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
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