Name That Winning Word

| April 25, 2003

Nothing like a bit of friendly competition to lift our spirits in times of war and winter doldrums. That was the inspiration for Grist Magazine?s ?Cheer Us Up the Weather is Godawful and We?re at War? contest. The challenge, presented by advice columnist Umbra Fisk: to create ?a clever, meaningful word meaning ?anti-environmentalist? [that?s both] withering in tone and contagious in nature.? Some 350 readers contributed their most creative vernacular. Notable finalists included: biolooter, tree-thugger and ecoperp. Alice Vey Veley of Houston, Texas, took top honors with pollutocrat, a word deriving from both the Latin word, polluere, meaning ?to soil, defile? and the Greek word kratos, meaning ?strength, might, rule, authority.? In lieu of cash prizes, Vey will receive the opportunity to influence the media by contributing to our lexicon a ?derogatory, habit-changing word for those who care not a whit for the world.? Let?s reward her hard work by using this word often and loudly. Pollutocrat, pollutocrat, pollutocrat!
-Erin Ferdinand

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