Global Language Monitor

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Global Language Monitor
Media Analytics
IndustryHigh Technology
Founded1999 (1999)
FounderPaul JJ Payack [4]
Headquarters: Austin, Texas
ProductsOlympics and World Cup Brand and Ambush Marketing Analyses, annual Top Fashion Capitals, TrendTopper MediaBuzz College Guide, Annual Top Word of the Year (#WOTY) for International and Global English), Top Business Buzzwords, Top Political Buzzwords, Top Politically(in)Correct Words

The Global Language Monitor (GLM) is an Austin, Texas-based company that collectively documents, analyzes, and tracks trends in language usage worldwide, with a particular emphasis upon the English language. It is particularly known for its Word of the Year,[1] political analysis,[2][3] college and university rankings,[4] High Tech buzzwords,[5][6] and media analytics.[7]


Founded in Silicon Valley in 2003 by Paul J.J. Payack, the GLM describes its role as "a media analytics company that documents, analyzes and tracks cultural trends in language the world over, with a particular emphasis upon International and Global English". GLM's main services include various products based on the Narrative Tracker technologies for global Internet and social media analysis. NarrativeTracker is based on global discourse, providing a real-time, accurate picture about any topic, at any point in time. NarrativeTracker analyzes the Internet, blogosphere, the top 275,000 print and electronic global media, as well as new social media sources as they emerge.[8] In April 2008, GLM moved its headquarters from San Diego to Austin.[9]

In July 2020, GLM announced that 'Covid' was the Top Word of 2020 for Global or International English.

Covid is the commonly used shorthand for the shorthand for Covid-19. Covid-19 is the official name of the virus caused by the SARS CoV-2 virus, so named in WHO’s International Classification of Diseases (ICD). ‘Covid’ has received the highest number of citations ever recorded in our global survey. In fact, ‘covid’ has outranked all previous Words of the Year in the 21st century by a factor of 100.

Covid-19 is ranked No. 2. The Top Ten Words of the Year (#WOTY) for 2020 include Covid, Covid-19, Coronavirus, Corona, Face mask, Progress, Truth, Social Distancing, Trade War, and Sustainability. Typically, the Global Language Monitor ranks words, phrases, and names on three separate lists, and the lists are limited to twenty items. For this effort, GLM has combined the lists and extended the word count to fifty items.

Other recently released word-lists include:

  • The Top Words of the First Fifteen Years of the 21st Century (and what they portend).[10]
  • The Top Words of 2115 (One hundred Years Hence)[11]
  • The AD 2076 Map of the Re-federalised United States (including VanCity and Scot's Land).[12]

Top Words of 2020 (the Plague Year)[edit]


Top Word of 2020 Midyear Part 1

Top Word of 2020 Midyear Part 2

Top Words of Previous Years[edit]






  • Spillcam
  • Vuvuzela
  • The Narrative
  • Refudiate
  • Guido and Guidette
  • Deficit
  • Snowmagedden/Snowpocalypse
  • 3-D
  • Shellacking
  • simplexity






Previous Words, Phrases & Names of the Year[edit]

