'Twitter' top word of 2009

Twitter is at it again. This time, the term "twitter" has taken the top spot of the world's most popular English word.

Twitter has had quite a year. Not only has it attracted worldwide attention and millions of new users, "Twitter" has been named the top word in the English language for 2009.

According to the Global Language Monitor, which examines language usage across the world, "Twitter" beat out "Obama," "H1N1," "stimulus," and "vampire" to take the crown. Interestingly, "2.0" came in at sixth place.

"In a year dominated by world-shaking political events, a pandemic, the aftereffects of a financial tsunami, and the death of a revered pop icon, the word 'Twitter' stands above all the other words," Paul JJ Payack, president of Global Language Monitor, said Sunday in a statement. "Twitter represents a new form of social interaction, where all communication is reduced to 140 characters. Being limited to strict formats did wonders for the sonnet and haiku. One wonders where this highly impractical word-limit will lead as the future unfolds."

To compile its data, the Global Language Monitor uses its proprietary algorithm, called the Predictive Quantities Indicator. According to the company, the algorithm "tracks words and phrases in the media and on the Internet." It also monitors blogs and social media. Word frequency, contextual usage, and "appearance in global media outlets" contribute to a word's popularity.

Click here to see a full listing of the top words, phrases, and names of the year--and of the decade.

About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.

 

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