (1/2).

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Not the Thrilla in Manila, but Certainly Nasty in Nassau

Austin, TEXAS.  October 17, 2012.  The President Obama of yore (2008, that is) showed up at the debate  last night and so was hailed the victor.  In fact, the numbers show that it was not that Romney faltered.  He did not.  Rather it was the President who recovered from his first debate debacle (as viewed by his strongest supporters).

The numbers reveal the story.  First, keep this number in mind:  7.4.  This is the grade level of Obamas most widely hailed speech, the Yes, We Can! Grant Park victory speech.  Yes, We Can! is widely perceived as a classic to be enshrined in the American Oratory Hall of Fame along side Martin Luther King, Jr.s I have a dream, Lincolns Gettysburg Address, and Ronald Reagans City on a Hill speeches.

In the first Presidential debate, Obamas grade level came in at 9.2.  For a debate, with all its give-and-take, interruptions, pauses and the like, that was a rather high number. A Town Hall meeting is definitely not the place for the  grandiloquent turn of phrase, especially when you are trying to woo the undecided citizens of the land with plain speakin no matter how uncomfortable that might be.

We all told in sixth grade that a newspaper should be written at the sixth-grade level, which from the sixth-grade perspective  can be quite a challenge.  What this really translates to is short sentences, concise paragraphs, fewer polysyllabic words, and all written in active voice.

As an example, Joe Biden spoke at a sixth grade level (6.1) in the vice presidential debate and there were few who claimed the inability to understand Ol Joe.   (Unfortunately, these tests do not evaluate facial expressions.)  In last nights debate , Obama scored 7.2 in the grade-level score, about 28% lower (and in this case better) than his first debate and nearly identical to his Grant Park discourse.

Both Romney and Obama cut their used of passive voice nearly in half  from 6% to 4% and 3%, respectively.  Active voice, where the subject is the doer of the action, is always preferred over passive voice in political discourse since it can be used to avoid responsibility.  (Taxes were raised rather than I raise raised the taxes.)

Finally, Obamas reading ease score improved over 8% from 63.1 to 70.1; Romneys remained a bit higher at 71.0.

In champion fights, the unwritten rule is that you never take the current champs crown away on points unless the victory is overwhelming.  Last night the President showed up to fight, and thus is awarded the victory on points.  So the Presidential Debate series now stands even at 0ne all, with the rubber (and deciding) match to take place next week.

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The Final Narrative of Barack Obama

Austin, Texas.  October 9, 2012  The controversy swirling around Obamas debate performance  completely misses the point.  For better or worse, this is it. Stripped of all pretension. Devoid of the catch phrases and the swoons. Minus the Hollywood glam. This is he. Barack Obama. The man, unadorned.  No longer do we see Obama through a glass dimly. Now we see him for who he is. This is neither to embellish nor dis-embellish the man. This is to see things for what they are and not what they ought or ought not to be.

At the Global Language Monitor we understand that life is not an exit poll; we cannot shape the reality of how we just voted. It is a zero-sum thing, a binary action, a one or a zero, a yes or a no. In the same manner we have tracked the narrative of Barack Obama the preceding five years, stripped of all adornment, searching for the reality that was all too frequently, standing right before us, actually in our midst, if only we had the will to open our eyes to see.

Of course we have unabashedly published our findings along the way but at that time our findings seemed a bit out-of-step, as indeed they were. Out-of-step with the perceived reality, but in step with reality as it was. Unlike most of life, a new president is graced with a honeymoon period, when missteps are overlooked, forgotten, or forgiven.  This is not the suspension of disbelief  that allows us to enjoy a fantastical story in the cinema but rather a suspension of self-interest, where we put aside our partisan differences and wait.  We wait for the cues and signals, both small and large, that will reveal the intentions, proclivities, and (dare I say it?) the character of the incumbent.

For some presidents this grace period is over nearly before it starts (Gerald Ford and George W. Bush come to mind).  For others, it lasts a bit longer (George H.W. Bush), and for others longer still (Ronald Reagan).    In the case of Barack Obama, the situation was markedly different.  Being a black man, most Americans wanted him to succeed precisely because he was a black man.  As a relative outsider, he was a welcome break from the recent past (and impending future) Bush 41, Clinton 42, Bush 43, Clinton 44?

Being a newcomer, he was the classic tabula rasa, a blank slate upon which we could pour upon all our hopes and dreams.  And change?  Who on this planet did not want  change from the preceding eight years:  a divisive and disputed election, global terrorism and 9/11, two wars in the Middle East, a devastating tsunami, the inundation of one of Americas great cities, and to top it off, the global financial meltdown. All this being so, Barack Obama began his presidency with an extraordinarily large reservoir of good will.  Lets call this reservoir the Hope and Change Quotient (HCQ).

