From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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 primarily for its political analysis, college
and university rankings, High
Tech buzzwords, media
analysis, as well
as its controversial tracking of English reaching its millionth
Founded in Silicon Valley in 2003 by Paul J.J.
Payack, the GLM describes its role as "expert analysis on language
trends and their subsequent impact on politics, culture and
business, including the PQ Index/Indicator, analysis of media
coverage of major, worldwide events, the rise of Global English and
its march to its 1,000,000th word, the Chinglish Phemomenon, Global
yoofSpeak, and many others".
In April 2008, GLM moved its headquarters from San Diego to Austin.
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
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 also 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
linguists cannot agree on the exact criteria for inclusion or
exclusion. 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
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
from words and phrases in the global print and electronic media, on
the Internet, throughout
the blogosphere, as
well as accessing proprietary databases (Factiva, Lexis-Nexis, etc.). It
can also create "signals" that can be used in a variety of
New York Times described the PQI as "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".
Obama an English language
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
On November 19, 2008 Global Language Monitor announced the most
confusing yet frequently cited high tech buzzwords of 2008 to be
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
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
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.
The studies are released each year on the anniversary of the
cookie, the invention that made the World Wide Web
practical for widespread surfing, communication, and e-commerce.
Top word of
Top word of
On 29 November 2009 GLM released its annual Word of the Year (WOTY) lists including top
phrases and top names. GLM
released its annual Word of the Year
(WOTY) lists including top phrases and top names.
words of 2009
- Twitter — The ability to
encapsulate human thought in 140 characters
- Obama — The
word stem transforms into scores of new words like ObamaCare
- H1N1 — The
formal (and politically correct) name for Swine Flu
- Stimulus — The $800
billion aid package meant to help mend the US economy
- Vampire — Vampires are
very much en vogue, now the symbol of unrequited love
- 2.0 — The 2.0 suffix is attached to the next generation of
- Deficit — Lessons from
history are dire warnings here
- Hadron — Ephemeral
particles subject to collision in the Large Hadron Collider
- Healthcare — The direction of which is the
subject of intense debate in the US
- Transparency —
Elusive goal for which many 21st c. governments are striving
- Outrage — In response to
large bonuses handed out to ‘bailed-out’ companies
- Bonus — The incentive pay
packages that came to symbolize greed and excess
- Unemployed — And underemployed amount to
close to 20% of US workforce
- Foreclosure —
Forced eviction for not keeping up with the mortgage payments
- Cartel — In Mexico, at the
center of the battle over drug trafficking
phrases of 2009
- King of Pop – Elvis Presley was ‘The King;’ MJ had to
settle for ‘King of Pop’
- Obama-mania — One of the scores of words from the Obama-word
- Climate Change — Considered politically
neutral compared to global warming
- Swine Flu — Popular name for the illness
caused by the H1N1 virus
- Too Large to Fail — Institutions that are deemed necessary for
- Cloud Computing — Using the Internet for a
variety of computer services
- Public Option — The ability to buy health insurance from a
Ho! — A Hindi shout of joy or accomplishment
- Mayan Calendar — Consists of various
‘cycles,’ one of which ends on 12/21/2012
- God Particle — The hadron,
believed to hold the secrets of the Big Bang
names of 2009
- Barack Obama —
It was Obama’s year, though MJ nearly eclipsed in the end
Jackson — Eclipses Obama on internet though lags in traditional
- Mobama — Mrs. Obama, sometimes as a fashion Icon
- Large Hadron Collider — The
trillion dollar ‘atom smasher’ buried outside Geneva
- Neda Agha Sultan — Iranian woman killed in
the post-election demonstrations
- Nancy Pelosi
–The Democratic Speaker of the US House
- Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — The president
of Iran, once again
- Hamid Karzai —
The winner of Afghanistan's disputed election
- Rahm Emmanuel — Bringing ‘Chicago-style
politics’ to the Administration
Sotomayor — The first Hispanic woman on the US Supreme Court
Top word of
On 2 December 2008 GLM released its annual Word of the Year (WOTY) lists including top
phrases and top names.
- Change – The top political buzzword of the 2008 US Presidential
- Bailout – Would have been higher but was not in the media until
- Obamamania – Describing the worldwide reaction to Barack
Obama's campaign and subsequent victory in the US presidential
- Greenwashing – Repositioning a product to stress its
- Surge – Military and political strategy often cited as reducing
violence in Iraq.
