Words of the Year 2008
BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR:
Hello, everybody, and good morning. This is CNN SUNDAY MORNING. It is December 7th. I’m Betty Nguyen.
RICHARD LUI, CNN ANCHOR:
NGUYEN: So, we’re bringing you the top 10 words of 2008. Can you guess what some of them might be?
LUI: Yes. What would a year be without a top 10 list here? Our Josh Levs has that for us.
Josh, do you speak Phelpsian Chinglish?
JOSH LEVS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Guys, I need to say (ph)…
NGUYEN: What the heck is that? Can you bail us out from that one? I know bailout is one of the words.
LEVS: That was really good. Yes. Well, I’m going to try to do some Phelpsian bailout Chinglish for you now.
NGUYEN: All right.
LEVS: Let’s take a look. This is from Global Language Monitor. And it’s really interesting when they put this list every year.
Let’s just go to the first graphic because I want you to see what it is that we are starting off with. One to five: change, and then, bailout, Betty, just like you were saying. Three, Obamania. Not much of a surprise since I think we’ve said that on the air a few hundred times. Green — well, I was not — are you guys familiar with greenwashing?
LEVS: I didn’t know greenwashing. Greenwashing is repositioning of products to stress its earth-friendly attributes. Basically trying to sell something claiming that it’s green, maybe greener than it is.
NGUYEN: OK. Hold on. Let me ask you this.
NGUYEN: If these are the top 10 words, why aren’t these words that we’re like, yes, I’ve heard that several times?
LEVS: I know. And I’ll tell you how they go about coming up with the list.
LEVS: I want to show you the other five. This is what they do. They look at — here I tell you exactly from here — basically, they look at words and phrases used in media on the Internet and they also look at how often they’re used in major news media.
So, for example, I saw that there is greenwashing. So, I wonder, do we use greenwashing a lot? Check it out. I do a search for greenwashing on CNN.com. Apparently, we do. It’s one of our stories. LUI: Oh.
LEVS: And over here is a video that we have all about greenwashing from our eco-solutions unit.
LUI: Guilty as charged.
LEVS: I guess I’m not watching enough of our stuff.
Let’s check out six through 10.
LEVS: I want to show you, guys, the rest of this, it’s great stuff. Derivative is at the top.
LUI: Oh, no. I’m going to do use that one.
NGUYEN: Oh, the dreaded subprime, foreclosure, yikes.
LEVS: and this is where we get the Phelpsian and Chinglish. Now, Phelpsian, we know Phelpsian is a huge feat that’s never been done before. But Chinglish is, I’ll tell you how they define it, the often amusing Chinese-English language hybrid that Beijing tried to stamp out before the Olympics began. Apparently, Beijing didn’t want people speaking a lot of Chinglish when the world arrived there.
LEVS: So, apparently, they got rid of it.
One more thing to show you, guys. Top phrases of the year.
LEVS: I’ll show you this really quick then I’m going to go.
All right. Number one: Financial tsunami. Two: Global warming. Three: Yes we can. No shocker. Four: Lame Duck. And five, working class whites. They say apparently that’s been used as a code word for whites who are working class. More information, language monitor…
NGUYEN: How is it a code word because it says working class whites — it’s right there?
LEVS: Exactly, not even a code word.
LUI: I’ve got one for you, Josh, that you should have put on that list — fact check.
LEVS: Fact check, reality check.
NGUYEN: Oh, yes. Or the truth squad. Any of those.
LEVS: You know, I should have thought of that. I’m calling the language monitor and say it throughout the year. Watch out, buddy.
NGUYEN: All right, get on it.
LUI: Get hopping, my friend.
NGUYEN: Thank you, Josh.
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