During Obamas first days in office, the nation was engulfed in anger and rage? GLM analyzed the situation back in February 2009 and found that what was being reported as anger was actually frustration, while what was being reported as rage was actually despair, a sense of foreboding or impending doom. GLM followed this rather odd undercurrent during the earliest, most hopeful, days of the Obama administration. The results were striking, especially, in contrast to the immense outpouring of global goodwill in response to the inauguration of Barack Obama, since the survey included the ten days immediately following Obama’s swearing in.  Some of the keywords showing heightened awareness were Abandoned, Despair, Desperation, and Fear all appearing in the media with double digit increases over the pre-election period.   This was perhaps an abberation we thought, but as we moved forward, the pattern continued unabated.

We saw a turning point with the Gulf Oil Spill speech.  This was the opportunity to show the world how a US President would properly respond to a major crisis threatening the Gulf Coast, the ecosystem, and the forces of nature and the evil of Man (an arrogant CEO from Central casting, BP, Halliburton, and a 247 Spill Cam spewing forth colorful filth, worthy of  a Dreamworks 3-D treatment.   And what did we get?  We got what we had been measuring for the preceding two years:  Obama 2.0, with an academic-sounding speech detailing a broad plan for an alternative-energy future and few specifics, and little of the hell-and-brimstone his followers had hope for.

By now it was becoming apparent for all to see.   This was a changed and changing man, at least how he revealed himself publicly through speech.  By time the 2010 Mid-Terms delivered their shellacking the transformation was nearly complete.   With a few noteworthy exceptions, such as his Tuscon eulogy,which ranked among his best, the President has appeared less-and-less engaged, more-and-more distant.

In July we noted that the top political buzzwords were telling a far different story than either campaign was presenting to the American people.  Our analysis found that Bush was clearly assigned responsibility for the so-called Great Recession, while Obama was responsibility for the economys current condition, just as concern over Bain Capital and the war against women were of less and little concern respectively.  In other words, the American people saw the issues as if the virulent political ads of both parties did not exist.  In contrast Still believe the American Dream  was No. 5 and Disappointment in Obama Administration was No. 6.

At the same time, the Hope and Change Quotient has nearly been depleted, this being the normal course near the end of every presidents first term in recent memory.   The President has finally been vetted.  We now know the man, his strengths, weaknesses, and his proclivities.  This is not to say that he will not win in his bid for re-election.  But this is to say, that for better or worse, this is it.

This is the final narrative of Barack Obama.

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GLM used NarrativeTracker Technology in this study. NarrativeTracker is based on the global discourse, providing a real-time, accurate picture of what any audience is saying about any topic, at any point in time. NarrativeTracker analyzes the Internet, the top global print and electronic media, as well as new media sources as they emerge.

Paul JJ Payack is the president and Chief Word Analysts of Austin-based Global Language Monitor.

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Olympic (Ambush) Competition Officially Under Way

Ambushers Leading Sponsors 33-17

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Billions of Dollars in Brand Equity at Stake

AUSTIN, Texas.  July 18, 2012 Of the Top Fifty Brands affiliated with the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games only seventeen are official sponsors.  This according to the latest Brand Affiliation Index (BAI) analysis by the Global Language Monitor, the Internet media trend tracking company.  The longitudinal study began in July 2011 and tracks the top three tiers of official Olympic sponsorship, as designated by the LOGOC and the IOC.

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Fortunately in the Olympics there is no mercy rule, where a winner is declared in a contest to reach twenty-one, when one side scores the first 11 points, said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of GLM.   Of the top official and non-affiliated marketers in the current study, the first twelve fall into the non-affiliated category.

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Some seventy-five brands are studied including the twenty-five premier official sponsors divided into three tiers:  The TOP partners, which pay approximately one hundred million pounds for the privilege,  the Official Olympic Partners, and the Official Olympic Sponsors.  Together these sponsors pay an estimated 30% of the cost of staging the games.

There are a number of other levels and forms of sponsorship including national sponsorships such as the USOC.  The real cost of being a TOP partner ranges from a $500 billion to over a trillion dollar investment to companies that sign on for sponsorships spanning several Olympiads.

For these rankings GLM measured the strength of the brand affiliation for each official Olympic sponsor against those of their primary non-affiliated competitors. Though ‘ambush marketing’ is well understood to mean an organization knowingly exploiting a brand affiliation with the Games without the benefit of official sponsorship, all perceived Olympic affiliations according to their presence in the global media, and statistically linked to the London Games, qualify for GLM’s Ambush Marketing rankings.

Ambushing by Non-affiliated Marketers is more than Michael Phelps pitching sandwiches; it is a years-long effort to create a pseudo-sponsorship to leverage the good-well generated by having the Olympics with ones brand.

The GLM Brand Affiliation Index for this analysis,ranged from a high of 797.90 (Royal Philips} to a low of 1.50 for VisaCard.  The higher the score, the closer the brand affiliation with the event.

