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 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. 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 language. 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