As we approach the end of 2013, here on WTF, we put together a review of this year’s Top 5 BuzzWords!
A buzzword is a word or phrase used to impress, or one that is fashionable.
Buzz Buzzz… Check it out below, and share with us what do you think.
Top 5 Buzzwords of 2013
#5 – Bitcoin
This digital currency made headlines all year—especially after the government shut down an online marketplace known as Silk Road in October; the “Amazon for drugs” famously used the hard-to-trace money. Washington lawmakers held hearings about regulating the e-currency, and pundits argued about its volatility, as bitcoin brokers and marketplaces popped up on the Web.
#4 – Binge-watch
One of humanity’s favorite pastimes hit a milestone in 2013. Digital streaming service Netflix released entire seasons of new shows all at once, embracing viewers’ desire binge-watch—meaning they marathon episode after episode rather than wait the traditional week for a next installment. After Kevin Spacey drama House of Cards came out in February, industry analysts suggested that hundreds of thousands of Netflix subscribers downed 13 episodes in the span of two days. Binge-watching has been around as long as DVD box sets, but the verb went mainstream this year. It’s a term that hints at broader changes in our culture too, like people’s expectation of immediacy, hyper-consumption of media and preference for digital things that bypass old staples like TV sets.
#3 – Twerk
The term twerk, describing a provocative, hip-thrusting dance, has been around for decades. But after singer Miley Cyrus twerked at the MTV Video Music Awards this August—in a bizarre, controversial performance—the dance became an explosive meme and the word became a pop-culture darling. Cyrus’ squatting move stirred debates about the example stars are setting for young women and divided people into two groups: those who knew what twerking was and those who had to awkwardly ask someone to explain it.
#2 – Shutdown
A buzzword like twerk might stick out more than a centuries-old term like shutdown, but the height of 2013’s twerking frenzy was a cultural blip compared to the global obsession with the closure of America’s government. That single word meant danger to financial markets, chaos for national parks and lost paychecks for thousands of furloughed workers. The shutdown, coming on the heels of the sequester, lasted 16 days. But those eight letters—and the height of political dysfunction they symbolize—will haunt Congress and Obama for years to come.
#1 – Selfie
(Photo: Baey Yam Keng via The New Paper, Singapore)
Every day more tools are coming online that encourage people to focus on themselves—to share their thoughts, their whereabouts, their playlists, their preferences and their kissy-face pictures. The selfie, a self-portrait typically snapped using a smartphone and shared on a social networking site, inspired museum exhibits and countless celebrity news stories in 2013, while becoming a staple in our modern, narcissistic lives.