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Monitoring the World's Languages
Contact: 1.925.367.7557 or info@LanguageMonitor.com
The Top Word Lists for 2005:
'Refugee', 'Outside the Mainstream' and '(Acts of) God'
Top Word, Phrase and Name of the Year
San Diego, California (December 16, 2005) Refugee, Outside the Mainstream, and (Acts of) God were selected as leading the Top Word, Phrase and Name Lists of 2005 released earlier today by the Global Language Monitor in its annual worldwide survey. The Global Language Monitor (GLM) publishes Year 2005 lists regarding: The Top Words, Top Phrases, Top Names, Global Youth Speak, as well as the Top Word Spoken on the Planet.
"2005 was the year we saw a convergence of a number sometimes contradictory language trends: the major global media became more pervasive yet actually less persuasive; the language spoken by the youth of the world is converging at an ever increasing rate; and the Political Correctness movement become a truly global phenomenon," said Paul JJ Payack, President of The Global Language Monitor (GLM).
The year has been a vibrant one for language, rife with examples that have been nominated by the GLM抯 Language Police, volunteer language observers from the world over.
The Top Ten Words of 2005:
1. Refugee: Though the word was considered politically incorrect in the US, 'refugees' were often considered the lucky ones in streaming away from a series of global catastrophes unmatched in recent memory.
2. Tsunami: From the Japanese tsu nami for 'harbor wave', few recognized the word before disaster struck on Christmas Day, 2004, but the word subsequently flooded with unprecedented (and sustained) media coverage.
3. Poppa/Papa/Pope: (Italian, Portuguese, English, many others). The death of beloved Pope John Paul II kept the words on the lips of the faithful around the world.
4. Chinglish: The new second language of China from the Chinglish formation: CHINese + EngLISH.
5. H5N1: A looming global pandemic that could dwarf the Boubonic Plague of the Middle Ages (and AIDS) boggles the comtemporary imagination.
6. Recaille: A quick trip around the Romance languages (French jargon, scum; Spanish, rabble or swine; Italian, worthless dregs) illustrates the full freight of the word used to describe youthful French rioters of North African and Muslim descent.
7. Katrina: Name will become synonymous with natural forces responsible for the total and utter descruction of a city.
8. Wiki: Internet buzzword (from the Hawai'ian wiki wiki for 'quick, quick') that describes collaboration software where anyone can contribute to the on-going effort.
9. SMS: Short Message Service. The world's youth sent over a trillion text messages in 2005. Currently being texted are full-length novels, news, private messages and everything in between.
10. Insurgent: Politically neutral term used to describe enemy combatants..
Last year the Top Ten Words words were incivility, Red States/Blue States, and Blogosphere.
The Top Ten Phrases of 2005:
1. Out of the Mainstream: Used to describe the ideology of any political opponent.
2. Bird Flu/Avian Flu: the H5N1 strain of Flu that resembles that of the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic where 60 million died.
3. Politically Correct: Emerges as a worldwide phenomenon.
4. North/South Divide In the US it might be Red States and Blue States but globally the 'haves' and 'have nots' are divided by a geographical if not psychological boundary.
5. Purple Thumb: The badge of honor worn by Iraqi voters proving that they voted in their ground-breaking elections.
6. Climate Change: Or Global Warming. No matter what your political persuasion, the fact remains that New York City was under 5,000 feet of ice some 20,000 years ago.
7. String Theory: The idea that the universe is actually constructed of 11-dimensional, pulsating planes of existence.
8. The Golden Quatrilateral: India's new superhighway system that links the key cities of the Subcontinent.
9. Jumping the Couch. Apparently losing complete emotional control; made popular by the escapades of Tom Cruise on the Oprah television show.
10. Deferred success: The idea introduced in the UK that there is no such thing as failure, only deferred success.
Last year the Top Phrases were Red States/Blue States, Moral Values, and Two Americas.
The Top Ten Names of 2005:
1. (Acts of) God: The world watches helplessly as a superpower is humbled as one of its great cities is laid asunder (Hurricane Katrina).
2. Tsunami snuffs out nearly 300,000 lives, and an earthquake takes another 200,000 (Kashmir). A Higher Power, indeed.
3. Katrina: Greek ?a?a??? (katharos) for 'pure'. Before the hurricane, the name was borne by two saints, Empress Catherine the Great of Russia, and three of Henry VIII's wives.
