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'Change' is the word that dominated 2008

Sunday, 6 July 2008 - 1:53pm IST | Agency: PTI
The term 'change' heads a list of political buzzwords that dominated the recently-concluded US primary season for presidential nominations, a study has found.

WASHINGTON: The term 'change' heads a list of political buzzwords that dominated the recently-concluded US primary season for presidential nominations, a study has found.
    
Besides 'change', some ill-chosen words and phrases by Michelle Obama -- Barack Obama's wife, Jeremiah Wright -- his former pastor and both Bill and Hillary Clinton, followed by 'race' were named the top political buzzwords and phrases by the Global Language Monitor (GLM), in its periodic survey.
    
The list of Top 10 also included 'just words','misspoke', 'inevitability', 'aloof' and 'Obama a Muslim?'
    
The ranking is determined by GLM's PQI Index, a proprietary algorithm that scours the global print and electronic media, the Internet, and blogosphere for 'hot' political buzzwords and then ranks them according to year-over-year change, acceleration and directional momentum.
    
The GLM gave 'change' an index rating of 10X.
    
"The entire list is quite sobering, and rather surprising. Sobering in the fact that the list is dominated by those issues and sound bites generated by the negative sides of the campaign," said Paul JJ Payack, president of GLM.
    
"The list is surprising in the fact that strong preponderance of words and phrases are related to the Democratic campaign with just a handful from the Republican side," he added.
    
Using this methodology, GLM was the only media analytics organisation that foresaw the 2004 electorate voting with their moral compasses rather than their pocketbooks, a statement said.
    
Political buzzwords are terms or phrases that become loaded with emotional freight beyond the normal meaning of the word, the GLM said.
    
"For example, the word 'surge' has been in English-language vocabulary since time immemorial. However, in its new context as an Iraq War strategy, it inspires a set of emotions in many people far beyond the norm," it said.
    
The GLM had found that the top buzzwords for the 2006 midterm elections included 'throes', 'quagmire','credibility', 'global warming', and 'insurgency'.
    
On the other hand, the top buzzwords in the 2004 Presidential campaign included 'swift boats', 'flip flop/flopping', 'quagmire', 'Fahrenheit 911', 'misleader' and 'liar'.




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