Question: Who Missed the Emergence of the Coronavirus?

Answer: The Administration (including Congress), Academia, and the Media

See CoronaGeddon: Words of the Pandemic You Need to Know

The Early Stages of the Pandemic from The Lancet. with Data from HKUS&T

See The Coronavirus Calendar Here

The potential for a global pandemic of historic proportions was in plain sight for the administration, academia, and the global media to see in January and February.

Back in January, the Global Language Monitor, the data research company,  created a data model of the expansion of the newly discovered n-coronavirus in Wuhan, China.   (You can see this on the LanguageMonitor (dot) com site.)

The numbers were truly frightening, so frightening that I decided not to publish my findings until I could find a respected research study that mirrored my numbers and projections. I found one, published in The Lancet medical journal in the UK, that used data from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUS&T).   The Lancet created a number of graphics that illustrated the impending nightmare that you can see on our site.

The key to HKS&T’s data is that it assumes a much larger base to start from (rather than China’s official count). I then created the Coronavirus Calendar that I published about six or seven weeks ago, the main point of which was that the virus doubles every six days or so, with an infection rate of 2.63 with a mortality rate of about .02.  (The mortality rate has been a bit lower over the last few weeks but is actually higher in Iran and Italy.) GLM distributed this study to the worldwide media. 

Update: China Did Not Count 43,000 Asymptomatic Cases

Though I created the Coronavirus Calendar, I am still shocked at how quickly it is moving. (For California, that’s 39 million * .6 * .02%.) If you extrapolate these numbers for your community, state, region or nation, you can see the horrifying conclusions.

This is not to say, of course, that this result is inevitable.  There is still much that can be done by the concerted efforts of the global institutions — and the very real fact that many pandemics in the past have actually burned themselves out.

Paul JJ Payack
The Global Language Monitor
Austin, Texas

“Infodemic” Declared English-language Word by the Global Language Monitor

One of the Fastest Words Ever to be Recognized in Global English

March 3, 2020, Austin, Texas — Infodemic has been accepted as an official English-Language word by the Global Language Monitor (GLM), the US-based data research firm. This is among the fastest a word has ever met the minimum criteria for ‘wordhood,’ about six weeks from the first recorded citation.

The prestigious British medical journal, The Lancet, commented a few days ago: “A global epidemic of misinformation - spreading rapidly through social media platforms and other outlets - poses a serious problem for public health.

According to the MIT Technology Review, “The coronavirus is the first true social-media “infodemic” [where] Social media has zipped information and misinformation around the world at unprecedented speeds, fueling panic, racism … and hope”.

Infodemic has met all requirements to be considered an English-language word — ready to takes its place among the million-or-so others of the fourteen-hundred-year-old language,” said Paul JJ Payack, GLM’s President and Chief Word Analyst.

To be considered an official English-language, the neologism must satisfy all three criteria:

  • Geographic distribution — The word must appear across political entities and geographic regions.
  • Diversity of Media — The word must appear in a variety of media, including print and electronic media, online and social media, and books and magazines.
  • A minimum number of citations: 25,000.

At the Munich Security Conference on February 15, the WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus pronounced, “We’re not just fighting an epidemic; we’re fighting an infodemic”. Within a few weeks, market data provider Refinitiv included the word in research reports and then was repeated in various media outlets, including the South China Morning Post.

A quick search on Goole now provides nearly 700,000 entries.

Infodemic is a ‘portmanteau’ neologism. First used by Lewis Carroll in 1871, a linguistic blend of words or phonemes (sounds) are combined into a new word, in this case, Information and epidemic, Such words can be easier to pronounce and understand than other types of new word creation.

About Global Language Monitor

Based in Austin, Texas, the Global Language Monitor collectively documents, analyzes and tracks trends in language usage worldwide, with a particular emphasis upon the English language. The company is known for its Word of the Year, To Global Fashion Capitals, political analysis, college and university rankings, high-tech buzzwords, and media analytics.

For more information, visit, email or call +1.737.215.7750.