- Derivative – Exotic financial instruments used to cleverly
package junk-grade debt.
- Subprime – Mortgages that were packaged as derivatives.
- Foreclosure – The end-result of the sub-prime mess.
- Phelpsian: New word coined to describe the Phelpsian Pheat of
winning eight gold medals at the Beijing Olympics.
- Chinglish – The
often amusing Chinese/English language hybrid that Beijing tried to
stamp out before the Olympics began.
phrases of 2008
- Financial Tsunami – Worldwide financial meltdown ultimately
stemming from derivatives used to package subprime mortgages.
- Global Warming – The No. 2 buzzword of the
US Presidential Campaign.
- Yes We Can—Yes, indeed, he could and he did.
- Lame Duck – What happens when you wait 2 ½ months from election
- Working Class Whites – Apparently, working Class Whites is used
as a code phrase for whites who are working class.
- “It is, what it is” – On everyone’s lips this year meaning
‘unfortunately, those are the facts’.
- Lip Synching: The fate of Lin Miaoke, the little girl who
didn’t sing the song the whole world sings in the Olympics opening
- Price of oil – Oil was supposed to be topping out about now at
- Super Tuesday – When the race for the Democratic nomination was
supposed to be decided.
- Suddenness Happens – Top Chinglish Phrase from the Beijing
names for 2008
- Barack Obama
--. President-elect of the United States.
- George W.
Bush – Lame Duck, No. 43, The Decider.
Phelps -- The top name of the top television spectacle of all
time (the Beijing Olympics)
- Hillary Clinton – She said ‘he can’t win;’
now she is his Secretary of State.
Putin -- The supreme leader of Russia, whatever his title.
- Bono -- U2's front man also known for his efforts to raise
awareness about AIDS in African, Third World debt and Unfair Trade
- Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – Iran now
claims 5,000 nuclear centrifuges.
- Sarah Palin –
Governor of Alaska and vice presidential nominee of the Republican
- John McCain –
Soon to be the answer to a trivia question: Mondale, Dole, Dukakis
- Beyonce – The R&B singer AKA as Sasha
The Top Celeb Couple: French president Nicolas Sarkozy
and Carla Bruni – Big hit for his policies and
her former supermodel status (replacing David Beckham and Posh
Top words of
On 13 December 2007 GLM released its annual Word of the Year (WOTY) lists including top
phrases and top names.[31
] 'Hybrid' was named as the top
] 'Climate Change' was
named the top phrase, and 'Al
Gore' the top name.[31
] GLM explained,
||The idea of planetary
peril and impending climatic doom resonated throughout our linguistic analysis, with the various
words and phrases garnering hundreds of millions of citations; in the end this
narrowly outdistanced the word 'surge' that also had a
disproportionate impact upon 2007's linguistic landscape.
The words were culled from throughout the English-speaking world that GLM says
currently numbers some 1.35 billion speakers and includes such
diverse countries as China, the
Philippines, and India. GLM's estimate on the number
of English speakers is on the low-end of academic estimates. David Crystal, in a
recent BBC interview suggested that the number is close to 2
2007 top ten
The top ten words for 2007 as stated by GLM are:
- Hybrid, referring to hybrid electric vehicles (HEV).
Chosen "to represent all things green from biodiesel to wearing clothes made of soy, to global warming to
living with a zero-carbon footprint."
- Surge, referring to political and military strategy of the Bush
administration to win the Iraq war.
referring to the U.S. housing bubble and
- Smirting, a portmanteau of 'smoking' and 'flirting' often while being
banished outside a building for smoking cigarettes.
- Pb, referring to the symbol
lead, the "culprit in
innumerable toy recalls this year".
- Ideating, forming and
- Ω-3 or omega-3 fatty acids, the "healthy fatty acid.
- Cleavage, referring to a woman's
breasts, which the GLM states is "a touchy campaign subject" in the
- Amigoization, referring to
the "increasing Hispanic
influence in California, the Southwest and into the Heartland.
- Bluetooth, referring
to technology to connect electronic devices by radio waves.
change -- The warming of the Earth’s atmosphere;
- Ho-Ho-Ho -- Santa’s trademark phrase.