Top Words: No. 1 The Heart ♥ Emoji (for love), No. 2 Hashtag, No. 3 Vape
Top Phrases: No. 1 Hands Up, Don’t Shoot; No. 2 Cosmic Inflation, No. 3 Global Warming
Top Names: No. 1 Ebola, No. 2 Pope Francis, No. 3 World War I
Top Words: No. 1 ‘404’, No.2 Fail, No.3 Hashtag
Top Phrases: No. 1 Toxic Politics, No. 2 Federal Shutdown, No.3 Global Warming/Climate Change
Top Names: No. 1. Pope Francis, No. 2 ObamaCare, No.3 NSA
Top Words: No. 1 ApocalypseArmageddon, No.2 Deficit, No. 3 Olympiad
Top Phrases: No. 1 Gangnam Style, No. 2 Climate Change/Global Warming, No. 3 Fiscal Cliff
Top Names: No. 1 Newtown and Malala Yousafzai, No. 3 Xi Jinping
Top Words: No. 1 Occupy, No.2 Fracking, No.3 Drone
Top Phrases: No. 1 Arab Spring, No. 2 Royal Wedding, No.3 Anger and Rage
Top Names: No. 1 Steve Jobs, No. 2 Osama bin-laden and Seal Team Six, No.3 Fukushim
Top Words: No. 1 Occupy, No.2 Fracking, No.3 Drone
Top Phrases: No. 1 Anger and Rage, No. 2 Climate Change, No. 3 The Great Recession
Top Names: No. 1 Hu Jintao, paramount leader of China, No. 2 iPad, No. 3 Barack Obama
Top Words: No. 1: Twitter, No. 2: Obama, No. 3: H1N1
Top Phrases: No. 1: King of Pop, No. 2: Obama-mania, No. 3: Climate Change
Top Names: No. 1: Obama, No. 2: Michael Jackson, No. 3: Mobama
Top Words: No. 1: Change, No. 2: Bailout, No. 3: Obama-mania
Top Phrases: No. 1: Financial Tsunami, No. 2: Global Warming, No. 3: "Yes, We Can!"
Top Names: No. 1: Barack Obama, No. 2: George W. Bush, No. 3: Michael Phelps
Top Words: No. 1 Hybrid (representing all things green), No. 2: Surge
Top Phrase: Climate Change
Top Name: Al Gore
Top Word: Sustainable
Top Phrase: Stay the Course
Top Name: Darfur
Top Words: No. 1, Refugee, No. 2: Tsunami, No. 3: Katrina
Top Phrase: Outside the Mainstream
Top Name: (acts of) God
Top Word: Incivility (for inCivil War)
Top Phrase: Red States/Blue States, No. 2: Rush to War
Top Name: Dubya/Rove
Top Word: Embedded
Top Phrase: Shock and Awe, No. 2: Rush to War
Top Name: Saddam Hussein, No. 2: Dubya
Top Word: Misunderestimate
Top Phrase: Threat Fatigue
Top Name: W (Dubya)
Top Word: Ground Zero
Top Phrase: ‘Lets Roll’
Top Name: The Heros
Top Word: Chad
Top Phrase:
Top Name: W (Dubya)

Counting English words[edit]

GLM announced the 1,000,000th English word on June 10, 2009.[13] This controversial exercise was widely covered in the global media.[14][15] The count itself was widely criticized by a number of prominent linguists, including Geoffrey Nunberg,[16] and Jesse Sheidlower[17] and Benjamin Zimmer,[18] on the grounds that since there is no generally accepted definition of a word, there can never be a definitive count.[17][18][19]

The finalists, which met the criteria of a minimum of 25,000 citations with the necessary breadth of geographic distribution and depth of citations, were:

1. Web 2.0. 2. Jai Ho! 3. N00b. 4. Slumdog. 5. Cloud computing. 6. Carbon Neutral. 7. Slow Food. 8. Octomom. 9. Greenwashing. 10. Sexting. 11. Shovel ready. 12. Defriend. 13. Chengguan. 14. Recessionista. 15. Zombie Banks.[20]

Critics noted that the target date had been changed a number of times from late in 2006 to early in 2009.[21][22][23][24][25][26] It was also criticized on grounds that a count is impossible because "word" is not a scientifically valid concept. Google addressed this situation by counting the words in the 15 million scanned texts in their corpus.[27] Global Language Monitor states the general criteria for inclusion on its site, maintaining that it is simply updating the established criteria for printed dictionaries beginning with the works of Samuel Johnson and Noah Webster.[28]

The New York Times quoted Paul JJ Payack as saying that the PQI is "an algorithm that tracks words and phrases in the media and on the Internet in relation to frequency, context and appearance in global media. It is a weighted index that takes into account year-to-year increases and acceleration in the last several months".[29] In general terms, GLM describes its Predictive Quantities Indicator (PQI), used to run its analytics on global language trends and, as a weighted index, factoring in long-term trends, short-term changes, momentum and velocity, using frequency data on words and phrases in the global print and electronic media, on the Internet, and throughout the blogosphere, as well as in proprietary databases (Factiva, Lexis-Nexis, etc.). It can also create "signals" that can be used in a variety of applications.[30]

Obama an English language word[edit]

On 20 February 2008 GLM announced that the latest word to enter the English language was "obama", derived from Barack Obama, in its many variations. GLM described Obama- as a "root" for words including obamanomics, obamican, obamamentum, obamacize, obamarama, obamaNation, Obamafy, obamamania and obamacam.[31] GLM announced it to be an accepted word, once it met the group's published criteria: a minimum of 25,000 citations in the global media, as well as achieving the necessary 'breadth' and 'depth' of citations.[32]

Top US Colleges and University Rankings[edit]

The Global Language Monitor publishes other lists relating to the English language including: the TrendTopper MediaBuzz College Guide rankings of the top 425 U.S. colleges and universities according to their internet brand equity.[33]

