It’s not the end of the world. Well, not yet, anyway.
“Apocalypse” is the most popular English word on the planet, at least according to the Global Language Monitor, a Texas-based research group that uses computer tracking technology to follow the frequency of actual word and phrase usage across 275,000 print, online and social media sources on five continents.
The choice “reflects a growing fascination with various ‘end-of-the-world’ scenarios, or at least the end of life as we know it. This year the Mayan Apocalypse was well noted, but some eight of the top words and phrases were directly related to a sense of impending doom,” said Paul JJ Payack, president of the group.
“These included apocalypse, Bak’tun, Frankenstorm, global warming, climate change, God Particle, rogue nukes, solar max, near-Earth asteroid,” he explains. Even fleeting references to the U.S. presidential elections references such as “Obamageddon” or “Romneygeddon” come into play, he says.
No. 2 on the word list? It’s “deficit,” Mr. Payack advises
Over in the phrase category, “gangnum style” was in first place, followed by “global warming” and “fiscal cliff.” A Mitt Romney gaffe apparently resounded among the 1.8 billion English speakers around the world, the monitor found.
“Binders full of women” was in eight place.
President Obama and Mr. Romney were, incidentally, ranked fourth and fifth in the “names” category of the extensive rankings, which also estimated that there are now 1,019,729 words in the English language.
And how fickle are we? The top-ranked English word in 2011 was “occupy.”
See the wide ranging research here: http://www.LanguageMonitor.com/.