Rise and Fall of England as an English Language Word Generator

England Once Accounted for a Majority of English-language Neologisms.

New Research Shows that the Number of New Words Generated has Fallen to Fewer Than 10% of the Total

Excerpt from the Report

AUSTIN, TEXAS, UNITED STATES, August 16, 2021 — The Sun might have set on the British Empire but the language continues to expand its global dominance though with fewer contributions from the ‘Sceptre’d Isle’.  This is according to a new study to be released later this fall, by the Global Language Monitor.

English has been hailed as the first truly global language inserting itself into nearly every nook and cranny of modern life, thanks to its conquest of science, technology, education, film, fashion, and communications.

According to GLM, a new word is created every 98 minutes, about 14.7 words a day or 5400 words a year.  As of today, GLM’s estimated number of words number is 1,066,095.9 words.   Google’s Ngram word count of millions of English-language books also lists a similar number of words.  According to a study with Harvard University, the count was 1,022,000 English-language words in 2010, within 1.6% of GLM’s estimate at the time.  The study estimated about 8,000 neologisms/year joining the language, while GLM’s analysis put the number at 5400.  Nevertheless, it is a large and growing language.

English über alles?

One problem with the UK maintaining proper ownership (and dominance) of the language it begot) is that it is becoming a smaller and smaller portion of the English-speaking world.

As the number of English Words has grown, so has the number of nations that have a large number of English-language speakers, each generating unique neologisms to suit their particular needs.

Today, tens of thousands of English-language neologisms bubble up from all corners of the planet each year, but only about 5,000 to 8,000 have enough staying power to make into any of the standard dictionaries, e.g., the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), Collins, Macmillan, Webster’s Unabridged, American Heritage Dictionary, Macquarie Dictionary, among others.

The Global Language Monitor has three distinct criteria that each new word must meet to be included in the English-language corpus, which GLM refers to as ‘depth’ and ‘breadth’.

  • The word must appear in a minimum of 25,000 citations in a variety of media (Internet,  books, newspapers, research, television, radio)
  • The word must appear in geographies dispersed  across the globe
  • The word must appear in differing cultural segments, industries, and/or  demographic groups

According to the latest available statistics, the UK now stands in sixth place on the list of English-speaking countries, as shown below.  Nevertheless, the list below does raise some interesting questions, for example, the UK is No.6?  The U.S., of course, reigns in the top spot, and perhaps, India is in a well-deserved second place, but Pakistan, Nigeria, and the Philippines at Nos. 3-5?

List of Countries by Number of English Speakers

[Note:  due to variations in statistical methods, some totals can appear slightly out of sequence.]

English-Speaking  Nations By Number of  English Speakers

If you are looking at this list from the perspective of a champion of the former British Empire, you can think about this in two ways:

  • Well done good and faithful servant, or
  • Good riddance, fare they well, the Sun has indeed set upon thee ….

As shown below, Modern English, itself, is an amalgam of dozen or more Proto-Indo-European-Languages, Continue reading “Rise and Fall of England as an English Language Word Generator”

Number of Words in English

1,062,759.4

Number of Words in the English Language, January 1, 2021, estimate

Millionth English word’ declared

Matt Frei reports on English’s unique linguistic evolution and then spoke to Global Language Monitor’s Paul JJ Payack who helped find this millionth English word.


‘Woke’ is the Top Trending Word of 2019, Thus Far

Progress’ is the Top Un-Trending Word (Decliner) for 2019

For More Information, go to LanguageMonitor.com or call 1.737.215.7750 or email info@LanguageMonitor.com

Austin, Texas. September 5, 2012 — 
‘Woke’ is the Top Trending Word of the Year (#WOTY) for 2019 thus far, in the latest global analysis by the Global Language Monitor. ‘Woke’ Is followed by ‘Consequential’, ‘Migrants’, ‘Opioids’, and ‘Collusion’. Rounding out the Top Ten are ‘Anthropocene’, ‘Heartbeat,’ ‘Blue Wave,’ ‘Family Separation, and ‘Trade War’. These are followed by ‘Fake News’, Climate Change’, ‘The Moment’, ‘Nukes’, ‘Progressives’, ‘Micro-influencers’, ‘Fact Check’, ‘ICE’, ‘Women’s World Cup’, and ‘Gerrymander’.

This is the twentieth consecutive survey since the turn of the century. (See Below.) GLM began recording the Top Words of the Year (#WOTY) in the Year 2000 to document the history of the 21st century through Global English, the current Global Language. (#Hashtags were not invented until 2007; #Twitter was the Top Word of 2009, ‘Emoji’ was the Top Word of 2014.)

