Person of the Decade

This is the time of year when the media takes a retrospective look (look back in time) at the past year. News outlets (places where we can find news), such as Time magazine, like to name (identify) a “Person of the Year,” someone who has made significant or important impact (influence; effect) on the world, good or bad, during the past year.

Since a decade (10-year period, beginning with a year ending in ‘0’) is ending, many people are taking a look back at the past 10 years: 2000 to 2010. My question to you is:  Which person do you think has made the most significant impact — good or bad — on the world in the past decade?   This person does not need to be politician (person who works in an elected job in the government), of course, and may be an entertainer, sports star, businessperson, or anyone who you think fits the bill (satisfies the requirements; meets the criteria).

Here are a few of the names that have bandied about (discussed in a casual way) in the American media that I’ve seen in the past few weeks. This is not an exhaustive (complete) list and most are Americans, but it’s a place to start.  Remember that we’re talking about a person who has had the biggest impact, positive or negative.

Barack Obama, American President
Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple
Sarah Palin, former Alaskan governor and 2008 Republican vice-presidential candidate
Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks
Lady Gaga, American pop singer

So, what do you think?  Would you pick one of these people or someone else entirely?  Who would be your “Person of the Decade”?

~ Lucy

P.S. At the risk of sounding presumptuous (seeming arrogant, or thinking too highly of ourselves), some of you may want to be kind to us here at ESL Podcast and pick our own Dr. Jeff McQuillan, but he would be the first person to tell you to leave him off the list, of course!

This entry was posted in News and Current Events. Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Person of the Decade

  1. Fuad (KSA) says:

    very funny Lucy.
    I think the person of the decade would be the dirty Osama Bin Laden.
    I don’t know if you agree with me

  2. aristides martin says:

    I think the persons of the decade is Steve Job because he move the mean of innovation higher. I think that SJ motivate his team (apple corp.) to create a new form of the see the company and the percibe the rest of peer group enterprise like a play deck and now they have a very i mportant concept of the make things diferents and to make these items a reality.

  3. Dragan says:

    No one! All that people have been influent in past ten years, but just in formal meaning. For example, Barack Obama didn’t do almost anything what people aspect from them. His most important success was his electoral victory itself! Steve jobs made well known gadget, which isn’t the best even in it’s own class! Sarah Palin did nothing important ever. Julian Assange did it, but his success lies on Bradley Manning act. Lady Gaga? Joke? All these people was good only in marketing, no in essence of life.
    The most influent poeple in last ten years were Mr Noam Chomsky and Mr Michael Moore. They did the most important thing in US recent history, they are telling the truth!
    So vote for them.
    And of course, Jeff and Lucy are most influent English language teachers in the World of podcast learning. You do it on a great way!

  4. Vicky says:

    I think Steve Jobs fits to the Person of the Decade bacause at first he’s an amazing personality. And the gadgets his company has being developing and producing for years are absolutly incredible and most innovative. Apart from this he is the one who envented iTunes and podacasts. And we can use this technology now to improve our English. I’m very happy to have this ability.

  5. emiliano says:

    To me one of the most significant persons for the best has been Mother Teresa of Calcuta, despite she was dead on the year
    1998, she changed the view and the act of doing the good for others, the most insignificant people, without any kind of reason
    that compassion to the humans.
    After her lot of ONG that were not significats take new life all over the world.

    A single person with a big influence over the media and the way of listening music, news, courses and ESL podcast…
    Steve Jobs.
    Obama was a flash, just the moment and a lot of hopes through hard times……we need to see after some years what would
    happen about him.

    For the worst?
    I agree with Fuad
    Everything has changed from the begining of the decade and it has affected all our way of life, trips, travels, flights, fears, and
    some subject what is even the worst…just the form of tolerance between humans, suspicions and prejuices that I dislike as
    being worst of this new human world.


  6. miigaa says:


    9/11 2001 Event
    Osama Bin Laden
    War between Iraq and America
    Micheal Jackson’s death
    North Korean invasion to South Korea


    Nano technology
    And event found on the internet for me. hehehe
    ……… i can’t remember worlds significant events. Because i watch world news sometimes
    Please countinue my lists if you don’t mind

  7. Jiwon says:

    My husband never ever heard about “bandied about ” in his life. He is an American. Is that word for only young generation?

  8. Bakhtiar says:

    for me the person of the decade are current president of IRAQ Mr. JALA TALABANI AND President of Kurdistan of IRAQ, Mr. Masuid Barzany , in addition to , president Bush and former English prime minister TONY, the writer of the top notuch book journy,

  9. Mario says:

    I think that one of the person of the last decade is our previous Pope JOHN PAUL II!
    I’m 40 right now and I live in Rome (Italy). I grew up with Pope JOHN PAUL II!!
    For me and I think for most of the people of my generation Pope JOHN PAUL II is OUR OWN POPE!!!

    Happy Christmas to everyone!!!


  10. emiliano says:

    reciprocate, interchange, swap, barter, are synonyms of bandy, a word that could be a noun, adjective or verb (bandied – bandying)
    as a verb could be
    to pass from one to another or back and forth; give and take; trade; exchange: to bandy blows; to bandy words.
    to throw or strike to and fro or from side to side, as a ball in tennis.
    to circulate freely: to bandy gossip.

