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Web 2.0 Beats N00b & Slumdog To Become Millionth English Word

Linguistic Organisation Global Language Monitor has announced that the millionth word in the English dictionary is "web 2.0" which many might not even consider to be a word.

According to Wikipedia, Web 2.0 is perceived as a second generation of web development and web design and is characterised as facilitating communication, information sharing, interoperability, user-centered design and collaboration on the World Wide Web. The term was coined in 2004 and explained in great details by Tim Oreilly back in September 2005 in a seminal document called "What is Web 2.0".

Apparently, it managed to beat the likes of Jai Ho and Slumdog (both from the epic Slumdog Millionaire movie) and N00b, another technology-related word, to claim the title. Not surprisingly, there's a lot of ifs and buts.

By GLM's own rules (which is certainly not share by the rest of the linguistic community), a word or phrase goes mainstream when it has been used on the internet more than 25,000. A quick look on Google shows that Web 2.0 appears more than 76 million times while Jai Ho reaches 8 million and Slumdog hits the 26 million mark.

Webpronews, which did go through the actual press release, comments that GLM has been pretty slack with regards to proofreading the statement. A definite proof of the organisation's lack of credibility (ed: may be they were still recounting the words).

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Our Comments

That's an excellent way to get some great PR. The bottom line though is that the English language is alive and kicking. It is not surprising that the latest words are foreign (Jai Ho or Slumdog), very techy (cloud computing, N00b, web 2.0) or very, very current (Octomom, financial tsunami).

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Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.