The Great Awokening
“In Progressive lingo, ‘woke’ describes an epiphany-like experience, where one is awakened to the call of social justice — and the failures of the past,” said Paul JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst of the Global Language Monitor. “Every generation in the post-Modern era has had similar experiences be they Civil Rights, the Vietnam War, the Women’s Movement, LGBT rights, etc. A key distinction here is that the sins of the past are now viewed in the context of the present as subjects to be rectified.”

Woke’ traces back through the Old English, ‘to arise’, ‘to come to be’, ‘to be born’ from the Anglo-Saxon, and Old High German ultimately from Proto-Indo-European root *weg- “to be strong, to be lively.”

Woke, the Top Trending Word of 2019 for Global English Thus Far, Has Dramatically Risen in Use During the Last Decade as Shown in This Google

Progress as the Top Un-trending Word
In a first, GLM named the Top Un-trending Word for 2019, thus far: ‘Progress’. “The concept of progress has had a profound influence on the advance of Western Civilization since ancient times. The idea of ‘progress’ as espoused in the works of Enlightenment thinkers had considerable influence on the drafters of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.

However, as you can see from the chart below, that use of the word has significantly fallen, especially since the mid-1960s. See the Google Ngram below.

The use of the word ‘Progress’ has significantly declined since the mid-1960s according to Google Ngrams.

In 2018 there were two distinct Words of the Year (#WOTY): The Moment — A confluence of fame, fortune, and happenstance (Worldwide), and Weaponize — In today’s bitterly partisan infighting, any word, action, or deed can and will be weaponized (U.S. alone).

The Top Trending Words of the Year (#WOTY) for 2019 thus far, ranked, last year’s ranking, and commentary

  1. Woke (5) — An epiphany-like experience, where one is awakened to the call of social justice
  2. Consequential — Presidents are now judged on the ‘consequentiality’ of their administrations.
  3. Migrants (16) — The continuing worldwide movement of mass migrations.
  4. Opioids (3) — The scourge continues as the nation seems a bit inured to the devastation.
  5. Collusion (11) — The report is filed and final, but the controversies continue.
  6. Anthropocene — Did a new human-influenced geological epoch actually begin in 1950?
  7. Heartbeat — Fetal heartbeat bills are now front-and-center in state legislatures across the nation.
  8. Blue Wave — The Democrats winning back control of Congress in the 2018 Mid-terms.
  9. Family Separation (6) — Family detention and separations actually began in 2014. This is a grave and intractable matter, with plenty of blame to spread around.
  10. Trade War (7) — As we first noted in 2009, “The Rise of China” is a geopolitical event of the first order with the seismic shockwaves continuing to echo around the world.
  11. Fake News (8) — Packaged news, planted sources, one-sided exposes, party lines, and official narratives are a new phenomenon only to those with no sense of history.
  12. Climate Change — 8,000 years ago New York City was under a mile of ice.
  13. The Moment (1) — A confluence of fame, fortune, and happenstance.
  14. Nukes (4) — Last year North Korean, in 2019 Iranian and Russian added to the mix.
  15. Progressives — The word ‘liberal’ outlived its usefulness as the description of one’s political leanings.
  16. Micro-influencers — Bloggers, Vloggers, Instagrammers, Youtubers, and other small yet very influential communities of interest.
  17. Fact Check (17) — New studies suggest that fact-checkers appear to have definite biases.
  18. ICE — The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency under the Department of Homeland Security.
  19. Women’s World Cup — The quadrennial, global celebration of women’s football.
  20. Gerrymander — The divvying up the political spoils (election districts) to the advantage of those in power.

Methodology: The words are culled from throughout the English-speaking world, which now numbers more than 2.3 billion speakers (January 2018 estimate) GLM employs its NarrativeTracker technologies for global Internet and social media analysis. NarrativeTracker is based on global discourse, providing a real-time, accurate picture about any topic, at any point in time. NarrativeTracker analyzes the Internet, blogosphere, the top 300,000 print and electronic global media, as well as new social media sources as they emerge.

The Top Words, Phrases, and Names of the 21st century follow.

