List of likely 2012 'top words' released

Dec. 26, 2011 at 5:42 PM
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AUSTIN, Texas, Dec. 26 (UPI) -- A U.S. language group has released its annual global survey of words and phrases it says are likely to dominate word usage and creation in 2012.

In its 12th annual global survey of the English language, Global Language Monitor said terms such as CERN, Kate, China, the Olympics and those relating to the U.S. elections and end-of-world scenarios will be foremost next year.

"The year 2012 looks to be a vibrant year for the English language with word creation again driven by events both scheduled and unanticipated," Paul JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst of GLM, said.

"Typically there is an 'end-of-the-world' scenario every few years that impacts the English language; this year we will see no fewer than three including the Maya Apocalypse and the Solar Max," he said.

Austin, Texas-based GLM ranked words from throughout the English-speaking world, with an estimated 1.83 billion speakers, analyzing the Internet, blogosphere, the top 75,000 print and electronic global media and social media sources.

Global Language Monitor determined "occupy" was the Top Word, "Arab Spring" the Top Phrase, and Steve Jobs the Top Name of 2011 in its survey.

"Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, will compete with the London Olympics, the economic surge of China, various activities involving the CERN atom smasher, and the U.S. presidential election for Top Word honors, though we always allow for word creation generated from unexpected events such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005 or the Japanese 'triple disaster' of 2011," Payack said.

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