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The Top Twelve (all Ambushers), along with their tiers, are Listed below:

1 Royal Philips TOP-A
2 CVC Capital OOP-A
3 ExxonMobil OOP-A
4 Manpower OOS-A
5 Schroders OOP-A
6 IBM Global TOP-A
7 E ON Energy OOP-A
8 KPMG OOS-A
9 Deutsche Telekom OOP-A
10 BASF TOP-A
11 EI DuPont TOP-A
12 Cable & Wireless OOP-A

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As you can see for the above rankings, Business-to-Business brands are being subjected to the sames ambush marketing forces as B2C marketers.

Royal Philips is crushing GE by over 20:1 margin; ExxonMobil bests BP by a similar margin; and BASF and DuPont are both striding past Dow.

The Top Ten Official Sponsors ranked from No. 13 to No. 39 overall.  They are listed below, along with their tiers.

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1 BT Group OOP
2 Cadbury OOS
3 BMW OOP
4 Adidas OOP
5 Panasonic TOP
6 McDonald;s TOP
7 Coca-Cola TOP
8 UPS OOS
9 P&G TOP
10 EDF energy OOP
11 Arcelor Mittal OOS
12 Samsung TOP

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Though listed at the top official sponsor, the BT group actually ranks behind both Deutsche Telekom and Cable&Wireless.

Cadbury, McDonalds and Coca-Cola are doing quite well for their investments in spite of the efforts to derail their sponsorships on the grounds of their contributing to a so-called obesogenic environment.  Adidas is currently doubling Nikes number.  P&G  continues to excel with their Moms campaign.  Arcelor Mittal is a surprise standout for a company previously little known to the public.

GLM has been measuring the effects of Ambush marketing on the Olympic Movement for the last three Olympiads, in the process accumulating perhaps the most extensive database of its kind.   For London 2012, GLM began tracking the three tiers of official sponsors since the third quarter of 2011.  GLM also tracks the brand equity of the athletes before and during the Games. For more information, call +1.512.801.6823, email info@LanguageMonitor.com, or click on www.LanguageMonitor.com

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Ambush Marketers Continue to Dominate

Olympic Ambush Marketers Continue to Dominate London 2012

Nike over Adidas; BA Trails Three Competitors; Subway and Pizza Hut Top McDonald’s


Kate Middleton ‘Brand’ Tops Coke, Adidas, and BA

Austin, Texas. Weekend May 4-6, 2012.  Ambush Marketers continue to dominate the run-up to the London Summer Games.  In fact ‘non-affiliated marketers’ took 27 of the top 50 spots measuring effective brand activation by the Global Language Monitor’s Brand Affiliation Index (BAI).

This despite the recent tightening of the rules by the IOC,  The GLM BAI rankings are not simply a matter of pride or bragging rights but rather a battle for brand equity and the consumer’s mind and the billions of dollars committed to the IOC, which are primarily used to fund the Games.

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“The Olympic movement it is not immune to the historic shifts in communications affecting all institutions worldwide,” said Paul JJ Payack, founding president of the Global Language Monitor. “The seemingly all-pervasive media ensure that the flow of information can be stopped neither by national boundaries nor institutional gatekeepers.   There is no reason to think that marketing activities are immune from such forces.  In fact, marketing has been one of the foremost purveyors of new media technology.”

For these rankings GLM measured the strength of the brand affiliation for each official Olympic sponsor against those of their primary non-affiliated competitors. Though ‘ambush marketing’ is well understood to mean an organization knowingly exploiting a brand affiliation with the Games without the benefit of official sponsorship.

All perceived Olympic affiliations according to their presence in the global media, and statistically linked to the London Games, qualify for GLM’s Ambush Marketing rankings.

The GLM Brand Affiliation Index for this analysis, ranged from a high of 524.45 to a low of 1.49.  The higher the score, the closer the brand affiliation with an event.

GLM has been tracking ambush marketing at the Olympics since the Beijing Games in 2008.  For London 2012, GLM began the three tiers of official sponsors since the third quarter of 2011.  These results are based on a study concluded on May 1,  2012.

With its Branded Individual Index (BII) GLM also tracks the brand equity of the athletes before and during the Games.

The official Olympic sponsors are divided into three tiers:  Worldwide Partners, Official Partners, and Official Supporters. GLM tracks over fifty non-affiliated companies that are direct competitors with the Official Olympic sponsors.

To schedule a confidential consultation, call +1.512.801.6823.

For these rankings, encompassing the first quarter of 2012, GLM measured the strength of the brand affiliation for each official Olympic sponsor against those of their primary non-affiliated competitors. Though ‘ambush marketing’ is well understood to mean an organization knowingly exploiting a brand affiliation with the Games without the benefit of official sponsorship.

All perceived Olympic affiliations according to their presence in the global media, and statistically linked to the London Games, qualify for GLM’s Ambush Marketing rankings.

The top findings include:

  1. McDonald’s is in a tough fight, ranking behind Subway and Pizza Hut, but beating KFC.
  2. Ambusher Nike leads Partner Adidas by a wide margin.
  3. British Airways trails ambushers Lufthansa, United and Air France in the rankings.
  4. Royal Philip outpaced ever-strong GE.
  5. P&G continues to crush ambush competitors as it did in Vancouver.
  6. Ambusher Ericsson Over Supporter Cisco by a 3:1 margin.

