The Global Language Monitor today announced the finalists for the Million Word March. The English Language will cross the 1,000,000 word threshold on June 10, 2009 at 10:22 am Stratford-Upon-Avon time.
“The Million Word milestone brings to notice the coming of age of English as the first, truly global Language”, said Paul JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst of the Global Language Monitor. “There are three major trends involving the English language today: 1) An explosion in word creation; English words are being added to the language at the rate of some 14.7 words a day; 2) a geographic explosion where some 1.53 billion people now speak English around the globe as a primary, auxiliary, or business language; and 3) English has become, in fact, the first truly global language.”
Due to the global extent of the English language, the Millionth Word is as likely to appear from India, China, or East L.A.as it is to emerge from Stratford-upon-Avon (Shakespeare’s home town). The final words and phrases under consideration are listed below. These words represent each of the categories of Global English that GLM tracks, Since English appears to be adding a new word every 98 minutes or about 14.7 words a day, the Global Language Monitor is selecting a representative sampling. You can follow the English Language WordClock counting down to the one millionth word at www.LanguageMonitor.com.
These words that are on the brink of entering the language as the finalists for the One Millionth English Word:
Australia: Alchopops – Sugary-flavored mixed drinks very much en vogue.
Chinglish: Chengguan – Urban management officers, a cross between mayors, sheriff, and city managers.
Economics: 1) Financial Tsunami – The global financial restructuring that seemingly swept out of nowhere, wiping out trillions of dollars of assets, in a matter of months. 2) Zombie Banks – Banks that would be dead if not for government intervention and cash infusion.
Entertainment: Jai Ho! — From the Hindi, “it is accomplished’ achieved English-language popularity through the multiple Academy Award Winner, “Slumdog Millionaire”.
Fashion: 1) Chiconomics – The ability to maintain one’s fashion sense (chicness) amidst the current financial crisis. 2) Recessionista – Fashion conscious who use the Global economic restructuring to their financial benefit; 3) Mobama – relating to the fashion-sense of the US First Lady, as in ‘that is quite mobamaish’.
Popular Culture: Octomom (the media phenomenon of the mother of the octuplets).
Green Living: 1) Green washing – Re-branding an old product as environmentally friendly. 2) E-vampire – Appliances and machines on standby-mode, which continually use electrical energy they ‘sleep’. 3) Slow food: — Food other than the fast-food variety hopefully produced locally (locavores).
Hinglish: Cuddies – Ladies’ underwear or panties.
Internet: 1) De-follow – No longer following the updates of someone on a social networking site. 2) De-friend – No longer following the updates of a friend on a social networking site; much harsher than de-following. 3) Web 2.0 – The next generation of web services.
Language: Toki Pona – The only language (constructed or natural) with a trademark.
Million Word March: MillionWordWord — Default entry if no other word qualifies.
Music: Wonderstar – as in Susan Boyle, an overnight sensation, exceeding all realsonable expectations.
Poland: Bangsters – A description of those responsible for ‘predatory’ lending practices, from a combination of the words banker and gangster.
Politically incorrect: 1) Slumdog – a formerly disparaging comments upon those residing in the slums of India; 2) Seatmates of size – US airline euphemism for passengers who carry enough weight to require two seats.
Politics: 1) Carbon neutral — One of the many phrases relating to the effort to stem Climate Change. 2) Overseas Contingency Operations – The Obama re-branding of the Bush War on Terror.
Sports: Phelpsian – The singular accomplishments of Michael Phelps at the Beijing Olympics.
Spirituality: Renewalist – Movements that encompass renewal of the spirit; also call ‘Spirit-filled’ movements.
Technology: 1) Cloud Computing – The ‘cloud’ has been technical jargon for the Internet for many years. It is now passing into more general usage. 2) N00b — From the Gamer Community; a neophyte in playing a particular game; used as a disparaging term. 3) Sexting – Sending email (or text messages) with sexual content.
YouthSpeak: Quendy-Trendy — British youth speak for hip or up-to-date.
French word with least chance of entering English Language: le courriel – E-Mail.
Most recognized English-language word on the planet: O.K.
Each word is being analyzed to determine which is attaining the greatest depth (number of citations) and breadth (geographic extent of word usage), as well as number appearances in the global print and electronic media, the Internet, the blogosphere, and social media (such as Twitter and YouTube). The Word with the highest PQI score will be deemed the 1,000,000th English language word. The Predictive Quantities Indicator (PQI) is used to track and analyze word usage.
Global Language Monitor has been tracking English word creation since 2003. Once it identifies new words (or neologisms) it measures their extent and depth of usage with its PQI technology.
In Shakespeare’s day, there were only 2,000,000 speakers of English and fewer than 100,000 words. Shakespeare himself coined about 1,700 words. Thomas Jefferson invented about 200 words, and George W. Bush created a handful, the most prominent of which is, misunderestimate. US President Barack Obama’s surname passed into wordhood last year with the rise of obamamania.