Word of the Year
So here we have it ladies and gentlemen, lexicographers over in the grand old US of A have named GIF as the word of the 2012. Yes, that’s right, GIF.
The humble file format, meaning graphics interchange format, dates back to the 80s and has been used to depict pop culture in motion. It acquired verb status earlier this year (well done, old chap) and is seen as a term that has “evolved from a medium for memes… into a tool with serious applications, including research and journalism”, according to the Oxford American Dictionary.
[Note: if just the mention of the G word has got you itching to make your own (GIF that is, not Gangnam, unfortunately), then you can do just that by using tools such as Glickr.]
Now, back to the word of the year.
Whilst our US counterparts opted for GIF to take this year’s title, we in the UK presumably looked to current affairs for inspiration and picked ominshambles to take first place. “What’s that?” we hear you cry. Omnishambles is a word given “to describe a comprehensively mismanaged situation, characterised by a shambolic string of blunders”. Go figure.
And after all that, Yahoo informs us that receiving this most prestigious of titles doesn’t even guarantee that the word of the year, both in the UK or USA, will be printed in future editions of the dictionary. How sad.