At the current pace of a new English-language word created about every 98 minutes, English will cross the Million Word Mark on June 10th, 2009 at 10:22 am (Stratford-on Avon Time)
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Test your vocabulary skills on words about to officially enter the English language
April 28, 2009
Watch: When Does a Word Become a Word?
BBC World Service, April 22, 2009
It’s difficult to track the number of words in the English language, since neologisms–new words–are coined every day. The Global Language Monitor claims our lexicon will welcome its millionth word by the end of this month; other experts disagree.Whenever it does occur, will the millionth word be something from the business world, like “carpocalypse,” describing the state of the automotive industry? Or from Hollywood, like “momager,” the mother of a celebrity who also serves as business manager? In these stories, we look at our changing language and highlight some of the new words that have entered it. Read on and you won’t be an ugsome noob.
Listen to the segment on Morning Edition
Save the Date: English nears a milestone (Christian Science Monitor)
News Forcaster: When will English pass 1 million words?
Current forecast: after 3/30/08 and before 4/30/08 (45% chance)
A Contrary View of the Million Word March
ENGLISH AND ITS ODDITIES ; The word factory keeps producing
English is reaching its 1,000,000th word in 2009!
With over 1.35 billion speakers, English gets new words every day from every corner of the globe — China (airline pulp and no noising), India (fundoo and cutties) and from every human endeavor like politics (Obamamania), entertainment (truthiness, brokeback and Jai Ho!), finance (zombie banks), fashion (chiconomics) and the Internet (Blogosphere).
And please do not attempt to master the global economy without it. Since English is now the global language of technology, business, science, entertainment and the Internet.
Harvard narrowly tops Columbia; Chicago, Michigan and Stanford follow
Wisconsin, Cornell, Princeton, Yale, and Cal in Top Ten
Colorado tops Williams; Amherst, Wellesley and Oberlin follow
Middlebury, Richmond, Union, Vassar, and Bard in Top Ten
Austin, Texas, USA. April 9, 2009. In an exclusive TrendTopper MediaBuzz™ analysis of the nation’s colleges and universities, the Global Language Monitor (www.LanguageMonitor.com) has ranked the nation’s Top 100 colleges and universities according their appearance in the global print and electronic media, as well as on the Internet and throughout the Blogosphere. Social Media were also included. The Top 100 Colleges and Universities were also ranked by Media Momentum, defined as largest change in Media Buzz from the end of 2008.
Read the story in the Harvard Crimson
In the University category, Harvard narrowly topped Columbia by a margin of 1.03%; Chicago moved into the No. 3 spot with Michigan and Stanford following. Wisconsin moved up to No. 6, while Cornell moved up three spots to No. 7, with Princeton, Yale, and the University of California, Berkeley rounding out the Top Ten. Taken as a whole, the University of California system would have outdistanced Harvard for the Top Spot by a wide margin.
Read the story from the University of Wisconsin
In the Liberal Arts College category, Colorado College and Williams repeated as No. 1 and 2 with Amherst, Wellesley and Oberlin all moving up. Middlebury, Richmond, Union (moving up five spots), Vassar, and Bard (moving up six spots) completed the Top Ten.
In the Media Momentum category for universities: CalTech, Emory and Boston College topped the list with George Tech, Tufts, USC, Rice, Georgetown, Vanderbilt, and Brandeis rounding out the Top Ten.
In the Media Momentum category for colleges: Bard College debuted at No. 1 followed by Colorado, Harvey Mudd, Wesleyan, St Olaf College, Grinnell, Holy Cross, Gettysburg, Claremont McKenna College, and St Lawrence.
Go to http://www.languagemonitor.com/college-rankings for the complete Top 100 rankings.
“In a year of financial, intellectual, and political ferment one constant has been the primacy of college brands,” said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst at GLM. “However, they are being scrutinized as seldom before with the differentiators between and among differing schools coming to the forefront.”
GLM used its proprietary Predictive Quantities Indicator (PQI) software for the TrendTopper MediaBuzz Analysis. GLM used the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s classifications to distinguish between Universities and Liberal Arts Colleges. The schools were ranked in early April, with the last day of 2008 as the base, with two interim snapshots.
‘Outrage’ in global media higher than anytime this century
Previous benchmark was in aftermath of 9/11 attacks
Austin, TX March 24, 2009 – The Global Language Monitor has found that the word ‘outrage’ has been used more in the global media this week than anytime this century. The previous benchmark was in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The analysis of the global printed and electronic media was concluded earlier today.
“There is a feeling that the outrage is unprecedented, and the numbers certainly demonstrate the fact. The amount of anger and outrage as reflected in the media is, indeed, unprecedented,” said Paul JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst of the Global Language Monitor.
