And the one millionth English word is…

… “Web 2.0”, according to The Global Language Monitor, which uses statistical techniques to document, analyse and track trends in language the world over, with a particular emphasis on Global English.

The site is a bit of a hotch-potch, with sections on Politically Correct Speech, Bushisms, Fashion, Hollywood, Obama, the Olympics, and lots more. It even has a page called “Words of the Pandemic that You Need to Know”, which is certainly topical, with swine flu now up-graded to pandemic status.

I don’t see The Global Language Monitor making it on to my list of “most valued research tools”, but it’ll do fine as a procrastination destination.

By Marian Dougan

4 Responses

  1. But “Web 2.0” was coined in 1999. How can that be the millionth word? Unless they’re saying the millionth word was coined ten years ago. I agree with you — the Global Language Monitor is not a “most valued research tool.”

    1. Yes, it does seem a bit arbitrary. The Language Monitor says that “It has crossed from technical jargon into far wider circulation in the last six months”, so maybe that’s their criterion. But still a bit late in the day, especially as we’re now talking about Web 3.0. I’d also take issue with an existing word with a number tagged on being defined as a new word to enter the language.

  2. Web 2.0? Makes you question their definition of a word really. It’s time that one was Room 101ed. There’s word number one million and one.

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