‘Colossal Error’, ‘Global Test’ and ‘Mary Cheney’ Surge in Top Political Buzzwords List

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Â?Colossal Error,Â? Â?Global Test, Â? and Â?Mary Cheney,Â? are the top three political buzzwords to emerge from the recently concluded Presidential Debates, though all three trailed Â?Dan Rather BiasÂ? (as well as the Conservative and Liberal labels) which continued to outdistance all challengers, according to The Global Language MonitorÂ?s October PQ Index (Political-sensitivity Quotient) of Hot Political Buzzwords.

‘Colossal Error,’ ‘Global Test, ‘ and ‘Mary Cheney,’ are the top three political buzzwords to emerge from the recently concluded Presidential Debates, though all three trailed ‘Dan Rather Bias’ (as well as the Conservative and Liberal labels) which continued to outdistance all challengers, according to The Global Language Monitor’s October PQ Index (Political-sensitivity Quotient) of Hot Political Buzzwords. The PQ Index is a proprietary algorithm that tracks politically sensitive words and phrases in the print, electronic media and on the Internet (http://www.LanguageMonitor.com).

“Surprise! Kerry is a Liberal and (Bush a Conservative) with Kerry’s appellation (No. 2) outpacing that of Bush (No. 3) by some 50%.” said Paul JJ Payack, President of The Global Language Monitor. “However, Kerry supporters seem to see ‘liberal’ as a derogatory remark, while those of the President view ‘conservative’ as a badge of honor.”

’Colossal error’ (No. 4) was Senator Kerry’s description of President Bush’s decision to ‘rush-to-war’; ‘global test’ (No. 7) was his description of the bar he would set before committing the US to ‘pre-emptive strikes’, a term widely derided by the President and his supporters. Both Kerry and Edwards cited the sexuality of the vice president’s daughter, Mary Cheney (No. 13) in their debates, a move widely viewed in the subsequent polls as ‘gratuitous’.

“The stage is now set for the final stretch of the campaign,” said Payack, “with the peripheral issues, such as attempting to label Bush as a misleader or the Kerry Swift Boat attacks falling by the wayside. ‘Colossal error’ and ‘Global test’ appear to be the political (psychological) fault lines upon which the Presidential race will ultimately be decided.”

Other big movers included ‘likeability’ for both Bush and Kerry, both rising over 200% (to Nos. 5 and 14 respectively), while ‘flip flop/flopping’ continued its steady rise, settling in at the No. 8 spot. ‘Swift Boats’, which led the index for both May and June fell to its current position at No. 10. ‘Rush-to-war’, a term that peaked in the run-up to the Iraq War, showed its resilience by moving up four spots to No. 22 after several Kerry references in the debates.

Falling out of the Top Twenty include the ‘two Americas’ refrain, which tumbled from No. 16 to No. 37 and references to Abu Ghraib ‘Abuse/Torture’, which fell from No. 18 to No. 30

The October PQ Index with comments and key factors follows.

1. Dan Rather “Bias”

Comment: Remains in the top spot

Factor: Up over 8000% for the year

Last Month: No. 1

2. Bush Conservative

Comment: Seen as a badge of honor

Factor: Up 20% for the month

Last Month: New

3. Kerry Liberal

Comment: Seen as a perjororative

Factor: Up over 40% for the month

Last Month: New

4. Colossal Error

Comment: Kerry’s judgment on Iraq

Factor: Up 175% for the month

Last Month: New

5. Likeability Kerry

Comment: Debates introduced more friendly version of the candidate

Factor: Up a record 29 places for the month

Last Month: No. 32

6. Michael Moore Fahrenheit

Comment: Continues slow descent

Factor: Down 20% since July

Last Month: No. 3

7. Global Test

Comment: Captures Republican faithful’s worst fears    

Factor: Up 200% in 30 days

Last Month: New

8. Kerry as Flip-flopper

Comment: Still gaining on Kerry

Factor: Up over 40% for the month

Last month: No. 8

9. President Reagan

Comment: Continues unabated in the background     

Factor: Down 25% since July, though off a huge base

Last Month: No. 4

10. Swift Boats

Comment: An ‘August Surprise’ reminiscent of Dukakis’ Willie Horton debacle

Factor: Still strong but down 6 spots

Last month: No. 2

11. Bush or Kerry as Liar!

Comment: Charge is losing ground in final weeks

Factor: Kerry surprisingly at 40% since it began with attack on Bush

Last Month: No. 5

12. Political Incivility

Comment: Cheney, Heinz-Kerry, et al. combined here

Factor: Down a bit though Mary Cheney remark is tallied separately

Last Month: No. 6

13. Mary Cheney

Comment: Comment causing unwanted (and unnecessary) diversion

Factor: Up 800% for the year

Last Month: New

14. Likeability Bush

Comment: Final debate re-introduced Bush as a ‘regular guy’

Factor: Up 18 for the month

Last Month: No. 30

15. Clinton’s Bio ‘My Life’

Comment: Clinton’s down 4, staying off to the sidelines    

Factor: Down 25% for the month

Last Month: No. 9

16. Iraq Sovereignty    

Comment: Fading as an issue as Iraqis fall in combat

Factor: Down over 40% since peak in July

Last Month: No. 11

17. Economic Recovery

Comment: As grudgingly gains credence loses steam as an issue

Factor: Down 10% for month

Last Month: No. 5

18. NY Times editorial on Bush’s ‘Freudian Slip’    

Comment: Interesting comment from ‘The Paper of Record’    

Factor: Still resonating in the Blogosphere

Last Month: No. 4

19. Red States/Blue States

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

Factor: Up nearly 900% for the year

Last Month: No. 13

20. Iraq al-Qaeda link

Comment: Debate apparently has run its course

Factor: Down 3 places

Last Month: No. 15

About The Global Language Monitor

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

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

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Paul J.J. Payack
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