armchair cultural observation since 1995

News and Notes: Hypermiling word of the year

A word coined in 2004 for attempting “to maximize gas mileage by making fuel-conserving adjustments to one’s car and one’s driving techniques” has been named the 2008 Oxford Word of the Year, according to the Oxford University Press USA blog.

Hypermiling beat out frugalista (a person who leads a frugal lifestyle, but stays fashionable and healthy), moofer (a mobile out of office worker), topless meeting (a meeting in which participants are barred from using their laptops) and toxic debt (sub-prime debts that are now proving so disastrous to banks) for the honor. The complete list of nominees is available HERE.

Past winners of the honor, selected by the editors of the New Oxford American Dictionary, include locavore in 2007, carbon neutral in 2006 and podcast in 2005.

The American Dialect Society, which has been picking a word of the year since 1991, has not yet announced its word for 2008.

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