Martin Waller: City Diary
There is an awful lot of outrage out there – official. There is an outfit in Austin, Texas, the Global Language Monitor, which counts the number of times words are used in the media (no, I am not quite sure why, either, but it’s probably quite easy with a decent search engine).
They have discovered that the word “outrage” has been used more over the past week than any time this century. The last time the word was in widespread use was after 9/11, but usage now surpasses even then. Of course, it’s all down to bankers’ bonuses.
GLM examined word usage in the seven days following significant events including, the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, the start of the Iraq War in 2003, and the week after the Hurricane Katrina disaster in September 2005. The analysis included global print and electronic media.
In particular, the word has been quoted in association with the uproar over the AIG bonuses, as having been used by President Obama, his senior staff, members of congress, commentators, and ordinary citizens at large. The GLM analysis included global print and electronic media since the turn of the 21st century.
The ranking of ‘outrage’ usage in the media:
1. AIX Bonuses, 2009
2. the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001
3. Hurricane Katrina, 2005,
4. Iraq War, 2005
Earlier GLM had reported that words of despair and fear have been drowning out those of ‘Hope’ in the Global Media since Obama’s election as president of the United States on November 4, 2008, with examples abound, including catastrophe, depression, as in full-blown or impending disaster, collapse, and crisis, among many others.
‘Jai Ho!’ and ‘Slumdog’ top HollyWORDs of 2008
followed by ‘Hmong,’ ‘Nuke the Fridge’ and ‘Twinkie defense’
6th Annual Survey by the Global Language Monitor
Austin, TX. February 26, 2009. ‘Jai Ho!’ and ‘Slumdog’ from Slumdog Millionaire top the 2008 list of words from Hollywood that most influenced the English Language in 2008. Closely following were ‘Hmong’ from Gran Torino, ‘Nuke the Fridge’ from Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull and ‘Twinkie defense’ (which followed the events depicted in Milk). It was the first time that two words from the same movie were ranked in the Top Ten. Rounding out the Top Ten were: ‘Djembe’ (The Visitor), “There are no accidents” (Kung Fu Panda), ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you … stranger,” (The Dark Knight), Posthumous (The Wrestler), and Katrina from Benjamin Button.
“2008 was a remarkable year for words in films, with a Hindi phrase, the name of a Laotian tribe, a West African drum, and a modified quotation from Frederick Nietzsche all making the list,” said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of the Global Language Monitor.
The Top Hollywords of the 2008 with commentary follow.
- Jai Ho! (Slumdog Millionaire) – Literally ‘Let there be Victory’ in Hindi.
- Slumdog (Slumdog Millionaire) – Definitely a politically incorrect term for young slum-dwellers in Bombay (Mumbai).
- Nuke the Fridge (Indiana Jones and the ) – Indiana Jones surviving a nuclear blast in a lead-lined fridge is viewed as proof that the franchise has run its course (similar to Fonzi’s Jump the Shark episode on Happy Days).
- Hmong (Gran Torino) – The name of the mountain-dwelling peoples of Laos who were US Allies in the Indochinese Wars of the 1960-70s. Pronounced with a silent ‘h’: mong.
- Twinkie Defense (Milk) – The apocryphal outcome of the trial 1979 trial of Dan White, the former San Francisco Supervisor who killed both Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone. The term was never actually used in the trial but was picked up in the media as a stand-in for ‘diminished capacity’.
- Djembe (The Visitor) – West African percussion instrument that Tarek teaches Walter.
- There are no accidents (Kung Fu Panda) – Oogway’s solemn pronouncement to Master Shifu
- What doesn’t kill you makes you … stranger (The Dark Knight) – The Joker’s twist on the famous Nietzsche epigram.
- Posthumous (The Wrestler) – Yes, that really was Mickey Rourke as a Best Actor nominee, well after he had been pronounced dead many a time.
- Katrina (Benjamin Button) – The ominous and pervasive threat of Katrina framing the movie demonstrates the depth to which the hurricane has penetrated the American subconscious.
Previous Top HollyWord Winners:
2007 “Call it, Friendo,” from “No Country for Old Men”
2006 “High Five!!! Its sexy time!’ from “Borat!”
2005 ‘Brokeback’ from “Brokeback Mountain”
2004 “Pinot” from “Sideways”
2003 ‘’Wardrobe malfunction” from Super Bowl XXXVIII
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.
