A lady from the Oxford University Press e-mailed today to inform me that the New Oxford American Dictionary has chosen its “Word of the Year.” I noted last year’s winner: “Carbon neutral.” Well, this year, they’ve gone environmentally correct again. The word of the year is…drum roll please… “locavore.” The Oxford blog proudly touts its selection:
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.
Me, too. Shouldn’t the word of the year be a word that more than four people have actually heard of?
Among the runners-up: “Tase” and “MRAP vehicle.”
A few of my nominations: