HR Strange But True!
November 13, 2008

Two words with HR connections made the final cut for the New Oxford American Dictionary's “Word of the Year for 2008,” according to a press release from the Oxford University Press. Will they enter your lexicon?

The press release explains that, among their other activities, lexicographers at Oxford University Press track how the vocabulary of the English language is changing from year to year. Every year, the New Oxford American Dictionary Word of the Year is debated and chosen, with the selection made to reflect the ethos of the year and its lasting potential as a word of cultural significance and use.

The two human resources-related words making “finalist” status this year were:

Moofer--a mobile out-of-office worker-i.e., someone who works away from a fixed workplace, via Blackberry/laptop/wi-fi, etc. (also verbal noun, “ moofing” ).

Topless meeting--a meeting in which the participants are barred from using their laptops, cell phones, a BlackBerry® , etc.

Neither of those entries won the distinction of the Word of the Year, though. However, an HR professional may have heard the winning word tossed around in the workplace by commuters. The dictionary's Word of the Year 2008: Hypermiling, which is an attempt to maximize gas mileage by making fuel-conserving adjustments to one's car and one's driving techniques.

Rather than aiming for good mileage or even great mileage, hypermilers seek to push their gas tanks to the limit and achieve hypermileage, exceeding EPA ratings for miles per gallon.

Source: Press Release

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