Top Universities (January 2016): Rank/University/Previous Ranking

Top Universities Last

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology 1
  2. University of California at Los Angeles 6
  3. University of California, Berkeley 3
  4. University of California, Davis 7
  5. University of California, San Diego 12
  6. University of Chicago 4
  7. University of Texas, Austin 5
  8. Harvard University 2
  9. University of Washington 13
  10. University of Southern California 27
  11. Stanford University 8
  12. University of Wisconsin, Madison 15
  13. Yale University 21
  14. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 16
  15. University of California, Irvine 37
  16. University of Virginia 19
  17. University of California, Santa Barbara 36
  18. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 20
  19. University of Minnesota 22
  20. Ohio State University, Columbus 28
  21. Columbia University 14
  22. Princeton University 17
  23. University of Pennsylvania 11
  24. Duke University 61
  25. University of California, Santa Cruz 84
  26. New York University 9
  27. Emory University 33
  28. Michigan State University 24
  29. Cornell University 23
  30. Johns Hopkins University 30
  31. Northwestern University 10
  32. University of Florida 67
  33. Florida State 48
  34. University of Missouri, Columbia 51
  35. Virginia Tech 65
  36. University of Arizona 77
  37. University of Iowa 44
  38. Georgia Institute of Technology 26
  39. Washington University in St. Louis 25
  40. Indiana University, Bloomington 32
  41. University of Miami 46
  42. Washington State University 79
  43. University of Pittsburgh 45
  44. University of San Diego 149
  45. University of Oregon 49
  46. American University 58
  47. University of Phoenix 98
  48. Purdue University 31
  49. Iowa State University 47
  50. University of Georgia 43
  51. University of Tennessee 90

Top 50 US Colleges by TrendTopper MediaBuzz 2016[edit]

Rank/College/Previous Ranking

  1. Wesleyan University 54
  2. School of the Art Institute of Chicago 27
  3. College of the Holy Cross 58
  4. Williams College 6
  5. University of Richmond 2
  6. United States Military Academy 1
  7. Smith College 47
  8. United States Naval Academy 20
  9. Middlebury College 7
  10. Pratt Institute 10
  11. Wellesley College 4
  12. University of the Arts, PA 69
  13. Berklee College of Music 72
  14. Babson College 9
  15. Oberlin College 19
  16. Rhode Island School of Design 22
  17. Bucknell University 11
  18. Vassar College 8
  19. Barnard College 21
  20. Colgate University 14
  21. Bowdoin College 15
  22. Pomona College 3
  23. Davidson College 25
  24. Bennington College 96
  25. Lafayette College 13
  26. Swarthmore College 16
  27. United States Air Force Academy 43
  28. Colby College 46
  29. Mount Holyoke College 44
  30. Bard College 18
  31. Amherst College 4
  32. Fashion Institute of Technology 64
  33. Morehouse College 35
  34. Carleton College 36
  35. Occidental College 17
  36. Furman University 66
  37. Bryn Mawr College 31
  38. The Juilliard School 30
  39. Reed College 24
  40. Bates College 48
  41. Washington and Lee University 38
  42. Kenyon College 40
  43. Drew University 45
  44. Dickinson College 23
  45. Skidmore College 39
  46. Colorado College 89
  47. Trinity College, CT 33
  48. DePauw University 49
  49. Gettysburg College 32
  50. Haverford College 50

Top US Colleges by Category[edit]

  • The 222 Top US Universities 1. MIT, 2. UCLA, 3. Berkeley
  • The 199 Top US Colleges 1. Wesleyan (CT), 2. SAIC, 3. Holy Cross
  • The Top US Private Universities 1. Chicago, 2. Harvard, 3. Stanford
  • The Top US Public Universities 1. UCLA, 2. Berkeley, 3. UC Davis
  • The Top US Private Colleges 1. Wesleyan (CT), 2. SAIC, 3. Holy Cross
  • The Top US Public Colleges 1. West Point, 2. Annapolis, 3. Air Force
  • The Top Engineering Universities 1. MIT, 2. Virginia Tech, 3. Georgia Tech
  • The Top Engineering Colleges 1. Harvey Mudd, 2. MSOE, 3. SD School of Mines
  • The Top Catholic Universities 1. U San Diego, 2. Boston College, 3. Notre Dame.
  • The Top Catholic Colleges 1. Holy Cross, 2. Siena College, 3. Willamette
  • Top Denomination-related Colleges 1. St Olaf, 2. High Point, 3. Muhlenberg
  • Top Military and Service Academies 1. West Point, 2. Annapolis, 3. Air Force
  • Top Art, Design, and Music Schools 1. School of the Art Institute AIC, 2. Pratt Institute, 3. School of the Arts, PA
  • Top Women’s Colleges 1. Smith, 2. Wellesley, 3. Barnard
  • Top Historically Black Colleges and Universities 1. Morehouse, 2. Spelman, 3.Rhodes

and 15 Top All-Time Bushisms, and many others.[34]


