Word of the year?

Oxford University Press USA, the publishers of the New Oxford American Dictionary has announced its word of the year: locavore. Either I am not green enough or trendy enough as I’ve never heard of the word. Locavores are those who try to buy locally grown ingredients and foot products.

Perhaps proving once again the failings of the English language or perhaps too technology oriented, here’s some of the runners-up:

aging in place: the process of growing older while living in one’s own residence, instead of having to move to a new home or community.

bacn: email notifications, such as news alerts and social networking updates, that are considered more desirable than spam.

cloudware: online applications, such as webmail, powered by massive data storage facilities, also called “cloud servers.”

cougar: an older woman who romantically pursues younger men.

previvor: a person who has not been diagnosed with a form of cancer but has survived a genetic predisposition for cancer.

upcycling: the transformation of waste materials into something more useful or valuable. (How is this different from “recycling” or is “recycling” simply the first step in “upcycling”?)

Personally, I think foreign phrases seem much more useful. For example,

Hanyauku – Rukwangali, Namibia: walking on tiptoes across warm sand.

Hira hira – Japanese: the feeling you get when you walk into a dark and decrepit old house in the middle of the night.

I am far more apt to use one of those than locavore or even the runners-up.

Bablat – Hebrew: baloney, but is an acronym of “beelbool beytseem le-lo takhleet” which means “bothering someone’s testicles for no reason.”


Adam Jacot de Boinod, Toujours Tingo

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