It’s that time of the year again. It is finally starting to get cold (if you are worried about the global warming maybe you should become carbon-neutral) and the New Oxford American Dictionary is preparing for the holidays by making its biggest announcement of the year. The 2007 Word of the Year is (drum-roll please) locavore.
The past year saw the popularization of a trend in using locally grown ingredients, taking advantage of seasonally available foodstuffs that can be bought and prepared without the need for extra preservatives.
The “locavore” movement encourages consumers to buy from farmers’ markets or even to grow or pick their own food, arguing that fresh, local products are more nutritious and taste better. Locavores also shun supermarket offerings as an environmentally friendly measure, since shipping food over long distances often requires more fuel for transportation.
“The word ‘locavore’ shows how food-lovers can enjoy what they eat while still appreciating the impact they have on the environment,” said Ben Zimmer, editor for American dictionaries at Oxford University Press. “It’s significant in that it brings together eating and ecology in a new way.”
“Locavore” was coined two years ago by a group of four women in San Francisco who proposed that local residents should try to eat only food grown or produced within a 100-mile radius. Other regional movements have emerged since then, though some groups refer to themselves as “localvores” rather than “locavores.” However it’s spelled, it’s a word to watch.
Runners-up for the 2007 Word of the Year include:
aging in place: the process of growing older while living in one’s own residence, instead of having to move to a new home or community
bacn: email notifications, such as news alerts and social networking updates, that are considered more desirable than unwanted “spam” (coined at PodCamp Pittsburgh in Aug. 2007 and popularized in the blogging community)
cloudware: online applications, such as webmail, powered by massive data storage facilities, also called “cloud servers”
colony collapse disorder: a still-unexplained phenomenon resulting in the widespread disappearance of honeybees from beehives, first observed in late 2006
cougar: an older woman who romantically pursues younger men
MRAP vehicle: Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle, designed to protect troops from improvised explosive devices (IEDs)
mumblecore: an independent film movement featuring low-budget production, non-professional actors, and largely improvised dialogue
previvor: a person who has not been diagnosed with a form of cancer but has survived a genetic predisposition for cancer
social graph: the network of one’s friends and connections on social websites such as Facebook and Myspace
upcycling: the transformation of waste materials into something more useful or valuable
Disagree with the word of the year? Leave a comment and let us know what you think.