- Words new and old -- The 3rd millennium's first decade
was replete with buzzwords, many of them neologism arising from unremitting
cyber innovations. As the world careened into what will henceforth be known
as the Internet Era, we had such neologisms as.
- the dotcom revolution, so named for the way internet
addresses are written, "com" suggesting the commercial focus
of the medium. This term along with Internet itself dates from the Stone
Age of the 20th century internet.
- wikipedia (2001), "wiki" being Hawaiian for
"quick", the world's first collective encyclopaedia, produced
online by millions of users, now in dozens of languages, though increasingly
regulated, especially when dealing with living persons.
- blogging (2002), referring to the explosion of personal
sites which the Internet allows.
- photoshopping (2006), referring to the now common practice
of touching up electronic images or making collages to suit one's needs.
- twitter (2006), mobile software allowing anyone anywhere
to link instantaneously with anyone anywhere (as long as they are wired
- Oh, and don't forget the great spoof of the decade, Y2K,
the gimmicky shortform popularised by the fear that the now-computer addicted
world would "crash" when the clock struck 2000.
- These neologisms are entering all world languages, including
Arabic, as the world gravitates towards an English-language based new world
order. They are not such innocent playthings, however. In the world of
politics, they represent a powerful means for their owners to promote an
agenda other than greater freedom of communications. Moldova's communists
were displaced in a twitter revolution, and Iran's Ahmedinejad almost
was, as crowds of Western-savvy young people converged on their respective
capitals, intent on overthrowing their governments after disputed elections.
China especially is attempting to prevent these innovations in the blogosphere
from being used to erode government authority.
- The fact must be confronted that most of the Internet
is in Jewish hands (Google, Yahoo, Facebook), and, given the organisation
and power of the Israeli Lobby in the US and Europe, the ability to monitor,
tap and store infinite quantities of personal data as well as control access
to certain information suddenly brings us face-to-face with the spectre
of Orwellian mind-and-body control.
- The highly-lucrative world of Google and others is a
boon whose owners are Zionists. Google co-founder and billionaire Sergei
Brin is a big supporter financially of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society,
which just happens to fund Jews from the diaspora to settle in Israel.
Blog and youtube sites considered harmful have been "disappeared"
without explanation. Anti-Zionist/Jewish critique has been blocked as "hate
promotion", and anti-Muslim/Arab critique condoned as "freedom
- Many existing words took on new significance as buzzwords
during the decade. Buzzwords include:
- Taliban, Al-Qaeda, jihad and caliphate, all Arabic, reflect
the great irony of the decade just as every action results in a
reaction, the Western invasions of the Arab/ Muslim world following 9/11
have led to a much greater awareness of Arab/ Muslim culture, even a realisation
that many of the accoutrements of Western life from silk pajamas
to date squares and hookahs come from their rival in the clash of
- Not to be left out, the Jewish world became more and
more the object of outspoken support and, at the same time, of critical
attention throughout the decade, with the Holocaust (denial), (anti-)Zionism,
Jerusalem and Gaza never leaving headlines for long.
- Refugees (2005) are on the increase, not only due to
US invasions and civil wars around the world, but in the US itself, reflecting
the shameful destruction of New Orleans by a particularly powerful hurricane
Katrina, the severity now admitted by the legal system as due to government
incompetence and the US's crumbling infrastructure, even as its military
budget goes through the stratosphere.
- Derivatives and subprime lending (2007) refer to particularly
odious financial schemes dreamed up and regulated by those who made billions
from them, providing no real benefit to anyone but themselves.
- Bailout (2008) is a constant reminder of Western governments'
obeisance to the world's bankers.
- Obama and Obamania (2008) have reached every nook and
cranny in the world with the first black US president in office, as he
continues to wrestle with the problems of the US empire, another buzzword
which came and then went, as the US faces decline on all fronts political,
economic, environmental and health.
- Two Bushisms that strike terror in the listener are surge
(2007) and Shock and Awe (2003), the ghoulish name given to the invasion
strategy in Iraq in search of nonexistent WMDs (Weapons of Mass Destruction).
Bush's Hollywood-inspired "Bring 'em on!" challenge to the Iraqi
insurgents was taken up vigorously with close to 5000 US soldiers returning
in body bags (officially). One of his more memorable malapropisms was misunderestimate
(2002), and forever associated with his reign is hanging chad (2000), referring
to faulty election ballots in Florida, which contributed to what was almost
certainly a rigged victory of Bush over Al Gore. Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo
and rendition all legacies of Bush speak to the shameful fact
that the empire promotes and even revels in torture.
- Chinglish (2005), albeit a neologism, is no doubt what
we will all speak in another few decades if China maintains its present
- Nanotechnology highlights the increasing importance of
miniaturization in technology to the point of operating on the atomic level;
though it dates from the1950s, it is just now coming into its own.
- Global warming consequences, such as increasingly violent
and frequent hurricanes and tsunamis (2004), have literally flooded the
world of economics, where financial tsunamis threaten the world economy,
now that it is connected electronically and mostly free from government
control. The 2008 world financial meltdown showed that with a vengeance.
- The world faces unremitting pressure from Disneyfication,
as movies turn to fantasy worlds, 3-D effects and virtual reality to distract
- From playstations to the more pseudo-high-culture Harry
Potter, and sci-fi serial movies such as Star Trek and Matrix, fantasy
and virtual reality displaced our connection with reality.
- We now are satisfied with truthiness (2005), popularised
on US political satire programme "The Colbert Report", reflecting
the lack of honesty in our public life and the distorted reality which
our media feeds us.
- Eric Walberg writes for Al-Ahram Weekly <http://>http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/
You can reach him at <http://>http://ericwalberg.com/