Word of the Year: 'Locavore'

2007 New Oxford American Dictionary Word of the Year

Nov 12, 2007, 00:00 ET from Oxford University Press

    NEW YORK, Nov. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Are you passing up
 store-bought bananas for apples from the farmers' market? Can you shake the
 hand that picked your carrots? If you're concerned with how far food
 travels before it gets to your plate, you just may be a "locavore," the New
 Oxford American Dictionary's 2007 Word of the Year. 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
     "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.
     Last year's selection for Word of the Year was another eco-friendly
 term, "carbon neutral." The choice of "locavore" for 2007 reflects an
 ongoing shift in environmental and ecological awareness over the last
 several years. Lexicographers at Oxford University Press have observed that
 this social transformation is having a noticeable effect on the English
     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
     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
     About the New Oxford American Dictionary Word of the Year:
     Among their other activities, lexicographers at Oxford University Press
 track how the vocabulary of the English language is changing from year to
 year. Every year, the New Oxford American Dictionary Word of the Year is
 debated and chosen, with the selection made to reflect the ethos of the
 year and its lasting potential as a word of cultural significance and use.

SOURCE Oxford University Press