Fashion you wear, got that. It changes seasonally with hemlines going up and down; pants either tapered, wide or skin-tight; color palettes in or out; must-have accessories -- you know the drill. I reluctantly embrace food fashion (food theater) like kale -- the it vegetable, obscure animal parts and uber/hyper-local microgreens, pickles or craft beer of the milli-moment. The edible trends have a longer lifespan than those of the runway, and in spite of the lack of newly discovered food items, we manage to fill our plates and stomachs with newly fashioned items for consumption with surprising regularity. Being asked annually about which food trends will entertain us on buffets and plates at fashionable events is a professional necessity -- while personally, the same old ripe tomatoes or roasted beets would make me very happy. It's the privileged burden of privileged eaters, no doubt.
But fashionable words with brief lifespans are a 21st-century phenomenon, ushering in our slavery to concepts defining actions, thoughts and, to some extent, professional (and perhaps personal) agendas.
Words of the moment:
Innovation, collaboration, re-invention, disruption, convergence, stakeholder, integration, synergistic, sustainable, messaging, influencer. Can you think how many times you may have used one of them in the past 12 months? What is your favorite go-to word?
We strive for relevancy, determined to express ourselves with creativity and authenticity (oops -- add that one to the list). Has the speed and breadth in which ideas travel accelerated the process of word or concept oversaturation and burnout?
In googling the term "buzzwords," I came upon this very funny video from Adobe TV.
So, here is my guess at a potentially powerful word for 2013 -- something refreshing, historical and, hopefully, capable of inspiring action and productive thought:
Reverberate:: to have a prolonged or continuing effect; to be repeatedly reflected, as sound waves, heat or light.
As we contemplate action -- from political decisions to personal choices, from business plans to communication -- it contains the possibility that our actions have productive and meaningful impact. It also incorporates the awareness that what we do does not happen in isolation -- that our choices have an impact on others. It should capture our connectedness and the power of what can happen when we act as a community to make positive change. It is a word that has hope. And for the moment, it is unsullied, non-viral and ripe with possibility.