The Duchess Effect Meets the Summer Games

One interesting side note is that even the Summer Games are encountering the Duchess Effect.  The GLM BAI analysis showed that when linked with London  2012, Kate Middleton had a closer brand affiliation than a number of top sponsors including Coke, Adidas, BA and Panasonic, among others.

This again demonstrates the power of the ‘Kate Middleton Brand’.  A Tier 1 Olympic sponsor pays about $160 million for the privilege, plus the attendant advertising fees promoting the relationship that can cost upwards of $500 million over the four-year arrangement.  This would suggest that the Kate Middleton Brand could be valued at nearly a billion dollars or more, just in relationship to Summer Games.
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The Top Ten Official Olympic Sponsors by BAI are listed below.

1 Arcelor Mittal Supporter
2 EDF energy Partner
3 BT Group Partner
4 Thomas Cook Supporter
5 UPS Supporter
6 Lloyds TSB Partner
7 Cadbury Supporter
8 BP Partner
9 P&G IOC
10 ATOS IOC

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The Top Ten non-Olympic Affiliated Marketers by BAI are listed below.

1 Centrica AMB OP
2 Eon Energy UK AMB OP
3 Barclaycard AMB IOC
4 Schroders AMB OP
5 Royal Philips AMB IOC
6 EI DuPont AMB IOC
7 Kraft AMB SUP
8 Ericsson Comm AMB SUP
9 Subway AMB IOC
10 Lufthansa AMB OP

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The Top Twenty Combined Olympic Sponsors and Non-Affiliated Marketers Ranked by BAI.

1 Arcelor Mittal Supporter
2 EDF energy Partner
3 BT Group Partner
4 Centrica AMB OP
5 Eon Energy UK AMB OP
6 Thomas Cook Supporter
7 Barclaycard AMB IOC
8 UPS Supporter
9 Schroders AMB OP
10 Lloyds TSB Partner
11 Cadbury Supporter
12 BP Partner
13 Royal Philips AMB IOC
14 P&G IOC
15 ATOS IOC
16 EI DuPont AMB IOC
17 Kraft AMB SUP
18 Ericsson Comm AMB SUP
19 Subway AMB IOC
20 Lufthansa AMB OP

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The GLM Brand Affiliation Index for this analysis, ranged from a high of 524.45 to a low of 1.49.  The higher the score, the closer the brand affiliation with an event.

GLM has been tracking ambush marketing at the Olympics since the Beijing Games in 2008.  For London 2012, GLM began the three tiers of official sponsors since the third quarter of 2011.  These results are based on a study concluded on March 31,  2012.

With its Branded Individual Index (BII) GLM also tracks the brand equity of the athletes before and during the Games.

The official Olympic sponsors are divided into three tiers:  Worldwide Partners, Official Partners, and Official Supporters. GLM tracks over fifty non-affiliated companies that are direct competitors with the Official Olympic sponsors.

Customized GLM Ambush Marketing Rankings are released monthly up to and following London 2012.  The Ambush Marketing London 2012 report features dozens of charts representing the interrelationship of each company to the Olympic Brand, their competitors and their partners. In addition, the reports contain exclusive and individualized Narrative Tracker analyses, the most advanced trend tracking analytics available. For more information, individualized reports, or a monthly subscription, call +1.512.801.6823 or email info@LanguageMonitor.com

About Global Language Monitor:  ”We Tell You What the Web is Thinking”
Founded in Silicon Valley, Austin, Texas-based GLM collectively documents, analyzes and tracks trends worldwide, with a particular emphasis upon the English language.

GLM employs proprietary ‘algorithmic methodologies’ such as the NarrativeTracker for global Internet and social media analysis.  NarrativeTracker 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 175,000 print and electronic global media, as well as new media sources, as they emerge.  For more information, individualized reports, or a monthly subscription, call  var sc_project=1434069; var sc_invisible=0; var sc_security="3c42bc4e"; var sc_https=1; var scJsHost = (("https:" == document.location.protocol) ? "https://secure." : "http://www."); document.write("");


The President, the Spill and the Narrative that got away

SIMON MANN, The Age, Sydney Australia

The White House lost control of the story, and now Obama is painted as the bad guy.

These days, if you hadn’t already noticed, everyone and everything is ascribed a ”narrative”, something that is to be owned and shaped, that tells a particular story in a particular fashion.

Narratives aren’t necessarily truthful accounts, but they are often powerful and persuasive. They can also be hijacked. If you neglect to write your own narrative, somebody else will write it for you. Which is why US President Barack Obama is no longer travelling to Australia and Indonesia this month. Essentially, his administration lost control of the narrative of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Others have been its lead authors, constructing a story that reads like this: the White House allowed BP too much licence in running the operation to fix the crippled Deepwater Horizon well, too readily trusting the oil giant’s version of events; it left the US Coast Guard alone to marshal the federal response; and it was slow to pick up on the exasperated cries of Gulf communities readying for environmental and economic catastrophe. The authors dared even to suggest that the spill looms as Obama’s “Katrina”.

