Trash Talk Tops Political Buzzwords List in August PQ Index

Share Article

The Incivility of Political Discourse in American Politics has reached unprecedented heights according to the August PQ Index (Political-sensitivity Quotient) released by The Global Language Monitor (http://www.LanguageMonitor.com). The PQ Index is a proprietary algorithm that tracks politically sensitive words and phrases in the media and on the Internet. Arnold Schwarzenegger's 'Girlie Men,' Vice President Cheney's use of vulgarity, President Bush and Senator Kerry both being characterized as 'Liars!', Mrs. Kerry's rude directive to a reporter, and RFK, Jr's 'Fascist America' proposition highlight Top 10 for August.

The Incivility of Political Discourse in American Politics has reached unprecedented heights (or depths) according to the August PQ Index (Political-sensitivity Quotient) released by The Global Language Monitor (http://www.LanguageMonitor.com). The PQ Index is a proprietary algorithm that tracks politically sensitive words and phrases in the media and on the Internet.

Arnold Schwarzenegger's 'Girlie Men,' Vice President Cheney's recent use of a vulgarity, President Bush and Senator Kerry both being characterized as 'Liars!', Mrs. Kerry's rude directive to a reporter, and RFK, Jr's 'Fascist America' proposition highlight Top 10 for August.

The New York Time's categorization of the President's verbal gaffe during a recent bill signing ceremony as a 'Freudian Slip' follows close behind. In an August 6th editorial, The Times stated that the President uttered, "a gem of a Freudian slip ... the President said, "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."

If The Times actually intended to characterize the President's words as a Freudian Slip, this would mean they believe that his incessant "thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people" actually reveals a deeply held belief by Mr. Bush that was inadvertently revealed.

"The Incivility of Political Discourse in American Politics has reached unprecedented heights or, rather, lows," said Paul J.J. Payack, President and The WordMan of the Global Language Monitor. "Not since the Civil War era, when President Lincoln was frequently depicted by adversaries as a gangly, gaping baboon, has the discourse sunken to such a profane level."

"Such is the decline in political discourse that future historians might actually wonder if the battle being fought was between the 'Blue States' and the 'Red States' rather between the forces of Terrorism and The West," Payack concluded.

Top Movers Since the July PQ Index (Gainers)

· Two Americas (up 12 from No. 23 to No. 11)

· Bush or Kerry as Liars (up four from No. 8 to No. 4)

· Kerry as 'flip flopper' (up three from No. 10 to No. 7)

· Likeability Kerry (up 3 from No. 22 to No. 19)

Top Movers Since the July PQ Index (Losers)

· Shock-and-Awe (down eighteen from No. 13 to No. 31)

· Embedded in Iraq (down fourteen from No. 12 to No. 26)

· President Reagan (down thirteen from No.3 to No. 16)

· Rumsfeld Resignation (down twelve from No. 17 to No. 29)

· Abu Ghraib Abuse/Torture (down eleven from No. 9 to No. 20)

· Iraq as Quagmire (down eleven from No. 16 to No. 27)

The PQ Index is a proprietary algorithm that tracks politically sensitive words and phrases in the media and on the Internet. The words and phrases are tracked in relation to their frequency, contextual usage and appearance in global media outlets, thereby separating the 'spin' and the 'hype' from the facts.

The PQ Index is published monthly leading up to the US Presidential Elections on November 2nd, and quarterly thereafter.

The August PQ Index with comments and key factors follows.

1. Michael Moore Fahrenheit

Comment: Hangs on to top spot

Factor: Barely Edges out Schwarzenegger's 'Girlie Men'

Last Month: No. 1

2. Girlie Men comment by Gov. Schwarzenegger

Comment: Governor's characterization of California Democrats

Factor: Symptom of a larger trend

Last Month: Not Listed

3. Cheney's Vulgarity

Comment: Difficult to track since never precisely defined

Factor: Up nearly 500% for the month

Last Month: Not Listed

4. Bush or Kerry as Liar!

Comment: Bush wins the Liar poll by 2:1 but Kerry too has strength

Factor: Up nearly 500% for the month

Last Month: No. 8

5. 'Shove it' Teresa Kerry

Comment: Mrs. Kerry's rude directive; her linguistic contribution from the DNC

Factor: Top gainer for the month

Last Month: Not Listed

6. Red States/Blue States

Comment: A favorite of the pundits but confusing to the actual voters

Factor: Up 800% for the year

Last Month: Not Listed

7. Kerry as Flip-flopper

Comment: Still haunting Kerry

Factor: Up almost 100% in the month

Last Month: No. 10

8. Behead/Beheading    

Comment: Fortunately losing ground    

Factor: Down nearly 50% for the month

Last Month: No. 4

9. Clinton’s Bio ‘My Life’

Comment: Finally, Kerry can take center stage    

Factor: One of the largest monthly declines

Last Month: No. 2

10. RFK, Jr's characterization of the Administration as Fascist

Comment: Significant though not widely reported

Factor: Huge leap from a very small base

Last Month: Not Listed

11. Two Americas

Comment: The largest mover from the DNC    

Factor: Huge gain for Sen. Edwards

Last Month: No. 23

12. NY Times editorial on Bush's 'Freudian Slip'

Comment: Interesting comment from 'The Paper of Record'    

Factor: Creating quite a debate in the Blogosphere

Last Month: Not Listed

13. Iraq Sovereignty    

Comment: The media less unsure of what 'sovereignty' means to Iraq

Factor: Down 35% month over month

Last Month: No. 5

14. Economic Recovery

Comment: Gaining credence as evidence mounts

Factor: Up slightly month over month but recent news might affect ranking

Last Month: No. 6

15. Out of the Mainstream

Comment: If 60% of the people agree, how can something be 'out-of-the-mainstream'?

Factor: Holding steady

Last Month: No. 14

16. President Reagan

Comment: Finally, some breathing room for the current candidates    

Factor: Down 13 places

Last Month: No. 3

17. Bush the Misleader

Comment: Whatever happened to, "My esteemed opponent?" Another study in 'Incivility'    

Factor: Down six spots

Last Month: No. 11

18. Iraq al-Qaeda link

Comment: Debate over the 'link' of Saddam to al-Qaeda losing steam

Factor: Down 11 places

Last Month: No. 7

19. Likeability Kerry    

Comment: Bush had nearly identical numerical gain

Factor: Convention results in modest 6% gain

Last Month: No. 22

20. Abu Ghraib Abuse/Torture

Comment: Losing traction as an issue    

Factor: Down 15% from July Index

Last Month: No. 9

About The Global Language Monitor

The Global Language Monitor documents, analyzes, and tracks the latest trends in word usage and word choice, and their impact on the various aspects of culture, with a particular emphasis upon Global English.

The GLM is supported by a worldwide assemblage of linguists, professional wordsmiths, and bibliophiles to help monitor the latest trends in the evolution (and demise) of language, word usage and word choices, and their impact on the various aspects of culture.

For more information, call 1.925.367.7557, send email to info@LanguageMonitor.com or visit http://www.LanguageMonitor.com .

# # #

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Paul J.J. Payack