Top Words of 2014

This year has seen unparalleled word creation, given the potent combination of rapid technological change which creates the need for new words with the meme-generating powers of the internet. This list contains interesting words that were created, or became an inextricable part of culture this year.
  1. Algocracy – To be ruled by algorithm. These days, so much of our activity, both online and offline, is ruled by algorithms, whose existence we normally don’t question or even consider, that we can be said to be on our way to living in an algocracy.
  2. Clicktivism – On the internet, everyone is an activist, but most activism only goes as far as liking a post or forwarding a tweet.
  3. Biohacking – As the digital revolution moves further and further into biology, everyone these days is a biohacker, from the Fitbit user who tracks his steps to the people who embed microchips under their skin.
  4. Microcolleges – As the needs for today’s workforce continue to change more and more rapidly, it is becoming clear that a four-year university education followed by 40 years of working is no longer a relevant option. Online education, especially in terms of micro colleges that focus on a specific skill, might be able to help bridge the gap.
  5. Gastrophysics – As field after field benefits from a more scientific approach, gastrophysics, also known as molecular gastronomy, is spreading all over the world.
  6. Data Literacy – The must have in tomorrow’s job market. As the benefits of big data spread to more and more areas, the need to be data literate will become as basic as normal literacy for most white-collar jobs.
  7. Jerktech – As startups continue disrupting industries, there was a growing sensation this year that they were being too aggressive about it, whether in business methods (Uber) or in the assets they were commoditized (MonkeyParking). This became known as jerktech.
  8. Rainbow ceiling – As LGBT marriages become more and more accepted, the next barrier for gay and lesbians is the rainbow ceiling, the inability to be promoted to the highest positions in business and society. If it will follow the same path as women’s rights, this looks set to remain in place for a long time.
  9. Normcore – As the internet enabled the long tail of fashion, creating the possibility of finding like-minded members of every potential subculture online, the new thing became to dress as normal as possible. At least for five minutes.
  10. Dronie – With the combination of two of this year’s biggest trends – the ubiquity of the selfie and the rapidly sinking cost of consumer drones – enter the drone – selfie by drone.