Main | Monday, November 30, 2009

Twitter: 2009's Most Popular Word

Earlier this month, Oxford American Dictionary declared "unfriend" to be the word of 2009. Now some outfit called the Global Language Monitor has named Twitter as the most popular English-language word of the year.
The Global Language Monitor has announced that Twitter is the Top Word of 2009 in its annual global survey of the English language. Twittered was followed by Obama, H1N1, Stimulus, and Vampire. The near-ubiquitous suffix, 2.0, was No. 6, with Deficit, Hadron the object of study of CERN’s new atom smasher, Healthcare, and Transparency rounded out the Top 10. In a year dominated by world-shaking political events, a pandemic, the after effects of a financial tsunami and the death of a revered pop icon, the word Twitter stands above all the other words. Twitter represents a new form of social interaction, where all communication is reduced to 140 characters,” said Paul JJ Payack, President of The Global Language Monitor. “Being limited to strict formats did wonders for the sonnet and haiku. One wonders where this highly impractical word-limit will lead as the future unfolds.” The Top Words are culled from throughout the English-speaking world, which now numbers more than 1.58 billion speakers.
Here's how they got to Twitter as most popular word.
The analysis was completed in late November using GLM’s Predictive Quantities Indicator (PQI), the proprietary algorithm that tracks words and phrases in the media and on the Internet, now including blogs and social media. 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 top expression of the year was "King of pop." Runners-up: Obama-mania, climate change, swine flu, too big to fail.

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