To The Future -
To The Future Word Quiz
All of the words below gained currency or took on new
meanings in the '90s. Do you know their definitions?
1. channel surf (v.) - A: to sail across rough water.
B: switch TV channels. C: sharpen TV images. D: swim between
two land formations.
2. multimedia (n.) - A: information overload. B: combination
of media. C: news interpretation. D: TV anchor people.
3. laptop (n.) - A: piece of furniture. B: tray. C: portable
computer. D: small pet.
4. leverage (v.) - A: to enhance. B: purchase. C: unite.
5. globalize (v.) - A: to equalize. B: anticipate. C: make
worldwide. D: initiate.
6. biogas (n.) - fuel from A: decaying organic matter.
B: natural-gas wells. C: synthetic oil. D: heavy water.
7. triple-witching hour (n.) - a stock-market period of
A: celebration. B: expiration of investment contracts.
C: inactivity. D: three price upturns.
8. megacity (n.) - city that is A: large. B: new. C: ancient.
9. transnational (adj.) - A: from coast to coast. B: local
switching. C: beyond national boundaries. D: inclusive.
10. real-time (adj.) - A: as rapidly as needed. B: local.
C: unsyncopated. D: broadcast live.
11. information superhighway (n.) - A: computerized traffic
control. B: new school programs. C: space probes. D: com-
puter communications infrastructure.
12. fusion reaction (n.) - A: detonation. B: meltdown.
C: disorder. D: a combining.
13. on-line (adj.) - A: financially sound. B: pre-release.
C: longitudinal. D: connected.
14. spin doctor (n.) - A: opinion manipulator. B: disc
jockey. C: coach. D: forecaster
15. digital (adj.) - A: precise. B: clear. C: hand-held.
D: using numbers.
16. aquifer (n.) - A: air purifier. B: dust particle.
C: tree. D: water-bearing rock.
17. alternative (adj.) - A: nontraditional. B: mixed.
C: suitable. D: lively.
18. tabloid (n.) - A: freak. B: sensationalistic newspaper.
C: marble slab. D: statistic.
19. biotechnology (n.) - study of A: planets. B: brain's
evolution. C: human communities. D: modification of products.
20. Internet (n.) - A: fabric. B: computer network.
C: satellite. D: spy organization.
1. channel surf - B: To switch from one TV channel to
another in search of a more appealing program.
2. multimedia - B: Combination of modes of communication,
such as video, audio and text; as video games using multi-
media. Latin multi- (many) and media.
3. laptop - C: Portable computer, small enough to be used on
4. leverage - A: To enhance by making maximum use of an
asset; as, to leverage personal abilities to the limit.
5. globalize - C: To make worldwide or universal; as, to
globalize computer technology. Latin globus (spherical body,
hence the earth).
6. biogas - A: Gas used as fuel that is a mixture of carbon
dioxide and methane from decaying organic matter. Greek bio-
(life) and gas.
7. triple-witching hour - B: In stock markets, trading on
four Fridays, one each quarter, when three types of con-
tracts expire, sometimes sending large markets into wild
8. megacity - A: Very large city; as, Megacities of 20 mill-
ion inhabitants already exist in Asia and Latin America.
Greek mega- (very large) and city.
9. transnational - C: Extending beyond the limits, interests
or boundaries of a nation; as, transnational economic poli-
cies. Latin trans- (across) and national.
10. real-time - A: Said of computer calculations: capable of
being performed as rapidly as the process or event they
describe; as, Real-time computing is essential for missile
11. information superhighway - D: A planned electronic
"highway" of 500 channels or more, carrying vast amounts of
information and entertainment that will interact with
computers and TV sets.
12. fusion reaction - D: The combining of atomic nuclei to
form a more massive nucleus while releasing energy. Latin
fundere (to melt).
13. on-line - D: Connected to a computer or telecommuni-
cations network; available while so linked; as, on-line
14. spin doctor - A: Adroit manipulator of public opinion
who takes damaging situations and turns them into something
more favorable; as, The spin doctors presented the Senator's
blunder as an amusing incident.
15. digital - D: Using numbers for display or as the basis
for electronic information storage; as, a digital watch;
digital recording technology. Latin digitus (finger).
16. aquifer - D: Underground water-bearing layer of porous
rock supplying water for streams, wells and the like. Latin
aqua (water) and ferre (to bear, bring, carry).
17. alternative - A: Designating nontraditional or unconven-
tional choices; as, alternative energy sources. Latin
alternare (to do by turns).
18. tabloid - B: Newspaper relying heavily on sensational-
istic headlines and reporting; as, The tabloids fueled the
19. biotechnology - D: Use of living organisms or processes
to modify or make products and to improve plants or animals;
as, The biotechnology revolution in agriculture will help
feed developing nations.
20. Internet - B: A huge, mostly unregulated complex of
university, government and corporate computer networks. Says
science writer James Gleick: "No one owns it; no one runs it.
It's Everyone's Computers, Connected."