2016 Buzzword Salad: The Top Five Overused Buzzwords and Terms of 2016
1. “Alt-right” Even syndicated talk radio host Sean Hannity is befuddled over this term to describe those who hold uber-arch conservative political and cultural views. The term permeated the American lexicon during the latter stages of the United States 2016 presidential election. Okay, I always make the disclaimer that I take no position on the issue. What I will say is that combining computer keys with labeling certain folks in society seems to be a fresh trend, but I must confess that it almost seems lazy. I cannot tell you why, but using computer terms is not all that creative. Since Mr. Hannity is confused, he says that he’s using his own term, “alt-left” to label those who are on the opposite side of the political spectrum from the “alt-right.”
2. “Brexit” Some these terms have been heard well before 2016 and there’s no doubt that Brexit made the list this year. Obviously there has been more brouhaha about the United Kingdom leaving the European Union across the pond, but the term was mentioned quite a bit in our culture throughout the summer and autumn – due to the presidential election when then-candidate Donald J. Trump proudly mentioned that his maverick campaign is similar to the Brexit vote. One of my favorite scenes during the Brexit story was renegade businessman Nigel Farage having a stand-off with Sir Bob Geldof on boats. The flotilla clash took place on the Thames River. The stand-off was apparently about European Union Fishing rules.
3. “Autopsy,” “Down-ballot” “Regular Joes,” and “Flyover Country” I put all of these as one item because they are inter-woven. With “autopsy,” I’m not talking about the traditional autopsy performed by folks with Quincy, M.D. I’m talking about the “political autopsy.” Indeed, the term has been used before, but in the aftermath of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, pundits in across radio, newspapers and on television have been performing analysis on the losing political party. In the case of this year’s political race, commentators, analysts and political mavens alike have been providing thoughts as to why the U.S. Democratic Party lost the presidential race, down-ballot races and confidence in the general population. The overall analysis is why the political party has not been able to connect with “Regular Joes and Josephines” in “Flyover Country.”
4. “Crowdfunding” and “Crowdbirthing” Crowdfunding is hardly new. It’s the concept of a number of folks funding a project. Crowdfunding websites were already popular before 2016, but it’s taken off this year, invading our culture. The far newer term is Crowdbirthing or, giving birth in front of a group of close friends, relatives and Kanye West. Okay, not sure about that last one and in Kanye’s case, who knows if he would show up anyway (slam, hurt!). I’m not sure if I would want a crowd of spectators while giving birth, but since I never gave birth and only attended one, what do I know?
5. “Pivot” and “Double Down” I’m back to the 2016 U.S. presidential election on this item as well. Pivot became popular during the debate portion of the contest. This is when a candidate changes tones to appeal to a wider portion of the electorate. In my estimation, Pivot is quite obnoxious just because it is. Double Down became “yuge” in 2016. In the game of Blackjack, “doubles down” on a wager. It’s risky. The Blackjack term has been used to describe that one is sticking with his or her opinion or position on an issue no matter how right or wrong he or she is on the issue. The U.S. political campaigns were no different with then-candidate Donald J. Trump who “double downed” on his positions via Twitter.