Emoji. Futebol. Ghost Plane. We’re a quarter of the way into 2014 and those words – among various others – have been ranked the top trending buzzwords of the year, at least so far.
The Global Language Monitor (GLM), a Texas-based organization that tracks, analyzes and catalogues word usage trends around the globe, has just unveiled its list of the “Top Trending Words of 2014.” The words on the list are currently being heavily used on today’s most influential mediums, including the internet, social media, blogs, and print and electronic global media.
According to the GLM, the top word is “emoji,” as in those colorful, tiny icons often used in text messaging, emailing and social media posts. Gone are the days of using letters and words to communicate when you’ve got emojis.
Paul JJ Payack, GLM founder and chief word analyst says emojis are a sign of the times and a manner in which people express themselves, while adding to our broad vocabulary.
"Not only is the English language adding a new word every 98 minutes, but it is also expanding the basis of word creation. The alphabet, itself, is now expanding beyond letters to numbers, plus diacritical marks [emoticons], plus emoji [picture words]," Payack explained.
Other top trending words on the list include “futebol” – or soccer, as the globe gears up for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil – and “ghost plane,” as in one of the terms used to describe the ill-fated Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, or MH370, which vanished on Mar. 8 during a scheduled trip from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board.
“Climate Change” also made the cut, as well as “inflation,” “denier,” “mid-term elections,” “Crimea” and “pontiff.”
Of course, Payack says this list is just a precursor to an even bigger list of top trending words and phrases of 2014, which will be released at the end of the year. Those year-end rankings will be part of the GLM’s 12th annual list of this kind.
The word-tracking organization says there are approximately 1,025,109 words in the English language – and counting – as of Jan. 1, 2014.