Finding it hard to keep up with the terms often used by millennials and Gen Z-ers? Feeling like you need a dictionary to enjoy the news? Language is fluid—so it may seem like just as you’re mastering last year’s phrases, new slang words and terms pop up. Here’s a quick list of some recent buzz words to help catch you up on what you may have heard so far this year.
More than ever, cell phones and tablets help us stay more connected while on-the-go. But once it’s time for a charge, we can find ourselves tethered a charger. That is, unless we have Qi. Qi (pronounced “chee”) is a wireless charging standard that relies on “inductive power transfer.” To use it, simply place your device on a base to get a power boost. While the base used to require a wire, these days, you can find a wide range of fully wireless Qi chargers.
Short for “ketogenic,” this term is associated with a low-carb, high-fat diet that fans claim encourages weight loss and prevents certain ailments like diabetes, cancer, epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease. Here’s the science: a ketogenic diet can train the body to burn fat for energy, a state called ketosis. In the absence of glucose from carbohydrates (the body’s go-to energy source), fatty acids are released from internal stores and transferred to the liver, where they oxidize and become “ketones.” These molecules can cross the blood-brain cellular barrier and provide energy to the brain. While the term “keto” is used widely these days, it’s important to note this diet is intended to be a medical diet, so it comes with risks. Be sure to consult your doctor on what diet might be best for you.
Ever wish you had a personal computer guru on call? It’s not as far-fetched as you might imagine, thanks to remote access. Remote access allows someone to control a computer over long-distance using the Internet. What does that mean for you? You won’t have to wait until Thanksgiving for your grandkids to help fix your computer! Choose a secure login and password and your tech-savvy granddaughter can connect to your device and troubleshoot an issue from anywhere in the world.
For a long time, airlines have required passengers to put devices in “airplane mode” to prevent Wi-Fi transmitters from interfering with the plane’s radio communications. A new technology called Li-Fi allows you to stay connected throughout your flight. Li-Fi stands for “Light Fidelity” and is a Visible Light Communications (VLC) system using overhead LED bulbs that turn off and on millions of times per second, faster than the human eye can detect. The bulb itself becomes your “router,” sending data up to 100 times faster than traditional Wi-Fi.
Influencers are the modern day celebrity, though they don’t necessarily get famous by being in a movie or producing a song. Instead, they gain fans and followers based on what they post on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or Twitter. They can be models who post photos of their shoots from around the world or “micro-influencers”—everyday people with special knowledge of a niche, such as gluten-free baking.
Here are some influencers you might recognize:
- Iris Apfel - The 97-year-old New Yorker, fashion icon and designer famous for her large, round glasses. Her mantra is, "More is more, and less is a bore."
- Angelique Miles - The 51-year-old former exec at Warner Chappell Music, Ms. Miles is known for her supernaturally beautiful complexion, fitness regimen and Instagram profile: "Sweat. Beauty. Grown Woman Stuff."
- Rudi Tanzi - The 61-year-old Harvard neuroscientist at the forefront of Alzheimer's research, Tanzi champions the nature of human consciousness and self-actualized well-being.
- Deepak Chopra - The 72-year-old MD, naturopath and bestselling author, Chopra is the host of the podcasts Infinite Potential and Daily Breath.
Whether you want to avoid being bummed out when called a square, or you want to have a gas with younger family members and friends, this list is a great start.