The top news stories of 2010 follow.

1. South African World Cup – The South African World Cup towered over all other news stories.

2. iPad – A product launch is the No. 2 worldwide news story!?

3. Rise of China – Top story of the first decade of the 21st century, still very strong.

4. Healthcare reform – The debate over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act continues unabated.

5. Wikileaks – Not a wiki in the usual sense of “an open environment which anyone can edit,” the story of revealed institutional secrets that will continue to resonate well into 2011.

6. Tea Party – The U.S. political movement which emphasizes scaled back government intrusion, influence and spending.

7. Fall of Obama – His fall is relative to the great heights to which he ascended.

8. Gulf oil spill – An unprecedented environmental catastrophe broadcast live around the world via the BP spillcam.

9. Haitian earthquake – Hundreds of thousands killed, millions displaced and the agony continues.

10. Political anger and rage – Frustration in the U.S. and much of the developed world about the financial and political situation.

11. EU financial crisis – The economies of Ireland, Portugal, Greece and Spain threaten to consume billions of euros in bailouts.

12. Shanghai Expo – The “grand gathering of the world cultures” was visited by some 70 million in 2010.

13. Growth of Facebook – With 400 million members it now touts itself as the fourth largest nation on the planet. However, there is no word of UN membership or plans for a standing army.

14. Pakistan Floods – Garnered more attention worldwide than in the U.S.

15. Scott Brown election – The turnover of the “Kennedy seat” after half a century to this upstart, pickup-driving Republican caused quite a stir.

16. Tiger Woods – Previously notable for the first golfer to earn a billion dollars, the news of his serial infidelities continues to impact the golf world.

17. British coalition government – David Cameron and Nick Clegg lead a new coalition into power.

18. Chilean Miners – The dramatic saga and rescue of Los 33, provided riveting drama (and television) to a world weary of disheartening news.

19. Polish President killed -- Lech Kaczynski, his wife, and dozens of high government officials died en route to a memorial service honoring the 20,000 Poles who died in the Katyn forest.

20. Global economic restructuring – Also known as the Great Recession in the U.S., but felt worldwide especially among developed Western nations.

21. Vuvuzela – The brightly colored plastic horns that caused much consternation at the South African World Cup.

23. Ground Zero Mosque – Officially known as 45 Park Place, the controversial Islamic center planned a few blocks north of Ground Zero.

24. Icelandic Volcano – The unpronounceable Eyjafjallajökull volcano that disrupted air travel over much of Northern Europe.

25. Snowmageddon – The unusually heavy snowfalls that virtually shut down Washington, D.C. during an exceptionally snowy winter.

Paul JJ Payack is president and chief word analyst of the Global Language Monitor. The Austin-Texas-based Global Language Monitor analyzes and catalogues the latest trends in word usage and word choices, and their impact on the various aspects of culture, with a particular emphasis upon Global English. For more information, call 1.925.367.7557, email, or visit