November 11, 2008

The new dictionary is here!

Every year the New Oxford American Dictionary prepares for the holidays by making its biggest announcement of the year. The 2008 Word of the Year is (drum-roll please) hypermiling.
"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.

Other finalists included:
  • 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.
  • topless meeting – a meeting in which the participants are barred from using their laptops, Blackberries, cellphones, etc.
  • moofer – a mobile out of office worker – ie. someone who works away from a fixed workplace, via Blackberry/laptop/wi-fi etc. (also verbal noun, moofing)
  • frugalista – person who leads a frugal lifestyle, but stays fashionable and healthy by swapping clothes, buying second-hand, growing own produce, etc.
I was reading last months copy of Runners World and found a small story about a Weather Channel meteorologist who is running in 15 cities across the U.S. as he trains for the Atlanta Half Marathon. He will be taping a number of segments to tap into runner's interest in the latest weather reports. No one likes to get caught in a surprise hailstorm on their long run.

He talks about Seattle's weather and mentions what some locals call "mizzle" - a combination of mist and drizzle. Now I know the phenomena that he is referring to (I walked through it just this morning), but I have never heard it referred to as mizzle, and I would have a hard time using the word with a straight face. "Looks like it is going to mizzle my fizzle."

But a quick check of shows that the word mizzle was coined in the late 1400's. Shows you what I know.


SeanH said...

Man, you're the shizzle for posting that.

Holly said...

Splendiforous! I love this stuff. You ARE the shizzle.