The Most Frequently Spoken Word on the Planet: O.K.
Popularized by US President (1837 -1841) Martin Van Buren's nickname, Old Kinderhook from his birthplace in New York State. His re-election slogan was 'Martin Van Buren is O.K'. Didn't you ever wonder why a simple word can be spelled in capital letters followed by periods? Though the undoubtedly word appeared in earlier variations, this is the event that solidified its position in the language
Another reason, which sounds quite true, dates "o.k."'s history also back to America, but with German roots. The German Ohne Korrektur, o.k., meaning no faults/errors was used in school's essais and works when a student did a good work. From colonial German villages and communities in America this abbreviation then spread to the world.
The Top Ten Words of 2006 with commentary follow.
1. Sustainable – Originally a 'green' term has moved into the mainstream meaning 'self-generating' as in 'wind power is a sustainable power supply'. Can apply to populations, marriages, agriculture, economies, and the like. The opposite of 'disposable'.
2. Infonaut – Those who blithely travel along the 'infobahn'.
3. Hiki Komori – One million young Japanese men who avoid intense societal pressures by withdrawing into their own rooms (and worlds) rarely venturing outside.
4. Planemo -- Planets that didn't make the cut in 2006 as sustainable planets. Pluto was demoted to a planemo.
5. Netroots -- The activists who have transformed the practice of fund raising and getting out the vote – through cyberspace.
6. Londonistan – Nickname for London as its Asian population swells.
7. Brokeback (Mountain)– A cultural phenomenon (Brokeback, Brokedown, etc.) with almost a million references to Brokeback jokes alone on Google.
8. Ethanol – Proxy for all things 'green' and energy independence.
9. Corruption – As in 'Culture of'; analysis of mid-term elections suggests this was the key for the turnover of the House.
10. Chinese (adj.) – All things Chinese currently in ascendance
The Top Ten Global YouthSpeak Words for 2006 with commentary follow.
1. Yoof Speak – Pan-Asian term for YouthSpeak.
2. Ballin' – Doing well; fine; as in he's really ballin' now.
3. Stick Ice – Chinese YouthSpeak for 'popsicle' or ice cream cone.
4. ii – Siigniifiies the text messaging style of doubliing the letter ii wherever iit iis found. (Very gee or preppy).
5. Ya-ya papaya – Snooty person (Singlish from Singapore).
6. 1 – From the U2 song One Love. Sign-off to Instant Messages.
7. =^..^= The emoticon representing a kitty.
8. Get up One's Nose – Irritates, as in 'He gets up my nose!' (UK).
9. LMAO – Texting abbreviation for Laughed My Ass Off.
10. Yobbo – An unrefined or loutish youth (Aussie/UK).
The Top Ten Names for 2006 with commentary follow.
1. Darfur – First time a country or region heads the list.
2. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – Unfettered President of Iran.
3. Bono – Quintessential rock star, front man for the band U2, turned humanitarian.
4. George Bush – Received an old fashioned 'whuppin' in the mid-Term elections; still attempting to turn the tide in his last 24 months in office.
5. Kofi Annan – Departing head of the UN, both revered and reviled.
6. Joseph Ratzinger – Pope Benedict XVI turned Muslim heads by quoting a Renaissance scholar with a less than favorable opinion of Islam.
7. Brangelina – Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie as a new type of Hollywood power couple.
8. Saddam Hussein – Hanging marks the end of one of the most brutal dictatorships in recent memory.
9. Fidel Castro – Still lives on as the head of one of the few remaining Communist states, some fifty years after the Cuban Revolution.
10. Hugo Chávez – Expressed less than favorable opinion of President Bush at the UN.
San Diego, Calif. November 22, 2006. 'No Noising' and 'Airline Pulp' have been named the Top Chinglish Words of 2006 in The Global Language Monitor's annual survey of the Chinese-English hybrid words known more commonly as Chinglish. Though often viewed with amusement by the rest of the English-speaking world, The Chinglish phenomenon is one of the prime drivers of Globalization of the English Language.
The importance of Chinglish is the fact that some 250,000,000 Chinese are now studying, or have studied, English and their impact (and imprint) upon the language cannot be denied," said Paul JJ Payack, President and The WordMan of the Global Language Monitor. "Since each Chinese ideogram can have many meanings and interpretations, translating ideas into English is, indeed, difficult. Nevertheless, the abundance of new words and phrases, unlikely as this may seem, can and will impact Global English as it evolves through the twenty-first century".
Chinglish is just one of a number of the -Lishes, such as Hinglish (Hindu-English hybrid) and Singlish, that found in Singapore. A language can best be view as a living entity, where it grows just like any other living thing and is shaped by the environment in which it lives.
With the continuing emergence of China on the world stage -- and with the Olympics coming to Beijing in 2008, the state is now attempting to stamp-out some of the more egregious examples of Chinglish. In its annual survey the Global Language Monitor has selected from hundreds of nominees, the top Chinglish words and Phrases of 2006.
The Top Chinglish Words and Phrases of 2006 follow:
1. "No Noising". Translated as "quiet please!"
2. "Airline pulp." Food served aboard an airliner.
3. "Jumping umbrella". A hang-glider.
4. "Question Authority". Information Booth.
5. "Burnt meat biscuit." No it's not something to enjoy from the North of England but what is claimed to be bread dipped in a savory meat sauce.
Bonus: GLM's all-time favorite from previous surveys: "The Slippery are very crafty". Translation: Slippery when wet!
The Top Ten Catchphrases for 2006 with commentary follow.
1. Stay the Course – Declared inoperative as the situation in Iraq slides into the abyss.
2. If I Did it – GLM traced nearly 10,000 news stories about O.J.'s new book within 36 hours of its announcement. The book was almost immediately withdrawn by its publisher.
3. # - ) The 'emoticon' way of saying 'wasted'.
4. Airline Pulp – The Chinglish (Chinese/English Hybrid) way of describing food served aboard an airliner. We think this one is a keeper.
5. Serial Texter – Though rarely used by adults, texting has become one of the predominant methods of communication among the world's youth, with many texting hundreds of messages a day. You can even subscribe to serialized SMS (short message service) 'novels'.
6. Global Warming – Eliminate the political controversy and the fact remains that 10,000 years ago New York City was under 5,000 feet of ice.
7. Keeping Parents Clueless – Or KPC: The 'instant message' way of telling friends that while parents might be reading over their shoulders, they are nevertheless being kept uniformed.
8. Brokeback Mountain – This movie title became the center of hundreds of late night jokes. Even Dick Chaney was featured on the cover art of the New Yorker with a Brokeback theme.
9. Come and Get it Fast – McDonald's created this Chinese phrase as a ready translation of 'fast food'.
10. "You're going to Hollywood!" – After five years, this phrase from American Idol, is more popular than ever.