Oxford Dictionary Word of the Year for 2008: Hypermiling

Hypermiling Word of Year Oxford Dictionary 2008 photo

Considering how much we wrote about hypermiling in the past year (see here, here, here, here and here), it's no big surprise that it has been picked as "word of the year" for 2008 by the New Oxford American Dictionary. This seems to be a trend among dictionaries: "Carbon Neutral" was word of the year at Oxford in 2006, "biodiesel" was added to the Merriam-Webster last year, and many other green words like "eco-village" and "food miles" were added to the Chambers dictionary recently. Read on for more.Some context from the Oxford University Press blog (I don't know about you, but I always look extra hard for typos on that type of site):

Some history:
"Hypermiling" was coined in 2004 by Wayne Gerdes, who runs this web site. "Hypermiling" or "to hypermile" is to attempt to maximize gas mileage by making fuel-conserving adjustments to one's car and one's driving techniques. Rather than aiming for good mileage or even great mileage, hypermilers seek to push their gas tanks to the limit and achieve hypermileage, exceeding EPA ratings for miles per gallon. [...]

President-elect Barack Obama observed during his campaign that Americans could save as much oil as would be produced by proposed off-shore drilling if only they kept their tire pressures at recommended levels and took their cars in for regular tune-ups. Republicans' subsequent criticisms of Obama's statement put these measures advocated by hypermilers in the center of the debate between conservation and drilling as solutions to Americans' foreign oil dependence problem.

Word of the Year Finalists that Didn't Make the Cut
Frugalista — person who leads a frugal lifestyle, but stays fashionable and healthy by swapping clothes, buying second-hand, growing own produce, etc.

CarrotMob, carrot mob — a flashmob type of gathering, in which people are invited via the Net to all support and reward a local small ethical business such as a shop or café by all patronizing it at the same time. Also as noun, carrotmobbing.

Ecohacking (also known as geoengineering) — the use of science in very large-scale projects to change the environment for the better/stop global warming (e.g. by using mirrors in space to deflect sunlight away from Earth).

Staycation — vacation taken at or near one's home, taking day trips, etc.

More on Hypermiling
Hypermiling Causes Road Rage? Hypermiling a Fad?
Nascar Driver Uses Hypermiling Tricks to Win Race
Honda Insight Hybrid Wins Hypermiling Competition with 124 Miles per Gallon
Hypermiling Becoming More Popular as Gas Prices Rise

Tags: Energy | Less Is More | Transportation


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