A MOST TELLING AWARD
The Global Language Monitor has declared that “404” is their official “Word of the Year.” The Austin-based research group determined the winner based on frequency of actual usage, using computer-aided tracking of some 275,000 print, electronic and social media sources. Yes well. The numbers-only designation appeared a lot recently at the Obamacare website, but we already know all that.
“404 is the near-universal numeric code for failure on the global Internet, augmenting its original use as ‘page not found’ ” explains chief analyst Paul JJ Payack. “The recent ObamaCare launch debacle in the US is only a representative example of a much wider system fail.”
And rounding out the top-five words of the year, in second place, it’s “fail”, a single word often used as a complete sentence (Fail!) to signify failure of an effort, project, or endeavor”, Mr. Payack says.
“Hashtag” is third, designating the pound sign reborn as the all-powerful Twitter hashtag. In fourth place, speaking of hashtags, is @Pontifex, the actual hashtag of the ever-more popular Pope Francis. And in fifth place, it’s “optic”, which the analyst says is threatening to overtake the “narrative” - just as the narrative overtook the phrase rational discourse.
“This does not bode well for an informed political discussion,” Mr. Payack says.