The President’s response to contentious issues has often been characterised as more cerebral than heartfelt. This is the guy, after all, who makes Cool Hand Luke look jumpy and uptight. And the media has long invited him to “get angry” and “get even”.

It’s not that the administration hasn’t put the hours into combating America’s worst-ever environmental mishap.

Read and See More including ‘Kick ass’ Obama slams critics video where US President Barack Obama rebuts claims that he has been slow to react to the oil spill catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico.

Media Alert!  Global Language Monitor will be releasing its latest Narrative Tracker on The Spill on June 14th




click tracking


Tracking the Gulf Oil Spill Narrative

Obama vs. BP, Exxon Valdez vs. Katrina, Biblical Prophesies, etc.

The development of the Gulf Oil Spill narrative is important since he who wins control of the narrative, controls      the story in terms of political capital – for good or ill.

Austin, TX, June 02, 2010 — In an exclusive analysis by The Global Language Monitor’s NarrativeTracker™, there are now several differing story lines emerging from the Gulf Oil Spill.

The ‘narrative’ refers to the stream of public opinion captured by blogs and othersocial media outlets on the Internet, as well as the leading print and electronic databases.

The Narratives emerging from this on-going (and slow-moving) disaster include:

· Obama was Slow to Respond – 95% of the social media conversations characterize the President Obama as ‘slow to respond’.

· Obama vs. BP: who’s in charge? — 52% see BP in charge of the spill. This may or may not be a political liability. Democrats need the blame assigned to BP; at the same time, Obama needs to be seen as in overall control of the disaster.

· Worst environmental disaster ever – 42% see the current spill the worst environmental disaster ever.

· Federal Response — 57% see the Federal response using ‘poor’ or related keywords. Not a good month for the Feds; come to think of it, not a good year for the Feds.

· Katrina vs. Exxon Valdez – 61% make the comparison to the Exxon Valdez; about 39% compare the ongoing spill to the inundation of New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

· Biblical Prophecies Abound Once More — About 61% of all references involve the Bible. (Even Ted Turner has a theory how the oil spill might be a warning from God.) These are markedly different in tone than those used with Katrina where the references focused on apocalyptic imagery, End-of-the-World scenarios and doom.

· The Obama Style of Leadership – This is a close one 52% see Obama as ‘hand’s on’ leadership, 48% see ‘hand’s off’. Again, this is either positive or negative depending on your political bias. Ronald Reagan was seen as a ‘hand’s off’ president and that was considered good. Jimmy Carter was a ‘hand’s on’ type president and that was considered bad.

“The development of the Gulf Oil Spill narrative is important to track since he who wins control of the narrative, controls the story in terms of political capital – for good or ill,” said Paul JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst of GLM. “With the mid-term elections just five months away, and the prospect of the Gulf Oil Spill continuing unabated for months, control of the narrative is more important than ever.”

The rise of the narrative can render positions on the issues almost meaningless, since positions now matter less than how they fit into a particular narrative. The NarrativeTracker is more effective in capturing the true opinion of the public because it tracks unfiltered keywords in Social Media and other sources, rather than how that opinion is interpreted by the news media or by pollsters.

The term ‘narrative’ in this sense is now appearing thousands of times in the global media on the Internet and blogosphere as well as throughout the world of social media, meaning the main streams of public opinion running in the media that needs to be fed, encouraged, diverted or influenced by any means possible.

GLM recently announced The Healthcare NarrativeTracker Index™ (NTI™), in partnership with OpenConnect Systems of Dallas. The Healthcare NTI is the first product specifically designed to use social media-based monitoring to better understand the issues driving healthcare reform, providing a real-time, accurate picture of what the public is saying about any topic related to healthcare, at any point in time.

The NarrativeTracker is based on the GLM’s Predictive Quantities Indicator™ (PQI™). The PQI tracks the frequency of words and phrases in global print and electronic media on the Internet, throughout the Blogosphere and other social media outlets as well as accessing proprietary databases. The PQI is a weighted index that factors in long-term trends, short-term changes, momentum, and velocity.



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Quantifying the Gulf Oil Spill

A Technical Communications Perspective

How about 50,000 Cars on the Pacific Coast Highway?

Or a 747 with 500 on board flying for 57 minutes?

Austin, Texas, May 20, 2010 — What does 5,000 (or 50,000) barrels of oil a day mean to you?  We’ve been hearing that number for almost a month now.  And there is some debate whether or not those are accurate numbers.  But what does it mean other than ‘a whole lotta oil’?  This is the question that Global Language Monitor President, Paul JJ Payack examined over the last few days in the following analysis.

