NEW YORK, Nov. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- What do Al Gore, Rupert Murdoch, and
the Rolling Stones have in common? They are all advocates of being "carbon
neutral," the New Oxford American Dictionary's Word of the Year for 2006.
Being carbon neutral involves calculating your total climate-damaging
carbon emissions (your "carbon footprint"), reducing them where possible,
and then balancing your remaining emissions, often by purchasing a carbon
offset: paying to plant new trees or investing in "green" technologies such
as solar and wind power.
The rise of carbon neutral reflects the growing importance of the green
movement in the United States. It's more than a trend, it's a movement,
which is why the editors of the New Oxford American Dictionary have
declared carbon neutral the word of the year for 2006. It will be added to
the next update of the dictionary, due in early 2007.
Runners-up for the 2006 Word of the Year include:
CSA (community-supported agriculture): a system where individual
consumers purchase a season's worth of agricultural products grown on a
small, usually family-owned farm.
DRM (digital rights management): hardware or software that controls
access and use of digital data, access and uses that may be disapproved of
by rights owners, but that are not necessarily illegal.
dwarf planet: a new designation for planetlike objects [such as Pluto]
that are round and orbit the sun, but have not cleared other objects from
elbow bump: a greeting in which two people touch elbows, recommended by
the World Health Organization as an alternative to the handshake in order
to reduce the spread of germs.
Fishapod: a humorous name for a newly discovered fossil [Tiktaalik
roseae] that has features of both fish and land mammals and as such is
considered an evolutionary link between the two.
Funner: an informal/nonstandard comparative of fun.
Ghostriding: the practice of exiting a moving vehicle and dancing
either beside it, or on the hood or roof, while the vehicle is in motion.
Islamofascism: a controversial term equating some modern Islamic
movements with the European fascist movements of the early twentieth
Pregaming: consuming alcoholic beverages before attending a sporting
event or party, especially one where alcohol may be limited or banned.
Erin McKean, editor in chief of the New Oxford American Dictionary,
said "The increasing use of the word carbon neutral reflects not just the
greening of our culture, but the greening of our language. When you see
first graders trying to make their classrooms carbon neutral, you know the
word has become mainstream."
SOURCE Oxford University Press