‘Jai Ho!’, ‘Slumdog’ top ‘HollyWORDs’ of 2008

February 27th, 2009 - 9:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Feb 27 (IANS) “Jai Ho!”, the Oscar-winning best song from “Slumdog Millionaire” and ’slumdog’, the term used to describe the boy from the slums of Mumbai who became a millionaire, have been named top ‘HollyWORDs’ of 2008.

“Jai Ho! - literally ‘Let there be Victory’ in Hindi” - and ‘Slumdog’ - “Definitely a politically incorrect term for young slum-dwellers in Bombay (Mumbai)”, top the list of words from Hollywood that most influenced the English language in 2008, according to the 6th Annual Survey by the Global Language Monitor.

The language monitoring group, which uses an algorithm to track the frequency of words and phrases in the world’s print and electronic media, noted Thursday it was the first time that two words from the same movie were ranked in the Top Ten.

“2008 was a remarkable year for words in films, with a Hindi phrase, the name of a Laotian tribe, a West African drum, and a modified quotation from Frederick Nietzsche all making the list,” said Paul J.J. Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of the Global Language Monitor.

Closely following were ‘Hmong’ from “Gran Torino”, ‘Nuke the Fridge’ from “Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull” and ‘Twinkie defense’, which followed the events depicted in “Milk”.

Rounding out the Top Ten were: ‘Djembe’ (The Visitor), “There are no coincidences” (Kung Fu Panda), “What doesn’t kill you makes you…stranger,” (The Dark Knight), Posthumous (The Wrestler), and Katrina from “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”.

This is how the group described the other Top Hollywords:

3. Nuke the Fridge (Indiana Jones and the…) - Indiana Jones surviving a nuclear blast in a lead-lined fridge is viewed as proof that the franchise has run its course.

4. Hmong (Gran Torino) - The name of the mountain-dwelling peoples of Laos who were US allies in the Indochinese Wars of the 1960-70s.

5. Twinkie Defense (Milk) - The apocryphal outcome of the 1979 trial of Dan White. The term was never actually used in the trial but was picked up in the media as a stand-in for ‘diminished capacity’.

6. Djembe (The Visitor) - West African percussion instrument that Tarek teaches Walter.

7. There are no coincidences (Kung Fu Panda) - Oogway’s solemn pronouncement to Master Shifu.

8. What doesn’t kill you makes you…stranger (The Dark Knight) - The Joker’s twist on the famous Nietzsche epigram.

9. Posthumous (The Wrestler) - Yes, that really was Mickey Rourke as a Best Actor nominee, well after he had been pronounced dead many a time.

10. Katrina (Benjamin Button) - The ominous and pervasive threat of Katrina framing the movie demonstrates the depth to which the hurricane has penetrated the American subconscious.

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