December 22, 2011 / 8:18 PM / in 7 years

Group predicts "Kate" will be top buzzword in 2012

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - In 2012, buzzwords will bow to the British royals with “Kate,” the Duchess of Cambridge, forecast as the most-used word in the media, according to a group that surveys the English language.

Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge travel to Buckingham Palace in the 1902 State Landau, along the Procession Route, after their wedding in Westminster Abbey, in central London April 29, 2011. REUTERS/Kieran Doherty

The Texas-based Global Language Monitor on Thursday said several factors will keep Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, in the news after her widely-watched wedding earlier this year to Britain’s Prince William.

People will see “Kate” used extensively if she becomes pregnant, said Paul Payack, president of the group. And even if she doesn’t, the 2012 Olympics in London should heighten her exposure because she will serve as an ambassador to the games.

Born Catherine Middleton to a family of commoners, the duchess of Cambridge has been much discussed in the media this past year due to her marriage to Prince William, who could eventually become King of England.

Her chic style and elegant clothing, handpicked from top designers, have made her a fashion icon, and she and her husband have charmed crowds wherever they went, including on a tour through North America earlier this year.

The Global Language Monitor said it compiles its lists of top words and phrases using a computer algorithm that tracks thousands of media outlets around the globe, as well as blogs and social media websites.

Another top word expected for 2012 will be “Olympiad” given that the summer Olympics are returning, Payack said.

The group in November announced that “Occupy” was the top word of 2011, in reference to the boisterous anti-Wall Street protest camps that arose in recent months in cities across the United States and many other countries.

A year ago, the group predicted “twenty-eleven,” the common pronunciation of 2011, would be the top word or phrase of this year, Payack said.

Following “twenty-eleven” were the phrases “Obama-mess” — which the group predicted would gain traction if President Barack Obama’s ratings suffered — and “great recession.”

“We saw ‘Occupy’ as a response to the ‘great recession’ and ‘Obama-mess’ and all that, but no one could have predicted something like Occupy,” Payack said.

Overall, Payack said his group deserves a “B” grade for its 2011 word predictions.

Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Bob Tourtellotte

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