"In the tradition of year-end lists, we're introducing Facebook Memology", says the social networking site in a blog post. "'Memology' refers to the study of how 'memes', or new ideas and trends, are spreading on Facebook".

For this year's list, the Facebook Data Team has mapped the top trending words and phrases in the status updates of American users for 2009.

In the United States alone, people on Facebook are "sharing hundreds of millions of words every day", and Facebook - as always of late competing with Twitter - says it offers a "unique barometer into the issues, world events and thoughts that are connecting people".

The results are interesting reading, with a list of the top 15 explored in detail on the Facebook blog post.

It seems that unlike the similar Twitter trending lists released previously, the Facebook list is less news- and current affairs-themed, offering more domestic trending words with "family" and "yard" both appearing in the top 15.

The top three come in with "Facebook applications" (such as Farmville which was the most talked about app), "FML", online slang meaning eff my life, followed by "swine flu". "Twitter", incidentally came in at number 10.