2008 is not yet over, yet the final votes have been cast for the word of the year. When I think of the past year, I think foreclosure, but the New Oxford American Dictionary only crowns a word that is unique and was populated in the past year. For example, these four words were runners-up to the word of the year winner.
- Frugalista: Person who leads a frugal lifestyle but stays fashionable and healthy by swapping clothes, buying second-hand, growing own produce, etc.
- Moofer: A mobile out-of-office worker, as in someone who works away from a fixed workplace, via BlackBerry, a laptop, or Wi-Fi. Also can be used as a verbal noun, as in moofing.
- Topless meeting: A meeting in which the participants are barred from using their laptops, BlackBerries, or cellphones.
- Toxic debt: Mainly sub-prime debts that are now proving so disastrous to banks. They were parceled up and sent around the global financial system like toxic waste, hence the allusion.
To see the word of the year,
- Hypermiling: To hypermile is to maximize gas mileage by making fuel-conserving adjustments to one's car and driving techniques.
According to CNN Money, the term was coined in 2004. Hypermilers are described as drivers who keep their tires properly inflated, remove the roof rack from their vehicles, and turn engines off rather than letting them idle at stoplights.