One of the most valuable skills you can have as a journalist is what some call a "bullshit detector" – the ability to smell a rat, the capacity to listen intently, nod your head politely, even be slightly incredulous to let the idea sink in… and then work out if you're being sold something that isn't true. And then there's trend forecasting, the world of making up names. There are some forecasters who have sullied the industry by making up names that lack meaning, that are like just more flotsam on the surface of our lives already over-filled with information that's too hard to hold on to. 

But this doesn't mean giving something a name is bad. Creating new names for new things is perfectly natural. As well as the arena of fools it is also a place for the world's smartest thinkers – people from the past like Shakespeare, and from the present like William Gibson – to play.

When we come upon a new phenomenon, it is essential, when you think about it, to give it a label so that we don't always end up describing the thing. Consider the video recorder. Previously, "video" has only meant I see in Latin (as in Caesar's comment when he came to Britain: veni, vidi, vici). But once someone created a device that could record and playback live television, they needed a new name for this new toy. Similarly, think of the Walkman, or roller skates, or inline skates, or snowboarding…  So The Future is Already Here will use new words. Each will be described in the Futurists' Glossary, alongside other new ideas we come across. 

If there's anything you don't understand, contact us. Our aim in using any terms is to communicate better, not create jargon to hide behind.