De­press­ing most-used phrases re­flect the decade of doom

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - LIFE -

LON­DON: With a new decade ap­proach­ing, it’s time to re­flect on the one we’re leav­ing. But don’t spend too long looking back or you may get de­pressed. The most-used English phrases of the past decade have been re­vealed, and they paint a gloomy pic­ture.

“Cli­mate change” tops the list, com­piled by the Texas-based Global Lan­guage Mon­i­tor, which watches the in­ter­net, the me­dia and an elec­tronic data­base to es­ti­mate how many times cer­tain top­ics are raised.

It is fol­lowed by “fi­nan­cial tsunami” – a catch-all term for the credit crunch.

In third place was “Ground Zero”, the New York site where the World Trade Cen­tre used to stand be­fore the cat­a­clysmic events of Septem­ber 11, 2001.

Just be­hind are two more ter­ror­ism-re­lated phrases: “war on ter­ror” and “weapons of mass de­struc­tion”. Next comes “swine flu”. Even the sole ref­er­ence in the top 15 to the en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try, “King of Pop” in 12th, has som­bre over­tones, re­fer­ring to Michael Jack­son, who died this year.

Only Barack Obama’s elec­tion motto, “Yes we can”, in 15th pro­vided op­ti­mism.

Mon­i­tor Paul Pay­ack said: “Looking at the first decade of the 21st cen­tury in words is a sober, even som­bre, event. For a decade that be­gan with such joy and hope, the words cho­sen de­pict a far more com­pli­cated and tragic time.”

Many phrases com­mon a decade ago have dis­ap­peared, such as “Y2K” – a com­mon term for the feared “Mil­len­nium Bug” which failed to ma­te­ri­alise and shut down com­put­ers in 2000. – Daily Mail

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.