“Locavore” chosen as word of the year

Our friend Derrick alerts us that the New Oxford American Dictionary has selected "locavore" as the word that best reflects "the ethos of the year" and has "lasting potential as a word of cultural significance and use." W00t!

The term locavore was coined by four Bay Area women — Jen Maiser, Jessica Prentice, Sage Van Wing, and DeDe Sampson — and rather quickly consumed by what we still insist on calling the dietgeist (in the vain hope someone will name it word of the year, although "ethicurean" would be fine, too).

Locavore is the successor to 2006's "carbon neutral," 2005's "podcast," and 2004's "blog." Runners-up included cloudware (online apps), upcycling (waste reuse), and cougar (a predatory older woman — um, ethos of what exactly?). In the press release, Ben Zimmer, OUP editor for American dictionaries, explains that the word locavore "shows how food-lovers can enjoy what they eat while still appreciating the impact they have on the environment. It's significant in that it brings together eating and ecology in a new way."

Congratulations to the original locavore four, and the legions of Eat Local Challenge participants, "Animal Vegetable Miracle" readers, and "Plenty"-inspired 100-Mile dieters who spread this important philosophical meme throughout America!

On a related note, Webster's word of the year is "grass station," for a biofuels filling location; last year's behind-the-curve pick was "crackberry."

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