More global buzzwords for 2023 : Goats and Soda : NPR

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This week we published a list of 9 global buzzwords likely to be in the news in 2023. Others are old — like poverty, which is on the rise again due to the pandemic, conflicts, climate change and more.

We asked you to nominate more buzzwords for 2023. Thanks to all who sent contributions. Here are five more terms to watch out for in the coming year.

Elite-directed growth

Savanna Schuermann, a lecturer in the anthropology department at San Diego State University, proposes:

“One word or concept I see missing from your piece is”elite-directed growth.’

The problems you write about in history — poverty, climate change, child wasting — stem from the same cultural cause. Power has become concentrated among elites — decision-makers who make decisions that benefit them but are ill-suited to the population and environment (“ill-fit” may also be a common word) because that these decision makers are insulated from the impacts of their policies. So either they are not aware of the bad human consequences of their policies or they don’t care.”


Those little pieces of plastic — some too small to see with the naked eye — are popping up all over the world, in nature and in humans, raising concerns about their impact on both the environment and health. The small pieces of plastic debris can come from many sources – as a result of industrial waste as well as from packaging, ropes, bottles and clothes. Last year, NPR wrote about a study that even identified microplastics in the lungs of living people, adding that “plastic has previously been found in humans blooddirt and deep in the ocean.”

Posted by H. Keifer


Someone who lives precariously, who does not live in security. Wikipedia notes that the word precarious is “a portmanteau join precarious with proletariat.” It can be used in a variety of contexts. “Migrants make up a large part of the world’s precariat. They are a cause of its growth and are in danger of becoming its primary victims, demonized and made the scapegoat for problems not of their own making,” according to the book. The Precariat: The Dangerous New Class. And, in 2016, NPR wrote about “the weather and the unpaid contingent workers some have called the”precarious.’ “

Posted by Peter Ciarrochi


Solastalgia is, according to Wikipedia and other sources, “a neologism, formed from the combination of Latin words sōlācium (comfort) and the Greek root -algia (pain, suffering, grief), which describes a form of emotional or existential suffering caused by environmental change.” NPR used this term in a story describing the emotional reaction of Arizonans who had to flee their homes due to wildfires caused by lightning. It has to do with “a sense that you are losing your home, even though you have it” t left him. Only the anticipation of a natural disaster can produce its own kind of sadness called solastalgia.”

Posted by Clara Sutherland


The word itself is much like a sound. Webster’s says: “an amount or supply more than sufficient to meet one’s wants.” The libertarian think tank Cato Institute uses the term in what it calls a “controversial and counterintuitive” new book, Superabundance: The Story of Population Growth, Innovation, and Human Flourishing on an Infinitely Abundant Planet. The thesis: “Population growth and the freedom to innovate make Earth’s resources more, not less, abundant.”

Posted by Jonathan Babiak

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