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It's Not Madoff

By Dian Vujovich

Yesterday, the Global Language Monitor announced the results of the most used English words in 2009. Being money-minded, I was expecting it to be perhaps Madoff, Ponzi or even Scandal. Wrong.

The top word, in 2009 (the Monitor’s year ends in November) was Twitter. Are you kidding me? Twitter has been spoken more than money? Hard to believe. But according to the Austin-based group that reviews all English words spoken around the world—of which there are apparently 1.58 billion who use the language—that’s the short answer.

In second, third, fourth and fifth places respectively came Obama, H1N1, Stimulus and Vampire.

Out of the top 15 words, Deficit ranked 7th on the list, Healthcare 9th, Unemployed 13th and Foreclosure 14th.

Oofda (not on any list)! Not a pretty picture of how we’re thinking. Here, let me look back a year to see if the results are any better.

Well, not really. In 2008, the top two words were Change and Bailout. The top phrase, Financial Tsunami.

How about for the decade, 2000-2009?

And the 10 one-word answers were Global Warming, 9/11, Obama, Bailout, Evacuee, Derivative, Google, Surge, Chinglish, and Tsunami.

“Looking at the first decade of the 21st century in words is a sober, even somber event,” says Paul JJ Payack, president of The Global Language Monitor.

And he makes a valid point. This decade for many here in America or around the globe has not been the most prosperous, peace-filled or rewarding.

Here’s hoping the next decade will be a much happier one and that the top words on the 2010 Global Language Monitor’s list include Relieved, Employed and Joy. And the top phrases, Back to Work and War Ended.

Read more at: http://www.languagemonitor.com/news/top-words-of-2009.

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