Words of the year for 2013

Words of the year for 2013

Making predictions about the future is always difficult. Just think about the ‘end of the world’ predicted to happen in December last year. The world didn’t end and the people who made the prediction were wrong, thank goodness!

Despite the difficulty with making predictions, it’s always fun to guess what’s going to happen in the rest of the year, and these are the words I think will be important in 2013.

Fiscal cliff – this is the name given to the predicted effect of financial policies introduced in the US this year. ‘Fiscal’ means ‘related to money’ and a ‘cliff’ is an area where the land suddenly drops away. Economists predicted that graphs showing the US economy would look like a cliff with a sudden drop.

Recession – this is a period of economic decline. Some experts are predicting a continued recession in 2013, especially in Europe.

Rebound – this means ‘to bounce back’ and it’s what a number of experts are predicting for the US economy. They think it will get stronger later in the year.

Energy independence – Barack Obama has spoken a lot about energy independence as have some leaders in the European Union. It means not relying on other countries for your energy or the materials that power your power stations. It looks like this will continue to be an important expression this year.

Renewable energy – energy from sources that won’t run out. For example: wind, solar and hydroelectric energy (energy from water-driven turbines). With fuel prices going up, it looks like renewable energy will be even more important this year; and with climate change bringing extreme weather to many parts of the world, the public will be more interested than ever in where their energy comes from.

Augmented reality – to ‘augment’ means to ‘expand’ and ‘augmented reality’ is a phrase we use to describe applications and technology that add things to what we are currently experiencing. For example, some apps let us see the names of all the stars when we hold them up to the sky and others let us know all the cool places to eat near our current location.

As mobile technology gets better, faster, and cheaper, more of us will have access to these apps and they will play a bigger part in our lives than ever before. Hey, we might even be wearing Google goggles by the end of the year!

What are your predictions for the rest of 2013? What words do you think will be most important in the news this year?

image: USFWS Mountain Prairie

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