The New Oxford American Dictionary has chosen "unfriend" as the 2009 Word of the Year. It means to remove someone from your friend list on a social network like Facebook. Christine Lindberg, Senior Lexicographer for Oxford's US dictionary program, said the word was chosen because of its "currency and potential longevity" .... plus it has "real lex-appeal."
Some of the other words under consideration were: "birther", "death panels", and "sexting." The important attributes considered in selecting a Word of the Year (WOTY) are both its popularity and its cultural importance over the course of the past 12 months. It was the first time in recent years that the WOTY did not spring fairly directly from the lexicon of environmentalists.
Over the course of the past three years, ("hypermiling" in 2008, "locavore" in 2007, and "carbon neutral" in 2006), the WOTY selections had been starting to look pretty green