Okay, that's two words, but they're the lexicographers, so they get to write the rules. Here's how the OUP blog defines and defends its choice:
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.
The rise of carbon neutral reflects the growing importance of the green movement in the United States. In a CBS News/New York Times Poll in May 2006, 66% of respondents agreed that global warming is a problem that’s causing a serious impact now. 2006 also saw the launch of a new (and naturally, carbon neutral) magazine about eco-living, Plenty; the actor Leonardo DiCaprio is planning a environmentally-themed reality TV series about an eco-village; and colleges from Maine to Wisconsin are pledging to be carbon neutral within five years. It’s more than a trend, it’s a movement.
All very earnest and worthy, but I got a bigger kick out of some of the runners-up:
elbow bump (a greeting in which two people touch elbows, recommended by the World Health Organization as an alternative to the handshake in order to reduce the spread of germs.)
ghostriding (the practice of exiting a moving vehicle and dancing either beside it, or on the hood or roof, while the vehicle is in motion.)
pregaming (the practice of consuming alcoholic beverages before attending a sporting event or party, especially one where alcohol may be limited or banned.)
...and, of course, Islamofascism.
A commenter nominates the even better pre-mortem.
How about you? What was your favorite word of the past ten and a half months?
Hat tip to Evolving English II.