2018:
Top Words: No. 1 Truth, No. 2 Narrative, No. 3, Opioids
Top Phrases: No 1. Weinstein Effect (and #MeToo), 2. Nuclear Option (North Korean version.), 3. Deep State
Top Names: No. 1 Donald Trump, No. 2 Vladimir Putin, No. 3 Neil Gorsuch
2017:
Top Words: No. 1 Truth, No. 2 Narrative, No. 3, Opioids
Top Phrases: No 1. Weinstein Effect (and #MeToo), 2. Nuclear Option (North Korean version.), 3. Deep State
Top Names: No. 1 Donald Trump, No. 2 Vladimir Putin, No. 3 Neil Gorsuch
2016:
Top Words: No. 1 A meme — Omran Daqneesh in Aleppo) No. 2 Refugee
Top Phrases: No. 1 Make America Great Again No. 2 When they go low, we go high No. 3 The Electoral College
Top Names: No. 1 Donald Trump, No. 2 Vladimir Putin, No. 3 Neil Gorsuch
2015:
Top Words: No. 1 Microaggression
Top Phrases: No. 1 Migrant Crisis
Top Names: No. 1 Donald J. Trump
2014:
Top Words: No. 1 The Heart ♥ Emoji (for love), No. 2 Hashtag, No. 3 Vape
Top Phrases: No. 1 Hands Up, Don’t Shoot; No. 2 Cosmic Inflation, No. 3 Global Warming
Top Names: No. 1 Ebola, No. 2 Pope Francis, No. 3 World War I
2013:
Top Words: No. 1 ’404’, No.2 Fail, No.3 Hashtag
Top Phrases: No. 1 Toxic Politics, No. 2 Federal Shutdown, No.3 Global Warming/Climate Change
Top Names: No. 1. Pope Francis, No. 2 ObamaCare, No.3 NSA
2012:
Top Words: No. 1 Apocalypse/Armageddon, No.2 Deficit, No. 3 Olympiad
Top Phrases: No. 1 Gangnam Style, No. 2 Climate Change/Global Warming, No. 3 Fiscal Cliff
Top Names: No. 1 Newtown and Malala Yousafzai, No. 3 Xi Jinping
2011:
Top Words: No. 1 Occupy, No. 2 Fracking, No.3 Drone
Top Phrases: No. 1 Arab Spring, No. 2 Royal Wedding, No.3 Anger and Rage
Top Names: No. 1 Steve Jobs, No. 2 Osama bin-laden and Seal Team Six, No. 3 Fukushima
2010:
Top Words: No. 1 Spillcam, No. 2 Vuvuzela, No. 3 The Narrative
Top Phrases: No. 1 Anger and Rage, No. 2 Climate Change, No. 3 The Great Recession
Top Names: No. 1 Hu Jintao, paramount leader of China, No. 2 iPad, No. 3 Barack Obama
2009:
Top Words: No. 1 Twitter, No. 2 Obama-, No. 3 H1N1
Top Phrases: No. 1 King of Pop, No. 2 Obama-mania, No. 3 Climate Change
Top Names: No. 1 Obama, No. 2 Michael Jackson, No. 3 Mobama
2008:
Top Words: No. 1 Change, No. 2 Bailout, No. 3 Obama-mania
Top Phrases: No. 1 Financial Tsunami, No. 2 Global Warming, No. 3 “Yes, We Can!”
Top Names: No. 1 Barack Obama, No. 2 George W. Bush, No.3 Michael Phelps
2007:
Top Words: No. 1 Hybrid (representing all things green), No. 2: Surge
Top Phrase: Climate Change
Top Name: Al Gore
2006:
Top Word: Sustainable
Top Phrase: Stay the Course
Top Name: Dafur
2005:
Top Words: No. 1, Refugee No. 2: Tsunami No. 3: Katrina
Top Phrase: Outside the Mainstream
Top Name: (acts of ) God
2004:
Top Word: Incivility (for inCivil War)
Top Phrase: Red States/Blue States No. 2: Rush to War
Top Name: Dubya/Rove
2003:
Top Word: Embedded
Top Phrase: Shock and Awe, No. 2: Rush to War
Top Name: Saddam Hussein, No. 2 Dubya
2002:
Top Word: Misunderestimate
Top Phrase: Threat Fatigue
Top Name: W (Dubya)
2001:
Top Word: Ground Zero
Top Phrase: ‘Lets Roll’
Top Name: The Heros
2000:
Top Word: Chad
Top Phrase: Dot.com
Top Name: W (Dubya)

About the Global Language Monitor

In 2003, The Global Language Monitor (GLM) was founded in Silicon Valley by Paul J.J. Payack on the understanding that new technologies and techniques were necessary for truly understanding the world of Big Data, as it is now known.

Today, from its home in Austin, Texas GLM provides a number of innovative products and services that utilize its ‘algorithmic services’ to help worldwide customers protect, defend and nurture their branded products and entities. Products include ‘brand audits’ to assess the current status, establish baselines, and competitive benchmarks for current intellectual assets and brands, and to defend products against ambush marketing.

These services are currently provided to the Fortune 500, the Higher Education market, high technology firms, the worldwide print, and electronic media, as well as the global fashion industry, among others.

For More Information, go to LanguageMonitor.com or call 1.737.215.7750 or email info@LanguageMonitor.com.