My vote for Word of the Year

Every year, the New Oxford American Dictionary chooses a Word of the Year—a newly coined or ubiquitous word that reflects the spirit of the year or is used so much that it becomes uber-annoying. Well, that’s my take on it, anyway. Hypermiling is this year’s word, which describes drivers’ extreme efforts to conserve gasoline such as trailing a semi at high speeds or gasp, observing the speed limit. 

I was so convinced that this year’s word would be staycation, an inexpensive vacation spent at home with, I don’t know, a beach umbrella in the living room. The word was inescapable this summer as people compared their stupid staycations. The word, did, however, make the shortlist, so that’s something. But it’s still my word of the year.

Merriam-Webster chose bailout as its word of ’08, a word that was on the lips of every newscaster every. Other. Second. But it’s kind of anti-climactic and frankly, depressing. And while maverick was in the top 10, mavericky would have been a better choice.

Webster’s New World Dictionary went with overshare this year, which is apt given the proliferation of bloggers, and my experience with people who divulge too much. They’re everywhere, no?

An ’07 top vote getter was verbing Facebook, and ’06 saw truthiness all over the place. One that caught my eye this year though, was topless meeting, which does not mean what you think it means; apparently, it’s a meeting sans laptops, Blackberries, and cell phones. Huh. Sooo not as interesting as it might have been.


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