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Definition: buzzword


A term that refers to the latest technology or just sounds catchy. Artificial intelligence (AI) is the hot buzzword today. Like all major buzzwords in the past, AI is often overused and abused (see AI).

Other buzzwords are blockchain, Bitcoin, IoT and augmented reality. Just a few months ago, cloud, big data and smartwatch were hot topics. A few years ago, social networking, Web 2.0, Twitter, Facebook, smartphone, tablet and green were all the rage. See cloudwashing.

In the beginning, everyone uses cutting edge terms to appear knowledgeable (see buzzword compliant). However, if not a flash in the pan, new technologies become mainstream, and the words eventually become everyday vocabulary. See disruptive technology.

"Nano" This - "Nano" That
Nanotechnology was very popular right after the turn of the century. The "nano" prefix was tacked onto existing manufacturing processes that had already been dealing with microscopic elements for years. Some companies even added "nano" to their corporate name to take advantage of the buzz (see nanotechnology).

Old Buzzwords
The last half of the 1990s brought us numerous Internet buzzwords, including Java, intranet and e-commerce. Early industry buzzwords were client/server in the 1990s, distributed computing in the 1980s and MIS in the 1970s.




Just Plain Small
The "nano" term is sometimes used to simply mean "small," as in this mouse transceiver from Microsoft. When plugged into a USB port, it protrudes only a quarter inch.