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umbrella term

A term used to cover a wide-ranging subject rather than one specific item. In many cases, umbrella terms are more marketing oriented than technical. Umbrella terms might be buzzwords for a while, but they often fade into the woodwork. See buzzword.



buzzword

A term that refers to the latest technology or a term that sounds catchy. Current major buzzwords are IoT, Bitcoin and augmented reality. Just a few months ago, cloud, Big Data and smartwatch were hot topics. A few years ago, social media, Web 2.0, disruptive technology, Twitter, Facebook, smartphone, tablet computer and green were all the buzz. See cloudwashing.

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

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




Just Plain Small
The "nano" term is often used to simply mean "small," as in this mouse transceiver from Microsoft. After being plugged into the USB port, it barely protrudes from the computer.






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