The Global Language Monitor (GLM) is an Austin, Texas-based company that collectively documents, analyzes and tracks trends in language usage worldwide, with a particular emphasis upon the English language. It is particularly known for its Word of the Year, political analysis, college and university rankings, High Tech buzzwords, and media analytics.
Founded in Silicon Valley in 2003 by Paul J.J. Payack, the GLM describes its role as "a media analytics company that documents, analyzes and tracks cultural trends in language the world over, with a particular emphasis upon Global English". GLM's main services include various products based on the TrendTopper MediaBuzz College Guide and Narrative Tracker technologies for global Internet and social media analysis. NarrativeTracker is based on global discourse, providing a real-time, accurate picture about any topic, at any point in time. NarrativeTracker analyzes the Internet, blogosphere, the top 75,000 print and electronic global media, as well as new social media sources as they emerge. In April 2008, GLM moved its headquarters from San Diego to Austin. Most recently GLM named "occupy" (related to the Occupy Wall Street movement) as the Top Word of 2011, "Arab Spring" the Top Phrase of 2011, and "Steve Jobs" the Top Name of 2011. In December 2011, GLM declared that 'Tebowing' was an English language word.
Since 2000, the Global Language Monitor (GLM) has been selecting the Top Ten Words, Phrases and Names of the Year. To select these words and phrases it uses a statistical analysis of language usage in the worldwide print and electronic media, on the Internet and throughout the Blogosphere, including Social media.
GLM announced its Top Words of the Year for 2011 on November 9, 2010. The Word of the Year was 'Occupy'. The Top Phrase of the Year was 'Arab Spring'. The Top Name of the Year was 'Steve Jobs'.
The Top Words of 2011 (WOTY)
The Top Phrases of 2011
The Top Names of 2011
Rank / Name / Comments
Top Words of the Decade
Climate Change was top phrase; Heroes was the top name of the first decade of the 21st century.
Previous Words of the Year include:
2010: Top Words: No. 1: Spillcam, No. 2: Vuvuzela, No. 3: The Narrative Top Phrases: No. 1: Anger and Rage, No. 2: Climate Change, No. 3: The Great Recession Top Names: No. 1: Hu Jintao, paramount leader of China, No. 2: iPad, No. 3 Barack Obama
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
2004: Top Word: Incivility (for inCivil War) Top Phrase: Red States/Blue States, No. 2: Rush to War Top Name: Dubya/Rove
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
The Top Words of the Decade from 2000 to 2009 were headed by Global Warming.
The Top Words of the Decade from 2000–2009
1. global warming (2000) Rated highly from Day One of the decade
2. 9/11 (2001) Another inauspicious start to the decade
3. Obama- (2008 ) The US President’s name as a ‘root’ word or ‘word stem’
4. bailout (2008) The Bank Bailout was but Act One of the crisis
5. evacuee/refugee (2005) After Katrina, refugees became evacuees
6. derivative (2007) Financial instrument or analytical tool that engendered the Meltdown
7. google (2007) Founders misspelled actual word ‘googol’
8. surge (2007) The strategy that effectively ended the Iraq War
9. Chinglish (2005) The Chinese-English Hybrid language growing larger as Chinese influence expands
10. tsunami (2004) Southeast Asian Tsunami took 250,000 lives
11. H1N1 (2009) More commonly known as Swine Flu
12. subprime (2007) Subprime mortgages were another bubble to burst
13. dot.com (2000) The Dot.com bubble engendered no lifelines, no bailouts
14. Y2K (2000) The Year 2000: all computers would turn to pumpkins at the strike of midnight
15. misunderestimate (2002) One of the first and most enduring of Bushisms
16. chad (2000) Those Florida voter punched card fragments that the presidency would turn aupon
17. twitter (2008) A quarter of a billion references on Google
18. WMD (2002) Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction
19. blog (2003) First called ‘web logs’ which contracted into blogs
20. texting (2004) Sending 140 character text messages over cell phones
21. slumdog (2008) Child inhabitants of Mumba’s slums
22. sustainable (2006) The key to ‘Green’ living where natural resources are never depleted
23. Brokeback (2004) New term for ‘gay’ from the Hollywood film ‘Brokeback Mountain’
24. quagmire (2004) Would Iraq War end up like Vietnam, another ‘quagmire’?