Metric Conversion:  1 gallon = 3.79 liters; 1 barrel = 158.98 liters; 1 mile = 1.61 kilometers

Listen or Read: KUHF —  Analyst Puts BP Gulf Oil Spill Into Perspectiveto Quantify the Oil Spill at 50,000 Barrels Per Day?

Back when I taught technical and scientific communications at the University of Massachusetts, a key function was to make physical dimensions meaningful to the audience, so we would describe a mainframe computer as the size of a washing machine (used to be an 18 wheeler), a server might be the size of a breadbox (though few have actually seen a breadbox nowadays but we all know it’s about ‘yeah big’).  In the same manner Jupiter is about the size of 80,000 Earths, the Moon’s diameter is about equal to the width of the continental US (or the distance from New York to LA), and you could stuff approximately one million Earths into the Sun.

When you describe the volume of a liquid, such as water, you make comparisons like ‘if you emptied Lake Tahoe – which is nearly 1000 feet deep  —  and spread about 14 inches over the entire state’.

In terms of energy usage, a common description is to equate a megawatt to the number of homes for which it supplies power.  So a one megawatt nuclear reactor, or wind farm, can power about a thousand American homes, or 10,000 homes in less-developed parts of the world.

So what does the 5,000 to 50,000 barrels a day mean?   First question is ‘what’s a barrel’?’  A barrel is filled with forty-two gallons of oil.  So 5,000 to 50,000 barrels equates to some 210,000 to 2.1 million gallons (or 16.8 million half-pints if you’re thinking in terms small milk cartons distributed in schools).

It does not help, of course, when the CEO of BP likens the spill to a drop in the bucket in relation to the capacity of the oceans.  This strikes most people as condescending but it is actually NOT true.  It is far less than a drop in the bucket when compared to the size of the seas, which contain about 321 million cubic miles of water, so even if the spill is now 1 mile deep by 1 mile wide, by 1 mile in height (USGS numbers) that would be far less than a drop (1 part oil to 321,000,000 parts water).  (Though I am definitely not using this explanation to support BP’s argument here.)

Put another way, in light sweet crude you get about 19.5 gallons of gasoline from the 42 gallons of oil.  Now if a typical car gets about 20 mpg on the highway, that would be equivalent to about 390 miles per barrel.

This is the distance from Los Angeles to San Francisco (actually 383 miles). So if the spill has been spewing 5,000 to 50,000 barrels per day since April 20; that is enough to power 5,000 to 50,000 cars a day along the Pacific Coast highway (or the I-5) from San Francisco to LA.

One more equivalency.  747 aircraft in flight with about 500 people on board are estimated to use about use about a gallon of kerosene a second. About 4.1 gallons are distilled from each barrel of oil.  So 5,000 barrels of crude oil produce 20,500 gallons of kerosene, while 50,000 barrels of oil produce 205,000 gallons of kerosene.

This means 5,000 barrels enables a 747 with 500 passengers to fly 5.7 minutes, while the amount of kerosene from 50,000 barrels of crude oil will allow the same plane to fly almost an hour (56.9 minutes).



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NarrativeTracker Analysis Reveals Top Buzzwords in Healthcare Narrative

Top Buzzwords:  Rationing, Out-of-control Spending, Price Controls, Non-sustainable, and Mandate Failure

Dallas and Austin, Texas, May 13, 2010 — In what could presage mounting difficulties for the national healthcare reform roll-out, the top buzzwords associated with the Massachusetts Healthcare Reform ‘narrative’ have been found to be Rationing, Out-of-control-spending, Price Controls, Non-sustainable, and Mandate Failure.   In addition, Gaming the System was the key underlying trend that was discovered.   The results of the Healthcare NarrativeTracker Index™ (NTI™) were reported earlier today by The Global Language Monitor, the media analytics company, and OpenConnect, an innovator in defining and improving process efficiency.

The NTI focused on the unfolding narrative about the Massachusetts Healthcare Reform Law since it is frequently cited as a model for the national legislation.  The analysis was performed to better understand and help clarify the national healthcare reform discourse.

“There is a very good possibility that what we are learning from the Massachusetts Healthcare Reform can be applied directly to the national healthcare reform act,” said Edward ML Peters, CEO of OpenConnect, “And what we are seeing there is a perfect storm of ‘rationing’, out-of-control ‘spending’, ‘price controls’ and ‘unsustainability’ — that have now moved to the forefront of the Massachusetts discussion.”

The top concerns from the on-going narrative concerning Massachusetts Healthcare Reform Law in the immediate aftermath of “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” being signed into law include:

1.  Rationing – Along with related keywords (allocation, etc.) was a strong No.1

2.  Spending Increase – References involving increased spending up 400% for the year

3.  Price Controls — A growing concern; up 1400% for the year

4.  Non-sustainable – Scored 40% higher than ‘sustainable’

5.  Mandate Failure – Experiencing a sustained rise

The NarrativeTracker also found these key underlying trends (nTracker Arc) that are foundational to the main narrative.