  1. ^ Spillcam, vuvuzela are top words of 2010
  2. ^ Kristof, Nicholas (2008-10-17). "Obama the Intellectual". Retrieved 2009-10-19.
  3. ^ Nicholas D. Kristof: Obama and the war on brains
  4. ^ ANITA B. HOFSCHNEIDER Contributing Writer. "Media Fixates on Harvard". Retrieved 2009-10-19.
  5. ^ "Bamboozled By Buzzwords". 2005-04-24. Retrieved 2009-10-19.
  6. ^ "10 Most Confusing High Tech Buzzwords". 24 March 2005. Retrieved 2009-10-19.
  7. ^ Michael Jackson's Death Second Biggest Story of the Century Archived July 12, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Global Language Monitor". The Times. London: 2009-03-25. Retrieved 2009-10-19.
  9. ^ [1] / Finally, California sends a business we can support
  10. ^ [2]
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-11-20. Retrieved 2015-11-22.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-11-20. Retrieved 2015-11-22.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ John D. Sutter CNN (2009-06-10). "English gets millionth word on Wednesday, site says". Retrieved 2009-10-19.
  14. ^ Winchester, Simon (2009-06-06). "1,000,000 Words!". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 2010-05-03.
  15. ^ Millionth English word' declared'
  16. ^ Enumerating English, Geoffrey Nunberg, NPR
  17. ^ a b Word Count, Jesse Sheidlower, Slate, April 10, 2006
  18. ^ a b "Language Log » The "million word" hoax rolls along". Retrieved 2009-10-19.
  19. ^ Enumerating English,
  20. ^ ‘One millionth English word’ is ‘Web 2.0’ Archived 2009-06-14 at the Wayback Machine, Philippine Daily Inquirer, June 12, 2009
  21. ^ Harlow, John (2006-02-05). "Chinglish – it's a word in a million". The Sunday Times. London. Retrieved 2009-01-14. According to Payack, the one millionth word is likely to be formed this summer
  22. ^ Macintyre, Ben (2006-08-11). "We're all speaking Geek". The Times. London. Retrieved 2009-01-14. According to Paul Payack, who runs the Global Language Monitor, there are currently 988,974 words in the English language, with thousands more emerging every month. By his calculation, English will adopt its one millionth word in late November.
  23. ^ "From Babel to Babble . . . Everyone is Speaking English". Kensington books. Archived from the original on 2009-05-04. Retrieved 2009-01-14. in the spring of 2007, the English word count surpassed a million—over ten times the number available in French. At the crest of this linguistic tsunami surfs Paul J.J. Payack, aka the WordMan. As president of the Global Language Monitor
  24. ^ ""A Million Words and Counting" How Global English Is Rewriting the World". Market Wire. May 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-14. according to author Paul J.J. Payack, the founding president of the Global Language Monitor ( ), English will adopt its millionth word in 2008[dead link]
  25. ^ Walker, Ruth (2009-01-02). "Save the date: English nears a milestone". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 2009-01-14. It's April 29, 2009 – plus or minus a few days. That is when the English language is expected to acquire its millionth word. This prediction comes from Global Language Monitor, an organization in Austin, Texas
  26. ^ "English gets millionth word on Wednesday, site says", CNN
  27. ^ [3], Discover
  28. ^ "GLM Criteria". Archived from the original on 2012-09-19. Retrieved 2009-10-19.
  29. ^ The Power of Words
  30. ^ The Predictive Quantities Indicator (PQI), GLM website
  31. ^ English language is Barack 'Obamafied', Catherine Elsworth, Los Angeles,, 26 Feb 2008
  32. ^ "PQI". 11 August 2008. Retrieved 2009-10-19.
  33. ^ "Trendtopper MediaBuzz 2016 University Rankings". Archived from the original on 2014-08-11. Retrieved 2014-07-06.
  34. ^ The Morning File: To find the Word of the Year, follow the money, Gary Rottstein, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 12, 2009

External links[edit]