From hypermiling in 2008, unfriend is 2009 word of the year
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Do you remember Oxford’s 2008 word of the year? (Me either.) It was hypermiling, to attempt to maximize gas mileage by making fuel-conserving adjustments to one’s car and one’s driving techniques. (By the way, the 2007 word was locavore.)
Each year around the holiday season, the New Oxford American Dictionary announces its word of the year. It’s a campaign to generate buzz and garner consumer attention.
If Oxford wanted to create a big splash this year, selecting a social networking buzz word was certainly the way to go. Last year’s selection didn’t garner coverage in blogs like Mashable, Computer World, and CNET .
In fact, since the November 16 announcement there have been more than 420 mainstream and traditional media stories.
The previous years’ words seem to be selected based on that year’s popular trends, therefore unfriend is not a surprising choice.
The word, without context, does look trivial when placed next to its predecessors.
I would have guessed “microblog” or “microblogging” for the 2009 word of the year. But what do I know?
What would you have selected?