'Global warming' and '9/11': words that define the decade





The Global Language Monitor, which uses a math formula to track the frequency of words and phrases in print and electronic media, said "Obama" came third in the list with the surname of U S President Barack Obama used as the stem for other words.

"Bail-out" was listed fourth after the bank bail-out was one of the first acts of the financial crisis, "evacuee" came fifth in the wake of Hurricane Katrina devastating New Orleans, and "derivative" featured fifth.

"Google," "surge," "Chinglish" meaning a hybrid of Chinese and English, and "tsunami," after the 2004 Asian disaster that left 230,000 people dead or missing, followed.

"Looking at the first decade of the 21st century in words is a sober, even sombre, event," said Paul JJ Payack, president of The Global Language Monitor.

"For a decade that began with such joy and hope, the words chosen depict a far more complicated and in many ways, tragic time. Nevertheless, signs of hope and renewal can be found in the overall lists."

Payack said the top phrase of the decade was "climate change" followed by "financial tsunami" and "Ground Zero." ...


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