'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.

Featured Video

Why do so many of us still buy cars with off-road abilities?

Cities are full of cars like the Subaru XV that can drive off-road but will never see any challenging terrain. What drives us to buy cars with these abilities when we don't really need them most of the time?

by Drew Stearne