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Even the name Obama couldn't match Twitter, which is a tool where people can use a maximum of 140 characters to communicate.
The words are tracked by their appearance in global media outlets and frequency of use, and context is also taken into account.
The top words of 2009:
- Twitter - the ability to encapsulate human thought in 140 characters
- Obama - the word stem transforms into scores of new words like ObamaCare
- H1N1 - The formal (and politically correct) name for Swine Flu
- Stimulus - the $800bn aid package meant to help mend the US economy
- Vampire - vampires are very much en vogue, now the symbol of unrequited love
- 2.0 - the 2.0 suffix is attached to the next generation of everything
- Deficit - lessons from history are dire warnings here
- Hadron - ephemeral particles subject to collision in the Large Hadron Collider
- Healthcare - the direction of which is the subject of intense debate in the US
- Transparency - elusive goal for which many 21st century governments are strivingOutrage - in response to large bonuses handed out to 'bailed-out' companies
- Bonus - the incentive pay packages that came to symbolise greed and excess
- Unemployed - and underemployed amount to close to 20% of US workforce
- Foreclosure - forced eviction for not keeping up with the mortgage payments
- Cartel - in Mexico, at the centre of the battle over drug trafficking