A term that refers to the latest technology or a term that sounds catchy. 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 soon become everyday vocabulary.
Some of the most famous, earlier 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 all the Internet buzzwords, including Java
Although the frenzy has died down, "nano" was very hot for a while after the turn of the century, with the term tacked onto existing manufacturing processes that had already been dealing with microscopic elements for years. Some companies made "nano" part of their corporate name even though they had nothing to do with the subject (see nanotechnology
More recent buzzwords are cloud computing
, Web 2.0