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Word of 2008: Hypermiling

The New Oxford American Dictionary is out with its Word of the Year, and it’s hypermiling, coined in 2004 by Wayne Gerdes. The definition: ‘Hypermiling’ or ‘to hypermile’ is to 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.” Though hypermiling went mainstream this year as gas prices soared, AAA has condemned the practice as unsafe, particularly hypermilers’ insistence on overinflating tires and rolling through stop signs.