"Web 2.0" Becomes 1,000,000th English Word

Word up

By Scott McGrew
|  Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009  |  Updated 1:26 PM CDT
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Scott McGrew

"Web 2.0" inventor Dale Dougherty (left) poses with dot com billionaire Max Levchin

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Web pioneer Dale Dougherty told me once he regrets ever coming up with the term "Web 2.0." Used to describe interactive Web sites, the term has become the buzzword of the second Internet boom.

On the NBC Bay Area TV show Press:Here, Dougherty said, "In 2002, 2003, people were saying the Web's crashed, what's next? And I said, the next thing is the Web again."

Of course, "Web again" wasn't very catchy, so Dougherty went with "Web 2.0." He never expected it to catch on quite like it did, and certainly didn't want it used as a marketing term.

Now, the we've-never-heard-of-them-before-either group Global Language Monitor declares "Web 2.0" is the "one millionth word in the English language" -- despite the fact that it's more of a term than a word.

Among the other new words GLM has tracked: alcopops, bangster, de-friend, n00b, quendy-trendy.

Most linguists say it's impossible to keep count of what words are in use. Global Language Monitor head Paul J.J. Payack tells Reuters, "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."

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