In Australia officials are suggesting ‘Ha-Ha-Ha’ because the former
may scandalize the children;
- All-time low -- The phrase apparently grafted next to
the president’s name in the media;
- Theory of
Everything -- Garrett Lisi’s especially simple theory of
the Universe that unites all forces and gravity in one elegant
- Planetary Peril -- Al Gore’s trademark phrase to
describe the Earth’s current condition;
- Wristband Wagon -- Wearing your heart on your … wrist.
Pink against breast cancer, red against third-world poverty,
‘camouflage’ (or yellow as in yellow ribbon) to support the
- No Noising -- Chinese/English hybrid (Chinglish) for
- Fade to
black -- From the Soprano’s series finale to the Hollywood
- Fossil Fuels -- Coal, Oil, and Natural
Gas (anything hydrocarbon-based);
- Fashion tribe -- Persons who follow a
particular fashion with a tribe-like mindset: Examples include EMO,
Hip-hop or Goth.
2007 top ten
- Al Gore --
Conveniently, doesn’t need the presidency to top the
- The Decider -- George W. Bush, still president after
all these years;
- Bono -- The U2 front man stands out in front on Third World debt
Obama & Hillary Clinton -- Barack Obama’s surname now qualifies as a
buzzword; quite unusual, though Hil comes close;
- Hugo Chavez -- The Gadfly of Latin
Putin -- The supreme leader (President, Prime Minister,
whatever) of the Russian Federation;
- Mahmoud Ahmadinejad -- Iranian
President suggests moving Israel to Europe;
Benedict XVI -- continues to engage Muslim leadership in
Beckham and Posh Spice -- Yet another ‘new’ type of
Hollywood power couple;
Castro -- The head one of the few remaining Communist states
lives yet another year.
Top ten words from 2000 to
Top News Stories of the
- Rise of
China – The biggest story of the decade, outdistancing the No.
2 Internet story by 400%.
- Iraq War — The
buildup, the invasion, the hunt for the WMDs, and the Surge were
top in print and electronic media outlets.
- 9/11 Terrorist Attacks – The 9/11 Terrorist attacks on New York
City and Washington, DC seemed to set the tone for the new
- War on Terror – President George W. Bush’s
response to 9/11.
- Death of Michael Jackson – A remarkably high ranking
considering that MJ’s death occurred in the final year of the
- 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.
- Global Recession of 2008/9 – The on-going world economic
restructuring as opposed to the initial ‘economic meltdown’ or
- Hurricane Katrina — New Orleans was devastated when the levies
collapsed; scenes of death and destruction shocked millions the
- War in Afghanistan – Now in its eighth year with an expansion
into neighboring Pakistan.
- Economic Meltdown/Financial Tsunami – The initial shock of
witnessing some 25% of the world’s wealth melting away seemingly
- Beijing Olympics – The formal
launch of China onto the world
- 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.
- War against the Taliban – Lands controlled by the Taliban
served as a safe haven from which al Qaeda would launch its
- Death of Pope John Paul II – The largest funeral in recent
memory with some 2,000,000 pilgrims in attendance.
- Osama bin-Laden eludes capture – Hesitation
to attack Tora Bora in 2002 has led to the continuing manhunt.
The Global Language Monitor publishes other lists relating to
the English language including: rankings of U.S. colleges according
to their presence in the media; top
fashion cities ranked by media exposure.; and
15 Top All-Time Bushisms.
Kristof, Nicholas (2008-10-17). "Obama the Intellectual".
Kristof.blogs.nytimes.com. http://kristof.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/10/17/obama-the-intellectual/?scp=9&sq=global%20language%20monitor&st=cse. Retrieved
Nicholas D. Kristof: Obama
and the war on brains
By ANITA B. HOFSCHNEIDER Contributing
Writer. "Media Fixates on
Harvard". Thecrimson.com. http://www.thecrimson.com/article.aspx?ref=524332. Retrieved
"Bamboozled By Buzzwords".
Search.japantimes.co.jp. 2005-04-24. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/ed20050424a1.html. Retrieved
"10 Most Confusing High Tech
Buzzwords". Networkworld.com. http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/6854. Retrieved
Michael Jackson's Death
Second Biggest Story of the Century
"Americas | 'Millionth English
word' declared". BBC News. 2009-06-10.
- ^ The Times, London, March 25, 2009
(2009-03-25). "Global Language Monitor".
