So far we have seen competing Dictionaries select “Hypermiling” and / or “bailout,” as the 2008 Word of the Year, but…
The Global Language Monitor not only selects the Top Word of the Year but also the Top Phrase and Top Name of the year… the whole shit and caboodle right here all the way from the fine city of Austin, Texas! Ladies and gentleman once again … the Top Word for 2008:
The Top Phrase: “Financial Tsunami”
And the Top Name: “Barack Obama”
These results are from the annual survey of the English language from the Global Language Monitor. By the way, the estimated number of words in the English language now stands at 998,751. And English-speakers world wide now number about 1.58 billion people.
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.”
The GLM’s top selections for 2007 were all ‘green’ oriented: “Hybrid” was the Top Word, “Climate Change” was the Top Phrase, and the Top Name was Al Gore, who won the Nobel Prize for his efforts on Global Warming through his film An Inconvenient Truth.
So here are the Global Language Monitor’s Top Ten Words for 2008:
Change - The top political buzzword of the 2008 Presidential campaign.
Bailout - Would have been higher on the list but didn’t really appear in the media until September.
Obamamania - Describing the worldwide reaction to Barack Obama’s campaign and victory in the US presidential race.
Greenwashing - Repositioning a product to stress its Earth-friendly attributes.
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 dead end-result of the sub-prime mess.
Phelpsian - Word coined to describe Michael Phelps winning eight gold medals at the Beijing Olympics.
Chinglish - The Chinese/English language hybrid that Beijing tried to stamp out before the Olympics began.
The Top Ten Phrases for 2008:
Financial Tsunami - Describing the worldwide financial apocalypse stemming from the subprime mortgage debacle.
Global Warming - The second most talked about buzzword in the Presidential Campaign.
Yes We Can - Yeah baby!
Lame Duck - The lamest, duckiest of all, but delicious in a sauce of ground cinnamon, allspice, ginger, garlic, chili powder with a tbsp soy sauce and honey on a bed of saffron rice.
Working Class Whites - Apparently code for whites who are working class.
“It is, what it is” - This year’s “unfortunately, those are the facts ma’am.”
Lip Synching - From the little girl, Lin Miaoke, who didn’t sing the song the whole world saw her sing at the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony.
Price of oil - Today a barrel of oil was about $47.86 on the N.Y. Mercantile Exchange.
Super Tuesday - Super maybe, but not a hell of a lot got settled that Tuesday.
Suddenness Happens - Top Chinglish Phrase from the Beijing Olympics.
The Top Ten Names for 2008:
George W. Bush
And just for the hell of it, the Top Celeb Couple of 2008: Nicolas Sarkozy and Carla Bruni (replacing David Beckham and Posh Spice). The French President and his former supermodel wife were married on February 2, 2008.