“In a year dominated by world-shaking political events, a pandemic, the after effects of a financial tsunami, and the death of a revered pop icon, the word Twitter stands above all the other words,” Global Language MOnitor president Paul JJ Payack wrote in a statement.
Twitter, of course, is a popular microblogging service that enables users to post 140 character updates about what they’re thinking, doing, and reading. The service has an API so users can coordinate Twitter updates via Facebook and other social networking services, and a myriad of client applications let users tap into (and follow) Twitter via computers, mobile phones, and other devices.
The runners up for the top word of 2009 were “Obama,” “H1N1,” “stimulus,” “vampire,” “2.0” (as in Web 2.0), “deficit,” “hadron,” and “healthcare.” The top phrase for the year was “King of Pop,” referring to Michael Jackson. The top name for the year was “Obama.”
The Global Language Monitor determines its word lists using a proprietary algorithm in its Predictive Quantities Indicator, which scans words and phrases in the media and on the Internet, gauging their frequency, context, and both long-term and short-term shifts in usage. The analysis now includes things like blogs and social media.
Back in June, the Global Language Monitor dubbed “Web 2.0” the millionth word in the English language.