1.     The question of quality is supplanted by the issue of ‘fairness’ with fairness being driven by the ‘gaming the system’ arc.

2.     Gaming has come to the fore with stories of individuals abusing (or outsmarting) the system by signing up for healthcare only when a medical procedure is looming.   (In this scenario, the average cost of a month of coverage is $600 while the procedures average about $10,000.)

3.  The mentions of ‘failure’ with the keyword ‘reform’ have been rising steeply, some 240% in the last 60 days.

The analysis was completed in early May 2010.

The NarrativeTracker Index is the first product specifically designed to use social media-based monitoring to better understand the issues driving healthcare reform.  Because the Healthcare NTI is based on the national discourse, it provides a real-time, accurate picture of what the public is saying about any topic related to healthcare, at any point in time.  In addition to the NTI, the nTracker Arc™ follows the rise and fall of sub-stories within the main narrative to provide a comprehensive overview of the opinions surrounding a single issue.

The ‘narrative’ refers to the stream of public opinion captured by blogs and other social media outlets on the Internet.   The rise of the narrative actually renders positions on the issues almost meaningless, since positions now matter less than how they fit into a particular narrative.

The NTI is based on the GLM’s Predictive Quantities Indicator™ (PQI™).  The PQI tracks the frequency of words and phrases in global print and electronic media on the Internet, throughout the Blogosphere and other social media outlets as well as accessing proprietary databases.  The PQI is a weighted index that factors in long-term trends, short-term changes, momentum, and velocity.

The Healthcare NTI will be released on a monthly basis beginning Thursday, May 13, 2010.  The first analysis details the various narratives surrounding Massachusetts Healthcare reform, a healthcare model which has been adopted in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as the national healthcare reform bill.

For more information, call 1.512.901.8836, send email to pauljjpayack@gmail.com, or visit www.LanguageMonitor.com.



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NarrativeTracker

Click Here for the NarrativeTracker Overview

Healthcare NTI™ (NarrativeTracker Index™) is the first social media tracking tool designed to monitor public opinions on healthcare. Because the Healthcare NTI is based on the national (or regional or, even local) discourse – in real time, it provides a more accurate picture of what the public is actually thinking, on any topic, at any point in time.

Click here to go to the OpenConnect NarrativeTracker site.

Press Release:

NarrativeTracker: the First Social Media-based Tracking Tool Announced

NarrativeTracker Index™ to provide policy-makers unbiased public opinion on Healthcare Reform or any other topic.
(Media-Newswire.com) - Dallas and Austin, Texas,  May 12, 2010 – Today, The Global Language Monitor ( GLM ), the media analytics company,  announced the launch of the Healthcare NarrativeTracker Index™ ( NTI™ ), the first product specifically designed to use social media-based monitoring to better understand the issues driving healthcare reform.

Because the Healthcare NTI is based on the national discourse, it provides a real-time, accurate picture of what the public is saying about any topic related to healthcare, at any point in time. In addition to the NTI, the Narrative Tracker Arc™ follows the rise and fall of sub-stories within the main narrative to provide a comprehensive overview of the opinions surrounding a single issue.

The ‘narrative’ refers to the stream of public opinion captured by blogs and other social media outlets on the Internet. The rise of the narrative actually renders positions on the issues almost meaningless, since positions now matter less than how they fit into a particular narrative.

“Just as there are solutions that provide an unprecedented view into a company’s workflows looking for process variations that drive inefficiency and waste, NTI tracks the ‘narrative’ of a subject, as well as projecting future trajectories for the narrative,” said Edward ML Peters,Ph.D.

The result has several advantages over traditional polls:

1 ) Immediacy

2 ) The lack of any bias that tends to creep into traditional polling, e.g., when individuals answer questions with what they think are the ‘correct’ answers rather than their true opinions.

3 ) NTI lets policy and decision makers focus on the true issues driving perceptions and concerns rather than being driven by false and phantom concepts.

In addition, the Narrative Tracker Arc™ follows the rise and fall of sub-stories within the main narrative.

“The goal of influencers, whether it’s the media, advertisers or politicians, is to spin news so that it resonates best with their target audience,” said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of GLMNTI is more effective in capturing the true opinion of the public because it tracks unfiltered keywords in Social Media and other sources, rather than how that opinion is interpreted by the news media or by pollsters.”

The NTI is based on the GLM’s Predictive Quantities Indicator™ ( PQI™ ). The PQI tracks the frequency of words and phrases in global print and electronic media on the Internet, throughout the Blogosphere and other social media outlets as well as accessing proprietary databases. The PQI is a weighted index that factors in long-term trends, short-term changes, momentum, and velocity.

The Healthcare NTI will be released on a monthly basis beginning Thursday, May 13, 2010. The first analysis details the various narratives surrounding Massachusetts Healthcare reform, a healthcare model which has been adopted in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as the national healthcare reform bill.

