Twitter birdThe end of the year is always a big time for awards – and the world of languages is no exception.

‘Unfriend’ was recently pronounced ‘Word of the Year 2009’ by the New Oxford American Dictionary, and now ‘Twitter’ has been named top by the Global Language Monitor (you may remember them from this post).

Twitter beat ‘Obama’ and ‘H1N1’ (the official name for swine flu), with ‘stimulus’ and ‘vampire’ rounding out the top 5.

Interestingly, the Global Language Moniter’s president commented on the wider implications of the word:

Mr. Payack guessed that “Twitter” took top billing in 2009 because of its effect on the way people communicate. “The impact that it’s having now is that spelling is changing,” he said. “It’s forcing people to think about what is a word, and how to present that word when you’re writing it down. Twitter will have an effect on language in years to come, if it remains as important as it is now.” (Source: Wall Street Journal)

Do you agree with Mr. Payack? Is Twittering affecting the way you use words?