25. truthiness (2006) Stephen Colbert’s addition to the language appears to be a keeper
The Top Stories of the decade from 2000-2009
1. Rise of China The biggest story of the decade, outdistancing the No. 2 Internet story by 400%.
2. Iraq War The buildup, the invasion, the hunt for the WMDs, and the Surge were top in print and electronic media outlets.
3. 9/11 Terrorist Attacks The 9/11 Terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, DC seemed to set the tone for the new decade.
4. War on Terror President George W. Bush’s response to 9/11.
5. Death of Michael Jackson A remarkably high ranking considering that MJ’s death occurred in the final year of the decade.
6. Election of Obama to US presidency The rallying cries of ‘hope’ and ‘Yes, we can!’ resulting in the historic election of an African-American to the US presidency.
7. Global Recession of 2008/9 The on-going world economic restructuring as opposed to the initial ‘economic meltdown’ or ‘financial tsunami’.
8. Hurricane Katrina New Orleans was devastated when the levies collapsed; scenes of death and destruction shocked millions the world over.
9. War in Afghanistan Now in its eighth year with an expansion into neighboring Pakistan.
10. Economic Meltdown/Financial Tsunami The initial shock of witnessing some 25% of the world’s wealth melting away seemingly overnight.
11. Beijing Olympics The formal launch of China onto the world stage.
12. South Asian Tsunami The horror of 230,000 dead or missing, washed away in a matter of minutes was seared into the consciousness the global community.
13. War against the Taliban Lands controlled by the Taliban served as a safe haven from which al Qaeda would launch its terrorist attacks.
14. Death of Pope John Paul II The largest funeral in recent memory with some 2,000,000 pilgrims in attendance.
15. Osama bin-Laden eludes capture Hesitation to attack Tora Bora in 2002 has led to the continuing manhunt.
The Top Phrases of the Decade from 2000–2009
1. climate change (2000) Green words in every form dominant the decade
2. Financial Tsunami (2008) One quarter of the world’s wealth vanishes seemingly overnight
3. ground zero (2001) Site of 9/11terrorist attack in New York City
4. War on Terror (2001) Bush administration’s response to 9/11
5. Weapons of Mass Destruction (2003) Bush’s WMDs never found in Iraq or the Syrian desert
6. swine flu (2008) H1N1, please, so as not to offend the pork industry or religious sensitivities!
7. “Let’s Roll!” (2001) Todd Beamer’s last words before Flight 93 crashed into the PA countryside
8. Red State/Blue State (2004) Republican or Democratic control of states
9. carbon footprint (2007) How much CO² does an activity produce?
10. shock-and-awe (2003) Initial strategy of Iraq War
11. Ponzi scheme (2009) Madoff’s strategy reaped billions & heartache
12. Category 4 (2005) Force of Hurricane Katrina hitting New Orleans’ seawalls and levies
13. King of Pop (2000) Elvis was the King, MJ the King (of Pop)
14. “Stay the course” (2004) Dubya’s oft-stated guidance for Iraq War
15. “Yes, we can!” (2008) Obama’s winning campaign slogan
16. “Jai Ho!” (2008) Shout of joy from ‘Slumdog Millionaire’
17. “Out of the Mainstream” (2003) Complaint about any opposition’s political platform
18. Cloud computing (2007) Using the Internet as a large computational device
19. threat fatigue (2004) One too many terrorist threat alerts
20. same-sex marriage (2003) Marriage of gay couples
On March 17, 2010, the Global Language Monitor presented the Most Confusing High Tech Buzzwords of the decade (2000–2009).
