1980: Hip-hop, megamerger
1981: High-definition, lemon law
1982: Snail mail, text messaging
Other notable words: acquired immune deficiency syndrome, break dancing, couch potato, domain name, e-mail, preferred provider organization
To contrast the speed of electronic mail with that of the U.S. Post Office, Jim Rutt is said to have first used the phrase ‘snail mail’ in 1981, and the term spread from there. Created in the 1980s at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Zephyr Notification System was used for early text messaging.
1983: Gastric banding, proton pump inhibitor
Other notable words: CD-ROM, information superhighway, kettle chip, liposuction, screenshot, toolbar
Clinical applications of adjustable gastric banding for obese patients were begun in the early 1980s. Studies released in April looked at the effects of omeprazole, a proton pump inhibitor, on gastric acid.
1984: Desktop publishing, DNA fingerprinting
Other notable words: clot buster, laptop, moonwalk, phen-fen, spendy, sriracha
American inventor Bob Doyle and family members introduced MacPublisher, the first desktop publishing program, this year. Geneticist Alec Jeffreys discovered and named the concept of DNA fingerprinting in September.
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1985: Biodiversity, statin
Other notable words: anime, boy band, caller ID, go-to, multi-tool, sexual predator
Walter Rosen of the National Research Council presented a seminar in 1985 to discuss biodiversity. Michael S. Brown and Joseph L. Goldstein won this year's Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discoveries on regulating cholesterol metabolism, which led to the release of the first commercial statin two years later.
1986: Glasnost, ozone hole
Other notable words: arena football, bungee jump, junk e-mail, sippy cup, sound-bite, SUV
American scientists in October 1986 reported strong evidence that chemical processes were causing the ozone hole over Antarctica. Although a Russian word for centuries, the term ‘glasnost’ was propelled this year after Mikhail Gorbachev used the word to describe openness in activities in the Soviet Union.
1987: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, virtual reality
Other notable words: bovine spongiform encephalopathy, community-supported agriculture, in-line skate, paintball, physician-assisted suicide, single-payer
The American Psychiatric Association updated the distinctions of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” in 1987. Jaron Lanier, founder of the visual programming lab, coined the term ‘virtual reality’ this year.
1988: Boomerang child, stair-stepper
Other notable words: brick-and-mortar, crop circle, hyperlink, JPEG, mosh pit, road rage
Coined in 1988, boomerang child refers to young adults who have moved out of the family home only to move back in. The Gauntlet, an improved rotating staircase version of a stair-stepper, was introduced this year.
1989: Eco-friendly, hypertext markup language
Other notable words: beatdown, cybersecurity, gangsta rap, Generation X, right-click, viral marketing,
Tim Berners-Lee, credited with inventing the web in 1989, used hypertext markup language, commonly referred to as HTML, to link documents. Also this year, Walmart launched one of the first major retail eco-friendly campaigns.
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