2004-09-03

Scientist quantifies national buzzwords with ‘PQ Index’

A neat article about a PQ Indexing algorithm and how a term like bootylicious can become a household word. (I wonder if the chicken parm and baked ziti served in LingSem today might qualify as bootylicious?) Also, in the first paragraph quoted below, a bit of insight into what it might take to be a linguist.
A Harvard-educated writer who studied six languages, 54-year-old Payack has held a lasting relationship with linguistics. He says he has read the New York Times every day since he was a teenager. [...]
And some additional highlights:
The automated software searches for the items in primarily the online content of newspaper and wire services, Google, Factiva, Internet blogs, television and radio scripts. In addition to frequency, the system weights the score based on the media outlets' circulation or market size. In other words, appearance in the New York Times rates higher than the Contra Costa Times. The month-to-month rankings allow Payack to measure how long an issue remains hot and note when it begins to fade from the public eye.

"Everyone gets slammed equally hard at one time or another," Payack said

http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0904/pq_index.asp
And for more info on the Word Man:

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