    All is taken from the dictionary, I didn´t know the word either, so thank you very much Lucy, your teaching is incredible good
    as ever.
    “The interest rate, commonly bandied about by the media, has a wide and varied impact upon the economy”.
    Of course this is another use of the idiom in phrases like the one used by Lucy, very very interesting…., and sorry Lucy I have
    occupied your place but now I need to do everykind of things to have my mind out of other sad thoughts.

    Thank you Jiwon you have estimulated my curiosity about the idiom.

    By the way I like very much Angela Merkel as one of the significant persons of these years
    It´s good for Germans people.


  11. Bernard says:

    I think the person of the Decade is James Cameron … because he needs a decade to make a movie (I’m kidding).
    I loved this movie and I discovered recently in English Café #130 the line “we’re not in Kansas anymore” is originally from “The Wizard of Oz”.

  12. HeinzEric says:

    I.M.H.O. the person with most negativ impact (and so at all) in the past decade was former US President Georg W. Bush. He had chanchend the world in a way that has, have and will effect us more than any other person.

  13. Ali says:

    I think the person of the decades is Bill Gates.

  14. Karl, Austria says:

    For me, Aung San Suu Kyiis the person od the decade. She is the new female Mahatma Ghandi of Burma, trying to topple the military regime with peaceful means. Her endurance and persistence reassures her people and the world. She stands for peace, freedom and democracy.

  15. Tania says:

    Hi! My answer is George W. Bush.

  16. bill wang says:

    Osama Bin Laden,of course,he changed the world in the worst way in the beginning of the decade,and i think his impact will continue in the next decade

  17. Olya says:

    I can sign under HeinzEric’s words. Bush and his war in Iraq are the worst. But to tell the truth, I think he was just a speaking doll, there was somebody behind his back.

  18. Ivan, Belarus says:

    One of the greatest influences was reached by Mark Zuckerberg. We know his as a father of Facebook. He was able to combine more than 500 million people around the whole world.

    I think his work has a bad influence. People spend too many time sitting in front their monitor… 🙁

  19. Talal says:

    well, I am not so knowledgeable about this topic but , i will give you my two cents , if i were to pick someone out of the list , it would be Julian Assange, he really hurt the reputation of the United States very badly, and it will have consequences as well .
    personally, I was shocked with what U.S government did in some situations .

  20. Tania says:

    Hi! I like very much this political lesson no. 643. We can understand better the political news. It was easy for me to understand many new words as we use the same words:
    liberal, moderat, conservator, incisiv for incisive, obiectiv for objective, ultraconservator for ultraconservative, presa for press, traditie for tradition, diatriba for diatribe / a violent criticism.
    Thank you for the meaning of the word “rag” and of course for all new words.

    All the best for you all,


  21. Yuriy says:

    “Who would be your “Person of the Decade”?” (And Person of my life)
    -Of course Jesus Christ
    Merry Christmas all

  22. Tania says:

    Hi! The same the lesson no. 605.I like all news on astronomy. We use the same words :
    univers for universe, model, telescop, astronomie, planeta, sistem solar for solar system, Big Bang, asteroid, galaxie, proiect, raport.
    It is a delight for me to listen to this lesson.

    I have heard about the existence probability of the 10th planet from our solar system.

    Thank you.

  23. fayssal says:

    In my point of view i would anoint Tayyip Erdo?an the Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey and Saddam Hussein……I chose those because for them manhood is an attitude…

  24. fayssal says:

    The person with utter negative impact is G.W Bush, who made the Arab topsy-turvy and left countless of people destitute. I guess if you wear a tuxedo and roll in dough doesn’t make you less then a terrorist…
    I believe firmly that Ben Laden is trumped-up story, I guess this man doesn’t exist or he’s a man that usurped someone’s identity, anyway, it actually doesn’t cross my mind for The CIA are unable to nab him…..

  25. Betty says:

    I am going to vote Mr Momofuku Ando as the ‘good’ person of the decade who died aged 96 in Japan on 5th January 2007, a few days after giving a New Year’s speech to his company – Nissin – employees and having a lunch of Chicken Ramen with company executives.

    Since he was not a well-known person like George Bush or Tony Blair, I think it is better I give some introduction about him to our friends here.

    According to The New York Times on 9 January 2007, Momofuku Ando delighted dormitory students and other kitchen-resistant customers worldwide by inventing those small packets of preflavored dried noodles that require just a three-minute boil.

    Agence France Presse said Nissin, Mr Momofuku Ando’s company, sells 85.7 billion servings every year.

    His firm also developed a version of Cup Noodle for Japanese astronauts to eat on the space shuttle Discovery in 2005.

    Akio Nomura, chairman of the Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told Kyodo news agency that Mr Momofuku Ando was a self-made man who developed an epoch-making instant noodle product and spread it to all corners of the world.

    So, to me, Mr Momofuku Ando has made significant and important good impact on the world during the past decade.

    I love those yummy instant noodles, do you?

  26. Betty says:

    Sorry, Lucy, I forgot to thank you for this lovely topic which gives me a nice chance to reflect on someone I really admire. I live on instand noodles almost everyday.

  27. ali says:

    Person of the decade: People of Iran
    (who are struggling with a dictatorship regime)

  28. emiliano says:

    Yes, I agree with you Ali, all my best wishes for you and your compatriots.
    My thoughts and heart is always with you and your country.

    Please, be here more often I need to know something about you and what is happening.
    It seems that people from Iran doesn´t exist in the news.
    Have a good year if it is possible.

Comments are closed.