As the first decade of the millennium draws to a close, there are efforts to identify words, ideas, objects or events that characterise these ten years they call "the noughties".
"One of the observations I like best is Matt Frei's comments on what he called "the fundamental conflict of the unnerving noughties":
You have increasingly locked horns with the institutions that are supposed to represent you or act in your interest. You have lost faith in the banks to which you have entrusted your money, in the politicians to whom you have pledged your votes and the companies that have put food on your table.
You have become inquisitive, suspicious and picky. And when you can do something about it on Twitter or your own blog, you have flourished.
But there are some things over which you have no control: like how your garbage is collected, how wars are fought on your behalf or how politicians govern in your name. And that has made you frustrated.
The biggest conflict then in the past decade has been between You and Your expectations."
Remembering how people hailed the arrival of the new millennium as though it were the dawning of a new era, the first decade has been a bit of an anti-climax, if not downright disappointment.
And how is the second decade going to unfold? After all, we have entered a very critical phase in terms of global warming, and with the Copenhagen climate summit in doldrum, there is little cause for being optimistic.