4. John Paul II. The death of beloved Pope John Paul II kept his name on the lips of the faithful around the world.
5. Wen Jiabao: Premier of the People's Republic of China since March 2003; leading perhaps the largest economic transformation in history.
6. Saddham Hussein: Should re-read Karl Marx: the first time is history, the second is but farce.
7. Dubya: Every more 'weeble-like': Dubya wobbles but he won't fall down.
8. Oprah: Now a global phenomenon with an ever-expanding media (and charitable) empire.
9. Shakira: the Columbian songstress is captivating ever wider circles.
10. John Roberts: New Chief Justice of the American Supreme Court.
11. Mahmud Ahmadi-nejad: President of Iran since August 2005; he has recently suggest that the Jewish Homeland be moved to Europe.
Last year the Top Names were Dubya Rove (W. and Karl Rove), Mel (Gibson) (Michael) Moore, and Saddam Hussein.
Top Global Musical Terms:
1. Reggaeton (pronounced Reggae-TONE): Part Latin, part hip hop, with liberal helpings of Dancehall and Caribbean music thrown in for good measure, several Reggaeton radio staples this year made their way into the public consciousness.
2. Baile (pronounced Bye-Lay) Funk: Brazilian dance music that has gained popularity worldwide, championed by such trend-setters as Norman Cook in the UK, and Philadelphia DJ Diplo.
3. Podcast: New broadcast medium; think of it as Tivo for your radio. Even your nighbor is podcasting.
4: Rootkit: Thanks to an overzealous copy-protection scheme, thousands of music fans who tried to encode Sony artists' music onto their computer unwittingly installing a malicious piece of code that exposed their computers to attack. After intense media scrutiny and public outcry, Sony recalled the CD's from shelves and offered free downloads of affected albums.
5. Live 8: Millions of people tuned in to the sequel to Sir Bob Geldoff's1985 Live Aid benefit, this time to raise awareness of poverty and Third World debt and to pressure countries in the G8 to do something about it.
The Top Ten Global YouthSpeak Words:
1. Crunk: A Southern variation of hip hop music; also meaning fun or amped.
2. Mang: Variation of man, as in "S'up, mang?"
3. A'ight: All Right, "That girl is nice, she's a'ight"
4. Mad: A lot; "She has mad money"
5. Props: Cheers, as in "He gets mad props!"
6. Bizznizzle: This term for" business" is part of the Snoop Dogg/Sean John-inspired lexicon, as in "None of your bizznizzle!'
7. Fully: In Australia an intensive. as in 'fully sick'.)
8. Fundoo: In India, Hindi for cool
9. Brill! From the UK, the shortened form of brilliant!
10. "s'up": Another in an apparently endless number of Whazzup? permutations.
Southern California YouthSpeak Bonus: Morphing any single syllable word into 3, 4 or even 5 syllables.
Last year the Top YouthSpeak terms were: Word, Peace (or Peace out), and Proper.
The Most Frequently Spoken Word on the Planet: O.K.
The Number of Words in the English Language: 961,958 (estimate 3:44 pm Pacific 11 Dec 2005).
Top Global Media Stories for 2005:
Death of John Paul II, South Asian Tsunami,
and Hurricane Katrina as Measured by GLM's PQ Index
San Diego, California (December 16, 2005) The coverage of the Death of John Paul II, the South Asian Tsunami, and Hurricane Katrina were cited as the Top Global Media Stories for 2005 in terms of Immediate Impact. The rankings were based on the Global Language Monitor's PQ (Predictive-quantities) Index.
Over the course of the year, the Top Ten Global Media Stories were Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath; The Iraq War and the ongoing story of the Iraqi people; and the controversy over Global Warming and Climate Change were named the top three stories, followed closely by the South Asian Tsunami; Asian/Bird Flu and the possibility of a global pandemic; and the continuing emergance of China on the world stage. The complete list is found below.
"The Global Media, both new and old, electronic and print, Internet and Blogosphere was nearly submerged in the flood of events in 2005," said Paul JJ Payack, President of the Global language Monitor. "We know that the news cycles are ever quickening because of the 24-hour news phenomenon as well as the new media and the Internet. However, this year it appeared that the news itself cascaded at ever increasing rates."
