‘Missing Iraqi Weapons’ Fastest Riser in Hot Buzzword List; bin-Laden al-Jazeera Tape Makes Little Headway

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Â?Missing Iraqi WeaponsÂ? is the fastest riser according to The Global Language MonitorÂ?s special pre-Election PQ Index (Political-sensitivity Quotient) of Hot Political Buzzwords released earlier today. Kerry Â?flip flop/floppingÂ? is the second biggest mover, rising 3 places to No. 5. Even with accelerators built into the PQ Index to weight events of the two weeks preceding the election more heavily, the Â?bin-Laden al-JazeeraÂ? tape remains outside the Top Twenty.

‘Missing Iraqi Weapons’ is the fastest riser according to The Global Language Monitor’s special pre-Election PQ Index (Political-sensitivity Quotient) of Hot Political Buzzwords released earlier today. Kerry ‘flip flop/flopping’ is the second biggest mover, rising 3 places to No. 5. References to ‘Mary Cheney’ take the top spot, up some 1400% for the month, while ‘Bush as a Conservative’ comes in at No. 2 and the Dan Rather 'Bias" reference, though still strong, falls two spots to No. 3.

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).

The recent Osama bin-Laden tape that aired on Qatar’s al-Jazeera network has, thus far, made little impact on the PQ Index — though its repercussions in events to unfold over the next seventy-two hours remain to be seen. Even with accelerators built into the PQ Index to weight events of the two weeks preceding the election more heavily, the ‘bin-Laden al-Jazeera’ tape remains outside the Top Twenty.

“The combination of the rise of ‘Missing Iraqi Weapons’ and the appearance of the bin-Laden video seems to indicate that the missing explosives issue actually works in Bush's favor since it appears to underscore the President's war rationale: the USA is at war, and under attack, and that explosives that can be used for WMDs and pre-cursers for those very same WMDs were widespread in pre-War Iraq,” said Paul JJ Payack, President of the Global Language Monitor.

“In the final hours of the campaign, we are witnessing the impact and staying power that the internet – and blogosphere -- have had upon the campaign’s dialogue, discourse and direction,” said Payack, “greatly extending the life of specific stories, such as that concerning the Swift Boat controversy or Fahrenheit 911, thereby greatly diminishing the impact of the 24-hour news cycle.” (For more information on the Demise of the 24-Hour News Cycle, go to http://www.LanguageMonitor.com.)

‘Kerry Flip Flop/Flopping’ moved to its highest position yet at No. 5, and the 'Mary Cheney' issue has shown surprising staying power in the final weeks of the campaign. ‘Colossal Error’ (No. 9), ‘Global Test‘ (No. 16), and ‘Mary Cheney,’ were the top three political buzzwords to emerge from the Presidential Debates, though all three trailed ‘Dan Rather Bias’ (as well as the Bush Conservative, No. 2, and Kerry Liberal, No. 4, labels). Kerry as a Liberal (usually used in the pejorative sense) outpaces Bush as a Conservative (usually used in a complimentary manner) in growth -- though it falls behind in the actual ranking.

’Colossal error’ was Senator Kerry’s description of President Bush’s decision to ‘rush-to-war’ (No. 31), and ‘global test’ was his description of the bar he would set before committing the US to ‘pre-emptive strikes’. Both Kerry and Edwards cited the sexuality of the vice president’s daughter in their debates, a move widely viewed in the subsequent polls as ’politically motivated’ and 'gratuitous'.

The biggest losers were ‘Global test’, falling seven places to No. 16, ‘rush to war’ falling nine spots to No. 31 and Clinton’s ‘My Life’ from Nos. 15 to 21. Also falling out of the Top Twenty, was ‘economic recovery’ evidently losing steam as an issue, falling from No. 18 to No. 22.

The November PQ Index with comments and key factors follows.

1. Mary Cheney

Comment: An unnecessary diversion for the Kerry camp

Factor: Up 1400% for the month

Last month: No. 13

2. Bush Conservative

Comment: Seen as a badge of honor

Factor: Up 40% for the month

Last Month: No 2

3. Dan Rather “Bias”

Comment: The tipping point for the entire ‘liberal bias’ issue

Factor: Up over 30% for the month

Last Month: No. 1

4. Kerry Liberal

Comment: Seen as a pejorative

Factor: Up over 75% for the month

Last Month: No. 3

5. Kerry as Flip-flopper

Comment: Highest ranking of the campaign

Factor: Up over 50% for the month

Last month: No. 8

6. Likeability Kerry

Comment: Falls one spot from last Index

Factor: Though up some 50% for the month

Last Month: No. 5

7. Missing Weapons

Comment: Seems to strengthen Hussein peril claim

Factor: Up 200% for the month

Last Month: Not Listed

8. Michael Moore Fahrenheit

Comment: Continues slow descent

Factor: Down 25% since July

Last Month: No. 6

9. Colossal Error

Comment: Kerry’s judgment on Iraq

Factor: Up 45% for the month;losing ground in the Index

Last Month: No. 4

10. Bush or Kerry as Liar!

Comment: Back in Top Ten

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

Last Month: No. 11

11. President Reagan

Comment: Continues unabated in the background     

Factor: Down 10% for the month

Last Month: No. 9

12. Political Incivility

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

Factor: Up 10% though Mary Cheney remark is tallied separately

Last Month: No. 12

13. Likeability Bush

Comment: Bush is back as a ‘regular guy’

Factor: Up 100% for the month

Last Month: No. 14

14. Swift Boats

Comment: An ‘August Surprise’ reminiscent Willie Horton

Factor: Still strong but out of the Top Ten

Last month: No. 10

15. Behead/Beheading

Comment: Reverberating as awful background

Factor: Tragically, up 40% for the month

Last month: No. 16

16. Global Test

Comment: Captures Republican faithful’s worst fears    

Factor: Up 30% in 30 days

Last Month: No. 7

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

Comment: Interesting comment from ‘The Paper of Record’    

Factor: Still resonating in the Blogosphere; up two spots

Last Month: No. 19

18. Red States/Blue States

Comment: Voters finally crack the pundit’s code

Factor: Up 1000% for the year

Last Month: No. 20

19. Iraq Sovereignty    

Comment: Fading as an issue as Iraqis fall in combat

Factor: Down over 40% since peak in July

Last Month: No. 17

20. Bush the Misleader

Comment: The Kerry/Edwards mantra: mislead, misled, misleading

Factor: Up five spots in month

Last Month: No. 25

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.

Worldwide print and electronic media have come to rely on The Global Language Monitor for its expert analysis on language trends and their subsequent impact on politics, culture and business, including the PQ (Political-sensitivity quotient) Index, analysis of media coverage of the 2004 Summer Olympics, the Republican National Convention, Workplace lingo, HollyWordsä, Telewordsä, the English Language Wordclockä, among many others.

The GLM has been cited by CNN, MSNBC, The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Associated Press, United Press International, Knight-Ridder, USAToday, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, The Charlotte Observer, Minneapolis Star Tribune, San Jose Mercury, New York Post, NPR, FoxNews, ABC, NBC, CBS, The National Post, The Sydney Morning Herald, The BBC, the Australian Braodcasting Company, The Canadian Broadcasting Company, The Cape Town Argus, El Pais (Madrid), The Daily Mail (Scotland), The Hindustan Times, The Gulf News (Qatar), and various electronic and print media on six continents.

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 [email protected] or visit http://www.LanguageMonitor.com.

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Paul J.J. Payack