 

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 25,000 print and electronic media sites.

For more information on NarrativeTracker, call 1.512.801.6823 or send email to PaulJJPayack@gmail.com, or visit www.LanguageMonitor.com.

News Releases

May 13, 2010
NarrativeTracker Provides Unbiased Public Opinion on Healthcare
May 12, 2010
OpenConnect announces first social media tracking tool to monitor public opinions on healthcare

Read What the Media is Saying
May 12, 2010

CNBC.com

OpenConnect Announces First Social Media Tracking Tool to Monitor Public Opinions on Healthcare NarrativeTracker Index(TM) to Provide Policy-Makers Unbiased Public Opinion on Aspects Related to Healthcare
Austin company gauging health care opinion through Web word tracking
OpenConnect Announces First Social Media Tracking Tool to Monitor Public Opinions on Healthcare
OpenConnect Announces First Social Media Tracking Tool to Monitor Public Opinions on Healthcare
OpenConnect Announces First Social Media Tracking Tool to Monitor Public Opinions on Healthcare
OpenConnect Announces First Social Media Tracking Tool to Monitor Public Opinions on Healthcare
OpenConnect Announces First Social Media Tracking Tool to Monitor Public Opinions on Healthcare
OpenConnect Announces First Social Media Tracking Tool to Monitor Public Opinions on Healthcare
OpenConnect Announces First Social Media Tracking Tool to Monitor Public Opinions on Healthcare
OpenConnect Announces First Social Media Tracking Tool to Monitor Public Opinions on Healthcare
Austin company gauging health care opinion through Web word tracking

For More Information Contact:
Paul JJ Payack
pjjp@post.Harvard.edu
512.801.6823



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NarrativeTracker: the First Social Media-based Tracking Tool Announced


Click here for a NarrativeTracker Overview


NarrativeTracker Index™ to provide policy-makers unbiased public opinion on Healthcare Reform

Dallas and Austin, Texas, May 12, 2010 —  Today OpenConnect Systems and The Global Language Monitor have announced the joint launch of the Healthcare NarrativeTracker Index™ (NTI™), the first product specifically designed to use social media-based monitoring to better understand the issues driving healthcare reform. Because the Healthcare NTI is based on the national discourse, it provides a real-time, accurate picture of what the public is saying about any topic related to healthcare, at any point in time. In addition to the NTI, the Narrative Tracker Arc™ follows the rise and fall of sub-stories within the main narrative to provide a comprehensive overview of the opinions surrounding a single issue.

The ‘narrative’ refers to the stream of public opinion captured by blogs and other social media outlets on the Internet. The rise of the narrative actually renders positions on the issues almost meaningless, since positions now matter less than how they fit into a particular narrative.

“Just as the OpenConnect Comprehend solution provides an unprecedented view into a company’s workflows looking for process variations that drive inefficiency and waste, NTI tracks the ‘narrative’ of a subject, as well as projecting future trajectories for the narrative,” said Edward ML Peters, CEO of OpenConnect.

The result has several advantages over traditional polls:

1) Immediacy

2) The lack of any bias that tends to creep into traditional polling, e.g., when individuals answer questions with what they think are the ‘correct’ answers rather than their true opinions.

3) NTI lets policy and decision makers focus on the true issues driving perceptions and concerns rather than being driven by false and phantom concepts.

In addition, the Narrative Tracker Arc™ follows the rise and fall of sub-stories within the main narrative.

“The goal of influencers, whether it’s the media, advertisers or politicians, is to spin news so that it resonates best with their target audience,” said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of GLM.  NTI is more effective in capturing the true opinion of the public because it tracks unfiltered keywords in Social Media and other sources, rather than how that opinion is interpreted by the news media or by pollsters.”

The NTI is based on the GLM’s Predictive Quantities Indicator™ (PQI™). The PQI tracks the frequency of words and phrases in global print and electronic media on the Internet, throughout the Blogosphere and other social media outlets as well as accessing proprietary databases. The PQI is a weighted index that factors in long-term trends, short-term changes, momentum, and velocity.

The Healthcare NTI will be released on a monthly basis beginning Thursday, May 13, 2010. The first analysis details the various narratives surrounding Massachusetts Healthcare reform, a healthcare model which has been adopted in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as the national healthcare reform bill.

About Open Connect

OpenConnect business process discovery and analytics deliver event-driven intelligence to automatically discover workforce, process and customer variations that hinder operational efficiency. Armed with this information, executives can make the quick and incremental improvements that will increase process efficiency, improve employee productivity, reduce cost, and raise profitability. With a rich history of developing innovative technology, OpenConnect products are distributed in more than 60 countries and used by more than 60 percent of Fortune 100 companies. For more information on OpenConnect, visit www.oc.com.

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 25,000 print and electronic media sites.

Go to NarrativeTracker Page

For more information on NarrativeTracker, call 1.512.801.6823, or send email to PaulJJPayack@gmail.com , or visit www.LanguageMonitor.com.




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