The PQ (Predictive-Quantities) Indicator is a proprietary algorithm that tracks words and phrases in the 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 Top Media Stories for 2005 (Immediate Impact) follow:
1. Death of John Paul II
2. South Asian Tsunami
3. Hurricane Katrina and its Aftermath
4. Pakistani Earthquake
The Top Ten Global Media Stories for 2005 (Over the Course of the Year) follow:
1. Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath
2. The Iraq War and the ongoing story of the Iraqi people
3. Global Warming and Climate Change
4. The South Asian Tsunami
5. Asian/Bird Flu
6. The continuing emergance of China on the world stage
7. Pakistani Earthquake
8. India as the 'back office' to the industrialized world
9. London Subway bombings
10. French Riots
Top Politically (in)Correct Words for 2005
Misguided Criminals, Intrinsic Aptitude, and Thought Shower Top Annual List
The BBC Responds to Misguided Criminals for Terrorist Atop List
Holiday Bonus: Christmas-related PC, Banning Red and Green, the Rise of Wintervale, Happy Holiday and Season's Greetings
San Diego, California (Updated November 29, 2005) Misguided Criminals, Intrinsic Aptitude, and Thought Shower top the list of the most egregious examples of politically correct language found in 2005 by the Global Language Monitor in its annual global survey. This year's list includes words from the US, UK, France and Australia.
"2005 was the year we saw the Political Correctness movement become a truly global phenomenon," said Paul JJ Payack, President of The Global Language Monitor (GLM). "The list is but one more example of the insertion of politics into every facet of modern life."
The year has been rife with examples that have been nominated by the GLM's Language Police, volunteer language observers from the world over.
Click here to Watch WCCO's Video (Minneapolis)
Click here to Read and Listen to the Chinese Radio Int'l (CRI) Report
Katrina, Bird Flu, Climate Change Top List of Hot Political Buzzwords
List Runs Counter To Virtually Every Pundit's Playbook:
Nota Bene: Talking Heads do not always reflect
the reality of the world (or even worldwide media)
San Diego, California (November 7, 2005) "Acts of God" top the Global Language Monitor's PQ (Political-sensitivity Quotient) Index of the Top Political Buzzwords for the Third Quarter, including four of the Top Five: Hurricane Katrina, Climate Change, H5N1 Bird Flu, and Global Warming.
To the surprise of many, the Washington Pundit's favorites fell uniformly from the Top Political Buzzwords List tracked during the first six months of 2005. These included: Supreme Court (down 3 to No. 4), the Iraq Insurgency (down 5 to No. 8), Filibuster (down 7 to No. 15), Quagmire (down 9 to No. 18) and Out of the Mainstream down 11 to No. 27).
Breaking into the Top 10 were The New York Times' Scandal involving Judith Miller debuting at No. 9 and outed Valerie Plame appears on the List at No. 10.
The English Language WordClock
Estimated Number of Words in the English Language:
Sunday, December 18, 2005 1:40 PM
Read: The Number of Words in the English Language
The World LanguageClock: 6912
Current Count of Living Languages
Top Languages on the Internet
Living Languages by Country
Top Spoken Languages in the World
Numbers 1 to 10 in 1,000 Languages
OK or O.K. or Okay: The Most Popular Word on the Planet
The Infinity Symbol (the lemniscate)
'Desperation' and 'Camp Cupcake' Topped by 'Refugee' as Top TV Buzzword
Year of Desperate Images Reflecting Harshness of Real Life Dominate TeleWORDS List
San Diego, California. October 13, 2005. 'Refugee' from the on-going coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina tops 'Desperation' from Desperate Housewives and 'Camp Cupcake' from the on-going Martha Stewart follies as the Top Television Buzzword (TeleWORD) for the 2004-05 season, according to the Global Language Monitor, the media tracking and analysis company. Close behind were 'Reality TV' from The Real World, etc., and 'Curmudgeon' from House. Rounding out the Top Ten were "Its what we do" from Stargate SG-1, 'Flip Flop' from the 2004 U.S. Presidential Elections, 'Backstory' from Lost, 'Tsunami' from the South Asian earthquake, and 'mobisodes' or one minute episodes for mobile devices. Words no longer Hip include "You're fired" from The Apprentice and Mess O Potamia from The Daily Show. Words With Legs include "Yadda, yadda, yadda!" from Seinfeld. Worldwide, the Largest Global Phenomenon from a Single Word is "Idol/Idool/Idolo" with than two dozen American Idol-type shows spanning the globe from South Africa to India; the Top Word From Down Under is "Free to Air TV;" the Top TV Name in China is "Mickey Mouse;" and the Coolest unCool Series is New Zealands "Fair Go".
