Depressing most-used phrases reflect the decade of doom
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