Opinion: Name current crisis Global Economic Restructuring
• To more precisely describe current economic condition
• To remove emotional freight from the debate
Austin, TX February 17, 2009 – Earlier this month we noted that words of despair and fear of the Global Economic Meltdown have been drowning out those of ‘Hope’ in the Global Media since Obama’s Election as President of the United States on November 4, 2008. The period of the analysis covered 90 days, ending February 3, 2009.
Since that time, the language describing the current financial situation from the administration, the congress and the pundits as reflected in the Global Media has become even more severe. Even a cursory review of the contemporary media bears this out. The favored descriptions include: [Read more.]
‘Despair’ & ‘fear’ drowning out ‘Hope’ in Global Media
Comparison of 90-days since election to 9/11 and Start of Iraq War
Austin, TX February 10, 2009 – The Global Language Monitor has found that words of despair and fear relating to the global economic meltdown are drowning out those of hope in the global media in the ninety days since the US presidential election on November 4, 2008.
With thousands of global headlines centering on the deteriorating global economy followed by news of the human toll of people driven to despair and committing acts of desperation, GLM undertook an analysis of the language used in the global print and electronic media since the US presidential election. GLM then compared their frequency of use to the ninety days following the 9/11 Terrorists attacks on New York and Washington in 2001 and the 90-day period following the outbreak of the Iraq War in 2003. The representative fear-related words chosen: Fear, Despair, Abandoned, Desperate/Desperation.
The analysis found that these words were used in the last ninety days with 18-23% more frequency since the historic Obama election than when compared to their use in the ninety days following the terrorist attacks of 9/11 of 2001 and 90-days following the beginning of the Iraq War in March 2003. The one exception was that of the word fear, itself, though its use in relation to the economic meltdown was still some 85% of its use in the case of 9/11 and the Iraq War.
“The results are striking, especially, in contrast to the immense outpouring of global goodwill in response to the inauguration of Barack Omama, since the survey included the ten days immediately following Obama’s swearing in,” ” said Paul JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst of the Global Language Monitor.
The specific breakdown of the keywords (and related variations) follows:
1. Abandoned — Abandoned appeared some 23% more frequently
2. Despair — Despair appeared some 18% more frequently
3. Desperation – Desperation appeared some 18% more frequently
4. Fear – Fear appeared some 85% of the frequency
Media and Analysts: Call for Graphics
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.
Forbes: Recessionistas in, fashionistas out in bad economy
“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.” [Read More.]
Obama inauguration got unprecedented coverage
LOS ANGELES, Jan 21 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama
’s inauguration generated an unprecedented 35,000 stories in the world’s major newspapers, television and radio broadcasts over the past day — about 35 times more than the last presidential swearing-in — a monitoring group said on Wednesday.
The Texas-based Global Language Monitor said there had also been 6 million new Obama-related mentions on the Internet since Dec. 31.
By comparison, the last U.S. presidential inauguration, of George W. Bush in January 2005, resulted in about 1,000 stories in major media worldwide, Paul JJ Payack, president of Global Language Monitor said.
“The Obama numbers are unprecedented and speak volumes to the global fascination with the new American president, his wife and young family,” Payack told Reuters. “Obama is the biggest story of the century so far.”
U.S. television audience ratings for Tuesday’s inauguration ceremony, which was shown live on major broadcast networks and cable news channels, are expected to show record numbers tuning in when they are released later on Wednesday.
Payack said that according to his group’s monitoring, the Obama campaign and election story had generated 717,000 citations in print, television and radio across the world in 2008 and 254 million mentions on the Internet and in Web blogs.
That surpassed media interest generated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the global financial meltdown in 2008, the Iraq War in 2003 and the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington, Payack said.
The tallies were calculated using the group’s proprietary algorithm which tracks the frequency of words and phrases in the global print and electronic media, the Internet and major databases.
Misunderestimate Tops List of All-time
Compendium of the President’s ‘Greatest Hits’
Austin, TX January 9, 2009 – The Top All-Time Bushisms were released earlier today by the Global Language Monitor (www.LanguageMonitor.com). Topping the List were:
- Mission Accomplished,
- Brownie, you’ve done a heck of a job!
- I’m the decider, and
- I use the Google.
“The era of Bushisms is now coming to an end, and word watchers worldwide will have a hard time substituting Barack Obama’s precise intonations and eloquence for W’s unique linguistic constructions,” said Paul JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst of the Global Language Monitor. “The biggest linguistic faux pas of the Obama era thus far involves the use of the reflexive pronoun myself. This is a refreshing shift from the Bush years.”
The rankings were nominated by language observers the world over and then ranked with the help of the Global Language Monitor’s PQI (Predictive-quantities Indicator). The PQI is a proprietary algorithm that tracks words and phrases in the print and electronic media, on the Internet and throughout the blogosphere.
