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Why Was Web 2.0 & Not Twitter GLM's Millionth Word?

Just as the world celebrated the term Web 2.0 as the millionth word of the English Language (albeit with a very American bias), one might have asked why Twitter didn't make it to the final countdown.

Indeed, Twitter, which is the name given to the very popular micro-blogging website did not even appear in the final group of words which were shortlisted for consideration as the millionth word.

The answer is surprisingly simple and candid. Unbeknown to many, Twitter is already a word. Paul JJ Payack, president and Chief Word Analyst of the Global Language Monitor, "The answer is quite straight-forward: Twitter is already a word, as is its companion, to tweet. Certainly, the 21st century definition of twittering is much different than that of the Middle English twiteren, which is similar to the Old High German zwizziron, both of which mean, well, to twitter or as Merriam-Webster’s defines it "to utter successive chirping noises" or "to talk in a chattering fashion". Since it is already catalogued as a headword, 21st c. twittering is simply a new entry, a new definition, under the ancient headword, twitter".

But Twitter as an entity has been recognised by Wikipedia that is different from twitter (just like Windows from Microsoft is different from the generic term windows). It is also worth noting that over the last 12 months, the average world traffic of the word "twitter" was 13 times higher than for "web 2.0".

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 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.