1. HTTP - HyperText Transfer Protocol is used for HTML (HyperText Markup Language) files. 2. Flash - As in Flash Memory. “Flash’ is easier to say than “ I brought the report on my EEPROM chip with a thin oxide layer separating a floating gate and control gate utilizing Fowler-Nordheim electron tunneling”. 3. God Particle – The Higgs boson, thought to account for mass. The God Particle has eluded discovery since its existence was first postulated some thirty years ago. 4. Cloud computing – Distributing or accessing programs and services across the Internet. (The Internet is represented as a cloud.) 5. Plasma (as in plasma TV) - Refers to a kind of television screen technology that uses matrix of gas plasma cells, which are charged by differing electrical voltages to create an image. 6. IPOD – Apple maintains that the idea of the iPod was from the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. 7. Megapixel – One million pixels or picture elements. 8. Nano – Widely used to describe anything small as in nanotechnology. Like the word ‘mini’ which originally referred to the red hues in Italian miniature paintings, the word nano- is ultimately derived from the ancient Greek word for ‘dwarf’. 9. Resonate – Not the tendency of a system to oscillate at maximum amplitude, but the ability to relate to (or resonate with) a customer’s desires. 10. Virtualization – Around since the late ‘70s, virtualization now applies to everything from infrastructures to I/O.
On November 19, 2008 Global Language Monitor announced 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).
On 14 October 2007 GLM released a list of the most confusing high tech terms and buzzwords. The words included: iPod, flash, cookie, nano and kernel, followed by megahertz, cell (as in cell phone), plasma, de-duplication and Blu-Ray. Other terms being tracked included terabyte, memory, core, and head crash. The most confusing acronym was found to be SOA, for service-oriented architecture, an acronym which IBM published a book about.
GLM announced the 1,000,000th English word on June 10, 2009. This controversial exercise was widely covered in the global media. The count itself was widely criticized by a number of prominent members of the linguistic community, including Geoffrey Nunberg, and Jesse Sheidlower and Benjamin Zimmer. on the grounds that since there is no generally accepted definition of a word, there can never be a definitive count. However, in December 2010 a joint Harvard-Google study found the language to contain 1,022,000 words and was expanding at the rate of 8,500 words per year. The difference between the Harvard-Google estimate and that of the Global Language Monitor is about thirteen thousandth of one percent.
The finalists, which met the criteria of a minimum of 25,000 citations with the necessary breadth of geographic distribution and depth of citations, were:
1. Web 2.0. 2. Jai Ho! 3. N00b. 4. Slumdog. 5. Cloud computing. 6. Carbon Neutral. 7. Slow Food. 8. Octomom. 9. Greenwashing. 10. Sexting. 11. Shovel ready. 12. Defriend. 13. Chengguan. 14. Recessionista. 15. Zombie Banks.
Critics noted that the target date had been changed a number of times from late in 2006 to early in 2009. It was also criticized on grounds that a count is impossible because "word" is not a scientifically valid concept. Google addressed this situation by counting the words in the 15 million scanned texts in their corpus. Global Language Monitor states the general criteria for inclusion on its site, maintaining that it is simply updating the established criteria for printed dictionaries beginning with the works of Samuel Johnson and Noah Webster.
The New York Times quoted Payack as saying that the PQI is "an algorithm that tracks words and phrases in the media and on the Internet in relation to frequency, context and appearance in global media. It is a weighted index that takes into account year-to-year increases and acceleration in the last several months". In general terms, GLM describes its Predictive Quantities Indicator (PQI), used to run its analytics on global language trends and, as a weighted index, factoring in long-term trends, short-term changes, momentum and velocity, using frequency data on words and phrases in the global print and electronic media, on the Internet, and throughout the blogosphere, as well as in proprietary databases (Factiva, Lexis-Nexis, etc.). It can also create "signals" that can be used in a variety of applications.
On 20 February 2008 GLM announced that the latest word to enter the English language was "obama", derived from Barack Obama, in its many variations. GLM described Obama- as a "root" for words including obamanomics, obamican, obamamentum, obamacize, obamarama, obamaNation, Obamafy, obamamania and obamacam. GLM announced it to be an accepted word, once it met the group's published criteria: a minimum of 25,000 citations in the global media, as well as achieving the necessary 'breadth' and 'depth' of citations.
The Global Language Monitor publishes other lists relating to the English language including: the TrendTopper MediaBuzz College Guide rankings of the top 300 U.S. colleges and universities according to their internet brand equity,
Universities (2012): Rank/University/Previous Ranking
Colleges (2012): Rank/College/Previous Ranking
The Top Global Fashion Capitals (2011): Ranking / City / Previous Ranking
and 15 Top All-Time Bushisms, and many others.
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