Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Words and Terms that Told the Story of 2023


While many marketing and news commentators (including this blogger) have talked about the books, films, people, color, and notable deaths that made news during 2023, let's not forget the memorable words and terms that told the story of 2023.

Word of the year was AUTHENTIC, the term for something we're thinking about, writing about, aspiring to, and judging more than ever - and the word saw a substantial increase in lookups during 2023, driven by stories and conversations about AI, celebrity culture, identity, and social media. According to "Authentic has a number of meanings including "not false or imitation," a synonym of real and actual; and also "true to one's own personality, spirit, or character."

Here were the other words that stood out in Merriam-Webster's dictionary during 2023:
* Rizz
* Deepfake
* Implode
* X
* Indict

Word of the year was RIZZ, a noun meaning style, charm, or attractiveness; the ability to attract a romantic partner. The word has been credited to YouTuber Kai Cenat.

Word of the year was HALLUCINATE. The traditional definition of hallucinate is to seem to see, hear, feel, or smell something that does not exist, usually because of a health condition or because you have taken a drug. The new, additional definition is: "When an artificial intelligence (= a computer system that has some of the qualities that the human brain has, such as, the ability to produce language in a way that seems human) hallucinates, it produces false information. AI hallucinations, also known as confabulations, sometimes appear nonsensical. But they can also seem entirely plausible – even while being factually inaccurate or ultimately illogical. AI hallucinations have already had real-world impacts. A US law firm used ChatGPT for legal research, which led to fictitious cases being cited in court. In Google’s own promotional video for Bard, the AI tool made a factual error about the James Webb Space Telescope."

Here were the other words that captured Cambridge Dictionary's interest during 2023:
* Implosion
* Ennui
* Grifter
* GOAT (Greatest of All Time)

Word of the year was AI, a set of technologies that enable computers to perform a variety of advanced functions, including the ability to see, understand, and translate spoken and written language, analyze data, make recommendations, and more.

As of December 2023, the most searched things on Google were "YouTube” and "Amazon." During 2023, the most searched person was Taylor Swift, and the most-asked question on Google was, "How many ounces in a cup?"

Here were some terms that arose again and again during conversations and news reports during 2023:

CHATGPT: The powerful new AI chatbot tool that has been trained on vast amounts of online data in order to generate responses to user prompts. While it has gained traction among users, it has also raised some concerns, including about inaccuracies and its potential to perpetuate biases and spread misinformation.

NEPO BABY: A celebrity with a parent who is also famous, especially one whose industry connections are perceived as essential to their success.

CONSORT: Once the United Kingdom's Prince Charles officially became King Charles III at his coronation in May 2023, his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall became known as Queen Camilla. In a branding move that surprised everyone, she dropped the word "Consort" from her title.

PETFLUENCER: A person who gains a large following on social media by posting entertaining images or videos of their cat, dog, or other pet.

SLOWCESSION: According to Moody's Analytics, despite predictions of a recession during 2023, "The more likely scenario was a slowcession, where growth grinds to a near halt but a full economic downturn is narrowly avoided."

As the famous writer Joseph Conrad wrote, "My task which I am trying to achieve is by the power of the written word, to make you hear, to make you feel - it is, before all, to make you see. That — and no more, and it is everything."

What words and terms will define 2024? Keep up with the news, and you may find some clues.

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