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Automobile Words of the Year (minicast)

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We’re continuing our look at some of the words of the year of 2008 with words related to automobiles.

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Gas prices have been all over the place, but worse still than high gas-prices are accidents caused by DWT, which is short for “driving while texting.”

Legislation and rules were considered in municipalities across the country to stop people from sending text messages on their phones while driving, though few bills seem to have passed.

Thanks to high fuel prices, the word gas-sipper made a comeback in 2008. It’s the opposite of a gas-guzzler. If a car sips gas, it consume less.

Another approach to conserving fuel would be hypermiling. This word, created in 2004, was Oxford University Press’s word of the year for 2008.

It means to take extraordinary measures to conserve fuel, things like turning off the engine when going down hills, avoiding the brakes, and drafting behind larger vehicles. Drafting means riding up close where wind resistance is less.

This approach to fuel economy is stock in trade for the carborexic. That’s a person who is energy anorexic, meaning they do things like never use air-conditioning, turn off their refrigerators when they go a way for the weekend, and fill the few lights they use with low wattage bulbs.

And that’s it for our word-of-the-year minicasts. You can find more words of the year at the web site of the American Dialect Society.

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