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Bravitude climbing fast on Google

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Ségolène Royal on a meeting in Nantes in November 2006.

You won't find the word "Bravitude" in any French dictionary yet. Bravitude is a neologism used by Ségolène Royal, the French socialist presidential candidate. She said it during a visit to the Great Wall of China, and the term caused a media buzz in France. It also provoked ironic reactions from Nicolas Sarkozy, who has been nominated Sunday by President Chirac's party UMP as their candidate for the presidency. According to Royal's entourage, it was meant to express something more than just simple bravery (in French: bravoure), a kind of fullness of bravery.

Some neologisms need months, often years, to reach an acceptable level of recognition to get included in a conventional dictionary. This is often based on the usage in newspapers etc. Bravitude on Google had only, the day before its first occurrence on French TV, a mere 110 hits.

Bravitude was already used since 2005 on some blogs and by fans of a relatively unknown role-playing game. On Tuesday last week, "bravitude" could be found in 200,000 different pages and in less than one week, had reached the one million mark. This neologism is this Tuesday in a slow decline, around 900,000 hits on Google, probably due to those web sites who hide their oldest pages when Google robots scan them.

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This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

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