Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Word of the Year should be fixed

The Oxford University Press named it's Word of the Year yesterday, carbon neutral, which is defined as follows:
Being carbon neutral involves calculating your total climate-damaging carbon emissions, reducing them where possible, and then balancing your remaining emissions, often by purchasing a carbon offset: paying to plant new trees or investing in “green” technologies such as solar and wind power.
Eric McKean, editor in chief of the New Oxford American Dictionary 2e, says
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.
Well, at least McKean admits that carbon neutral is neither fun nor flashy. Given the list of runner-ups I definitely would have voted for ghostriding. Although, I'm not sure why this is considered a new word; I have clear memories of ghostriding being in use during my childhood (mid 80's). It referred to the act of jumping off one's bike while it careened into a tree.

Last year's Word of the Year, podcasting, although banal, is at least ubiquitous and thus an argument can be made for inclusion. But carbon neutral? That's just claptrap.
:: posted by David, 7:57 AM


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