The Top All-time Bushisms with commentary, follow. [Read More.]
Obama election tops all news stories since Year 2000
More than double all the other major news events COMBINED
Austin, TX December 29, 2008 (MetaNewswire) – The election of Barack Obama to the Presidency of the United States tops all major news stories since the year 2000 according to a analysis released by the Global Language Monitor (www.LanguageMonitor.com). In fact citations of Barack Obama in the global print and electronic media, on the Internet, and throughout the blogosphere more than double the other main stories of the last decade combined. These include in descending order: the Iraq War, the Beijing Olympics, the Financial Tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, the death of Pope John Paul II, the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks and the Asian Tsunami. [Read More.}
Word Christmas Stronger than Ever in Global Media
Contrary to assumption that “Holiday season” pushing Christmas aside
Austin, TX December 23, 2008 (Update) – The Global Language Monitor (www.LanguageMonitor.com) has found that contrary to the assumption that the word Christmas is being pushed aside by more secular or politically neutral terms, ‘Christmas’ is used over 600% more than ‘Holiday Season’ in the global media. GLM compared the use of Christmas along with that of ‘Holiday Season,’ ‘Xmas,’ Hanukah’ in a variety of spellings, and ‘Kwanzaa’. [Read More.]
Obama as a Top Word of the Year
Austin, TX December 5 2008 – In an election cycle known for its many twists and turns, another unexpected result pops up in calculating the Top Words of 2008. According to the analysis performed by the Global Language Monitor’s (www.Languagemonitor.com), the word ‘change’ was the Top Word of 2008, followed by ‘bailout’ and ‘Obamamania’.
“However, it is interesting to note,” said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of GLM, “that if you included ‘obama-’ as a root word or word stem, Obama- in its many forms (ObamaMania, Obamamentum, Obmanomics, Obamacize, Obamanation, and even O-phoria and Obamalot as a stand-in for JFK’s Camelot, etc.), would have overtaken both change, and bailout for the top spot. In a year of footnotes, GLM felt it important to add this interesting linguistic twist to the historical record.” [Read More.]
Change beats Bailout and Obamamania as Top Word of 2008
Financial Tsunami is Top Phrase, Barack Obama is Top Name
Austin, TX December 1, 2008 - Change is the Top Word, Financial Tsunami is Top Phrase, and Barack Obama is Top Name atop the Global Language Monitor’s (www.Languagemonitor.com) annual global survey of the English language. The estimated number of words in the English language stands at 998,751, just 1,249 from the million-word mark.
Watch the CNN Sunday Morning Video
“Global English has been driven by three notable events during the course of 2008: The US Presidential Election, the Financial Tsunami, and the Beijing Olympics.” said Paul JJ Payack, President of The Global Language Monitor.
For 2008 the words were culled from throughout the English-speaking world which now numbers some 1.58 billion speakers and includes such diverse cultures as India, China, Philippines, and the EuroZone. The analysis was completed using GLM’s Predictive Quantities Indicator (PQI), the proprietary algorithm that tracks words and phrases in the media and on the Internet. The words are tracked in relation to frequency, contextual usage and appearance in global media outlets, factoring in long-term trends, short-term changes, momentum and velocity. [Read More.]
10 Most Confusing (yet widely used) High Tech Buzzwords for 2008
Cloud Computing, Green Washing and Buzzword Compliant
Austin Texas November 21, 2008 — In its third annual Internet and media analysis, The Global Language Monitor (www.LanguageMonitor.com) has found the most confusing yet frequently cited high tech buzzwords of 2008 to be cloud computing, green washing, and buzzword compliant followed by resonate, de-duping, and virtualization.
Rounding out the Top Ten were Web 2.0, versioning, word clouds, and petaflop. The most confusing Acronym for 2008 was SaaS (software as a service).
Paul JJ Payack, president of the Global Language Monitor, said “The words we use in high technology continue to become even more obtuse even as they move out of the realm of jargon and into the language at large.”
The Most Confusing Yet Frequently Cited High Tech Words of 2008 with Commentary follow: [Read More.]
The US Presidential Election and the Financial Tsunami
Seemingly chaotic events reflect normalcy of new reality
A Historical Inflection Point
Austin, Texas, USA. October 13, 2008. The worldwide financial tsunami that has captured the attention of the worldwide media (as well as governments, corporations and ordinary citizens), has come to dominate one of the great quadrennial media events of the post-Modern era. No, we are not referring to the Olympics, most recently held in Beijing, or even football’s World Cup but, rather, the US Presidential elections.
The immediate effect of this unprecedented upheaval of global markets is the obfuscation of the clear lines of division offered by the opposing parties in the US Presidential Elections.
