Word of the Year: Carbon Neutral


If TreeHugger knows one thing, it's that "going carbon neutral" is just about the biggest thing since sliced bread; everything (and we mean everything) is being neutralized these days, from movie productions to restaurants to sporting events (like the World Cup and Olympic Games) to music tours to colleges to tea (whew!). The concept and words have made a big enough splash that "carbon neutral" has been named The New Oxford American Dictionary's Word of the Year for 2006. Following in the footsteps of "podcast" (last year's WOTY), "carbon neutral" beat out "CSA" (community supported agriculture), "DRM" (digital rights management) and "dwarf planet" for the honor of a permanent spot in our cultural lexicon. Said Erin McKean, editor in chief of the New Oxford American Dictionary 2e, "The increasing use of the word carbon neutral reflects not just the greening of our culture, but the greening of our language. When you see first graders trying to make their classrooms carbon neutral, you know the word has become mainstream. All the Oxford lexicographers look forward to choosing the Word of the Year. We know that people love fun, flashy words like truthiness or the latest Bushism, but we are always looking for a word that is both reflective of the events and concerns of the past year and also forward-looking: a word that we think will only become more used and more useful as time goes on." We couldn't agree more. ::Oxford University Press via ::Gristmill

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