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

Published by Marian Dougan

Marian is a translator and editor (specialising in web content) currently based in Glasgow, Scotland. Marian previously lived in Italy for over 20 years, working as a language teacher, translator and policy analyst with the British Embassy in Rome. A qualified member of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) and its Italian-language and ITI Scotnet networks, she is currently Scotnet's Convenor and Deputy Webmaster. From 2003 to 2006 Marian taught translation skills at the Italian Department of Glasgow University and now gives Master Classes as part of the new Masters in Translation Studies course. She also conducts web-writing and usability workshops to help people improve their websites and communicate more effectively with their readers, users and customers. In September 2014 Marian obtained User Experience Certification, with specialisation in Web Design, from the Nielsen Norman Group. She loves language, especially English, and is convinced that learning languages opens up people’s minds and horizons (and increases their brainpower!). To share her enthusiasm, she advises schools and educational authorities on language skills and enterprise. She gives talks to pupils on how to combine language studies with other subjects and so enhance their potential and increase their career options. Marian is an active member of organisations such as: Scottish Council Development and Industry (SCDI); Association of Scottish Businesswomen; Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce and the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Scotland. She also loves architecture, design, fashion (British Vogue!), cities and chocolate. She’s a great fan of Twitter and you can also find her on Linkedin.

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  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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