There is the sense that we are witnessing an unprecedented historical event; historical in the sense that we now appear to be standing astride (or atop) a cusp in history, a delta, a decision point, what is now called a point of inflection or inflection point.
Watching the nightly news and reading the traditional (for the last two centuries, that is) media, one has the distinct sense that what they perceive as unprecedented almost chaotic circumstances is actually that of the normalcy of the new reality, that of communications at the speed of light that the internet has foisted upon us.
We keep hearing about this most unusual of election cycles, but this is only true when looking through the prism (and historical construct) of the traditional news gathering operations. What is called the 24-hour News Cycle is actually just the tip of the Tsunami washing over the planet at a steady speed and ever-quicker pace. Indeed, the nature of the beast hasn’t change at all. It is our outdated techniques, that haven’t kept up with the new reality: News now emanates at the speed of thought, from tens of thousands or, even, millions of sources.
The nature of a Tsunami is little understood other than the tremendous damage it unleashes when it washes ashore. What we do know, however, is that a tsunami travels in exceedingly long waves (tens of kilometers in length) racing through the oceanic depths at hundreds of kilometers per hour. Only upon reaching the shore is its true destructive power unleashed for all to see (if they survive to witness it at all).
In the same manner, the traditional media become transfixed with the roiling surface seas but fail to acknowledge the more sustained and significant, movements occurring just beneath the surface.
The surface swirls about in fascinating eddies, but the true transformation is occurring as the nearly undetectable waves rush through the open sea only occasionally, though dramatically, making their way onto shore.
In the same manner, the traditional media focuses on the Twenty-four-hour News Cycle but seem to miss the strong and prevalent currents immediately beneath the surface. They vainly attempt to tie global, transformative, and unprecedented events to relatively parochial events and forces (the Reagan Years, the Clinton administration, Bush 41 and 43, the de-regulation initiatives of Alan Greenspan of ‘99) that are being all but over-shadowed (and –whelmed) by unyielding and all-but irresistible forces.
There is an almost palpable sense and correct sense that things are 1) changing forever, 2) out of our control (or even influence), and 3) will have a direct impact upon the planet for generations to follow.
What we can control, and make sense of, however, is a candidate’s wink, smirk or disdainful reference. We can emphatically pin down our opponents into convenient sound bites, hopefully contradicting earlier sound bites. Do you personally take responsibility for Climate Change? (Does the fact that New York City was beneath 5,000 feet of Ice a few dozen centuries ago influence your vote today? A yes or no will suffice!) Is your personal philosophy, whatever it might be, grounded in a belief system that I can systematically debunk and demean. (Yes or no.) Are you for or against atom smashers creating miniscule black holes that may or may not swallow up the Earth? (Answer yes and you are a barbarian; answer no and you have absolutely no respects of the future prospects of the human race.) Did you ever consider yourself a loser (at any point in your life)? Did you ever make the acquaintance of fellow losers?
Nevertheless, the US Presidential Election will proceed to its own conclusion on the first Tuesday of November in the year two thousand and eight.
For the preceding five years, The Global Language Monitor has attempted to clarify the course (and future course) of human events as documented in the English language.
The tools at our disposal have sometimes allowed us to peer into events and trends that become, otherwise, obscured, by the ‘noise’ of the Twenty-four Hour News Cycle.
Our goal was, and continues to be, to extricate (and explicate upon) the true currents underpinning the events we call news, and to better understand what they mean and how they are perceived with the new media reality in mind.
For example, back in the days preceding the 2004 Presidential election cycle, GLM discovered the fact that once ideas, words and phrases were launched into the vast, uncharted, oceanic Internet, they do not, indeed, die out after twenty-four hours but, rather, travel in deep, powerful currents and waves (not unlike those of a tsunami) that only grow stronger as they make their ways to distant shores.
In this new reality, tsunami-like ideas pass through vast seas of information of the Internet, nearly undetected and often unmeasured, until they crash upon our shorelines, where their full power (and possibly fury) is unleashed.
The fact that we only entertain them for 24 hours before they are dispatched into the archives of what is considered ‘past’ or ‘passed’ and readily discarded, is beyond the point.
We often hear that ‘we’ve never seen anything like this’ before. Of course not. Think back a few hundred years to other information revolutions, such as that introduced along with mechanical type. What do you think the fortunate few thought when they first laid their eyes upon the works of Aristotle, the Bible, or the Arabic translations of Euclid? No one had ever seen anything like that before! Indeed.
And astonishment will only become more so as the future unfolds.
– Paul JJ Payack, President & Chief Word Analyst, The Global Language Monitor