Languagemonitor.com. http://www.languagemonitor.com. Retrieved
Austin lands Global Language
Monitor: Finally, something good comes from California
By John D. Sutter CNN
(2009-06-10). "'English gets millionth word
on Wednesday, site says'". Edition.cnn.com. http://edition.cnn.com/2009/TECH/06/10/million.words/index.html#cnnSTCOther1. Retrieved
Millionth English word'
Geoffrey Nunberg, NPR
Word Count, Jesse Sheidlower, Slate,
April 10, 2006
"Language Log » The
“million word” hoax rolls along".
Languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu. http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=972. Retrieved
‘One millionth English word’
is ‘Web 2.0’, Philippine Daily Inquirer, June 12,
- ^ Harlow, John (2006-02-05). "Chinglish – it's a word in a
million". The Sunday Times (London). http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/article726906.ece. Retrieved 2009-01-14.
"According to Payack, the one millionth word is likely to be formed
- ^ Macintyre, Ben (2006-08-11). "We're all speaking
Geek". The Times (London). http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/ben_macintyre/article606196.ece. Retrieved 2009-01-14.
"According to Paul Payack, who runs the Global Language Monitor,
there are currently 988,974 words in the English language, with
thousands more emerging every month. By his calculation, English
will adopt its one millionth word in late November."
- ^ "From Babel to Babble . . .
Everyone is Speaking English". Kensington books. http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/finditem.cfm?itemid=11244. Retrieved 2009-01-14. "in
the spring of 2007, the English word count surpassed a million—over
ten times the number available in French. At the crest of this
linguistic tsunami surfs Paul J.J. Payack, aka the WordMan. As
president of the Global Language Monitor"
- ^ ""A Million Words and
Counting" How Global English Is Rewriting the World". Market
Wire. May 2008. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_pwwi/is_200805/ai_n25368946%0D. Retrieved 2009-01-14.
"according to author Paul J.J. Payack, the founding president of
the Global Language Monitor ( www.LanguageMonitor.com ), English
will adopt its millionth word in 2008"
- ^ Walker, Ruth (2009-01-02). "Save the date: English nears
a milestone". The Christian Science Monitor. http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0102/p18s01-hfes.html. Retrieved 2009-01-14. "It's
April 29, 2009 – plus or minus a few days. That is when the English
language is expected to acquire its millionth word. This prediction
comes from Global Language Monitor, an organization in Austin,
"English gets millionth word
on Wednesday, site says", CNN
Languagemonitor.com. http://www.languagemonitor.com/no-of-words/faq-million-word-march/. Retrieved
The Predictive Quantities Indicator (PQI), GLM
The Power of Words
English language is Barack
'Obamafied', Catherine Elsworth, Los Angeles, Telegraph.co.uk,
26 Feb 2008
"'FAQ on GLM
Methodology'". Languagemonitor.com. http://www.languagemonitor.com/no-of-words/faq-million-word-march. Retrieved
"Hooray! ‘SOA’ voted most
‘confusing acronym of the year’ | Service-Oriented Architecture |
ZDNet.com". Blogs.zdnet.com. 2007-11-05. http://blogs.zdnet.com/service-oriented/?p=996. Retrieved
Posted: October 17, 2007 (2007-10-17).
"The Global Language Monitor
releases global study of top 10 most confusing yet widely used high
tech buzzwords for 2007". Nanowerk.com.
c "Media Tracking and Analysis:
History of Top Words From 2007 - 2000". Global Language
Monitor. 13 December 2007. http://languagemonitor.com/Top_Word_Lists.html. Retrieved
g "'Hybrid' bests 'Surge' as Top
Word of 2007; 'Climate Change' is Top Phrase; Al Gore' is Top Name;
Top Smiley is ?-) for 'pirate' Arrrrgh!: Why a 'Green' Word
was Chosen as WOTY". Global Language Monitor. 13 December
2007. http://languagemonitor.com/. Retrieved
"eHistLing - World-Wide
English". Ehistling-pub.meotod.de. http://www.ehistling-pub.meotod.de/01_lec06.php. Retrieved
"Programmes | Newsnight | The
million words milestone". BBC News. 2009-06-10. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/newsnight/8093233.stm. Retrieved
From 2007-2004, Global Language Monitor; from 2003 to 2000, GLM
The Global Language Monitor -
Top News Stories of the Decade.
Harvard tops U.S. colleges in
media buzz, UPI, September 16, 2008
Australia more fashionable
than NZ, Tracey Bond, Stuff.co.nz, July 17, 2008
The Morning File: To find the
Word of the Year, follow the money, Gary Rottstein,
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 12, 2009