'Web 2.0' is one millionth English word

"It's pure fraud... it's nonsense," says one linguist

The buzzword that heralded the new age of social networking on the internet, Web 2.0, has been crowned the one millionth English word by a US-based language monitoring group.

Technically a phrase – the group allows phrases as it is nice like that – Web 2.0 was chosen, not by closing their eyes and pointing at a list, but using some sort of mathematical formula. Maybe that's the reason why the one millionth word in our beloved English language contains some numbers.

Pure fraud

And for those who think Web 2.0 is not eligible to be on such a list, more fool you, as Global Language Monitor found that it came up 25,000 times in searches which makes it a legitimate one millionth word.

Not that this has impressed experts around the world, with Geoffrey Nunberg, a linguistics professor at the University of California at Berkeley, telling journalists: "I think it's pure fraud ... It's not bad science. It's nonsense."

Star gazing

President of the Global Language Monitor, Paul JJ Payack, who did the science has hit back, explaining: "If you want to count the stars in the sky, you have to define what a star is first and then count. Our criteria is quite plain and if you follow those criteria you can count words. Most academics say what we are doing is very valuable."

This all very well, but we would have preferred 'noob' as the millionth word. Never mind, here's to the next million.

Via Reuters


Content Team Lead

Marc (Twitter, Google+) is the content team lead for Future Technology, where he is in charge of a 14-strong team of journalists who write many of the wonderful stories that end up on TechRadar, T3.com and T3 magazine. Prior to this he was deputy editor of TechRadar, had a 10-month stint editing a weekly iPad magazine, written film reviews for a whole host of publications and has been an integral part of many magazines that are no longer with us.