Media Abounds With Apocalyptic-type
References in Coverage of Katrina
Disaster, Biblical, Global Warming, Hiroshima Top List
'Refugee' vs. 'Evacuee'
San Diego, Calif. September 7, 2005. MetaNewswire. In an exclusive analysis by The Global Language Monitor, the worldwide media was found to abound in Apocalyptic-type terminology in its coverage of the unfolding disaster of Hurricane Katrina in the American Gulf States. Using its proprietary PQI (Predictive Quantities Indicator) algorithm, GLM found the ominous references to include: Disaster, Biblical, Global Warming, Hiroshima/Nuclear bomb, Catastrophe, Holocaust, Apocalypse, and End-of-the-World.
"These alarmist references are coming across the spectrum of print and electronic media, and the internet," said Paul JJ Payack, president of GLM. "The world appears stunned that the only remaining super power has apparently been humbled, on its own soil, by the forces of nature."
List of Top Ten Hurricanes
Etymology of the Name Katrina > Catriona > Katherine
Top Ten Disasters in US History
The Climate Change Question
Retired Hurricane Names
Future Hurricane Names (Global)
Note: Hurricane Alpha has now been named marking the busiest Atlantic Hurricane
season on record ... the next tropical 'event' will be named beta, then gamma, delta ... and so on through the Greek Alphabet. Here's the entire Greek Alphabet:
Hurricane Disaster Buzzword Explainer
San Diego, Calif. September 2, 2005. MetaNewswire. The Global Language Monitor in response to worldwide demand, has created this Hurricane Disaster Buzzword Explainer to help readers understand the many buzzwords, acronyms, and odd turns of phrase that are being employed in relation to the Hurricane Katrina disaster in New Orleans as it unfolds.
Australia bans the word 'mate;'
GLM'S Language Police suggest these others:
'No Worries', 'Down Under', 'Barbie', etc.
San Diego, Calif. August 24, 2005. MetaNewswire. Last week, the Department of Parliamentary Services in Canberra, issued a general warning to its security staff banning the use of the word 'mate' in any dealings they might have with both members of the Parliament and the public. Almost immediately, Australian Prime Minister John Howard called the ban "absurd" while the Opposition labeled it "un-Australian". The ban has since been rescinded.
Global Fashion Alert: 'Skirt With No Name'
Challenges Linguists -- and the Fashion Elite
Gypsy, Tiered, Flouncy, Bouncy, or Boho?
San Diego, Calif. August 6, 2005. The 'Skirt With No Name' has become a linguistic wonder since, unlike most mass-merchandized products with apparent global appeal -- it has no name, or rather none generally accepted by the consumers, who have come up with a plethora of names to describe it. "It's as if Motorola has introduced a new model of its popular 'Moto' phones or Toyota a new Lexus sedan only to have the consumer ignore the names bestowed upon them by their respective marketers and insist upon using their own particular favorite," said Paul JJ Payack, President and the WordMan for the Global Language Monitor.
To read the story from the UK Perspective,"The Boho Gypsy Phenomenon," CLICK HERE.
Click Here for Fashion Primer
'Terrorist' Or 'Bomber'? BBC Stirs Debate on Political Correctness: Filtering Events of All Emotional Content
San Diego, California (July 15, 2005) The BBC's use of the term 'misguided criminals' and 'bombers' when referring to the perpetrators of the recent London blasts have stirred an international debate on politically correct language. The words replace the term terrorist, which according to the BBC can "carry emotional or value judgments". According to the Global Language Monitor's exclusive PQ (Political-sensitivity Quotient) Index, the term 'terrorist' appears 700% more frequently on the web than 'bomber' when linked to terror-related activities such as suicide bombings, and the like. When tracking global news articles only, the word 'bomber' can be found in about 40% of the articles, though usually in combination with 'terrorist' or 'terrorist-related' words. The phrase 'misguided criminals' is found only about 5000 times on the entire web, many times linked to the emerging BBC story.
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