Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Word of the Year

According to this article, Merriam-Webster (US) has decided that the word of the year is:


(and yes, that's with zeros instead of letter o). The article says: Massachusetts-based Merriam-Webster Inc. said "w00t" — typically spelled with two zeros — reflects a new direction in the American language led by a generation raised on video games and cell phone text-messaging. It's like saying "yay," the dictionary said. "It could be after a triumph or for no reason at all," Merriam-Webster said.

Hello? Caity has been using this word like, FORevah, as the kids would say. Word of 2007?? (Caity's just ahead of her time? She's a techno-trailblazer!)

OK, another take, this time from OUP. Their word of 2007 is:


And the thing about this is that while the word itself is new to me, the concept is a friend of the idea explored in Barbara Kingsolver's book that I've been reading, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.

To quote the OUP site: "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.

Just so you're really informed, here are their runners-up (I've faded back the definitions so you can see what you can guess before reading - just highlight them with your mouse to see the definitions):

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
tase (or taze): to stun with a Taser (popularized by a Sep. 2007 incident in which a University of Florida student was filmed being stunned by a Taser at a public forum)
upcycling: the transformation of waste materials into something more useful or valuable

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