Pope Francis, you’re the top


The Web has gotten an “f” this year, according to the Global Language Monitor, which tracks English words used online. In 2013, the “words” that popped up most often were 404 (the error code that announces the URL can’t be found) and “fail.” The most common phrases? “Toxic politics” and “federal shutdown.” Top names are Pope Francis and ObamaCare.

I am happy to note that Boston Strong edges out “marathon bombing.” But don’t ask me what The Optic really means. Don’t have a clue. If anybody out there understands who uses the phrase and why, please let us know.

Without further ado, the top words, phrases and names for 2013 are:


1. 404

2. Fail

3. Hashtag

4. @Pontifex

5. The Optic (the Global Language Monitor explains, sort of, that “the ‘optic’ is threatening to overtake ‘the narrative’ as the Narrative overtook rational discourse. Does not bode well for an informed political discussion.”)

6. Surveillance

7. Drones

8. Deficit

9. Sequestration

10. Emancipate

11. Filibuster

12. Nano

13. Twerking

14. Deadlock

15. Franken

16. Meme

17. Stalemate

18. The Cloud

19. Phony

20. Comet


1. Toxic politics

2. Federal shutdown

3. Global Warming/Climate Change

4. Federal deficit

5. Tread lightly

6. Boston Strong

7. Marathon bombing

8. Chemical weapons

9. All time high

10. Rogue nukes

11. Near-earth asteroid

12. Arab Spring

13. Solar max

14. Big Data

15. Ethical/sustainable fashion


1. Pope Francis

2. ObamaCare

3. NSA

4. Ed Snowden

5. Kate Middleton (the wife of Prince William)

6. IRS

7. Ted Cruz

8. Chris Christie

9. Tea Party

10. Marathon bombers

11. Malala Yousafzai (the Pakistani girl shot by the Taliban)

12. Xi Jinping (China’s leader)

13. President Obama

14. Hassan Rouhani (the new president of Iran)

15. Sochi Olympics

To learn more, go here.