Oxford American Dictionary Names “GIF” the Word of the Year

The acronym for Graphics Interchange Format has now been dubbed an actual word

"GIF" – short for Graphics Interchange Format – is 2012's word of the year for the United States, according to The Oxford Dictionary.

Unfortunately, nobody bothered Oxford linguists with the note that "GIF" is in fact an acronym – it’s formed of initials that actually stand for something.

Oxford's take is that "GIF" is so commonplace in today's language, that it can be used as both a noun and a verb, making it an independent word.

"GIF celebrated a lexical milestone in 2012, gaining traction as a verb, not just a noun. […] The GIF has evolved from a medium for pop-cultural memes into a tool with serious applications including research and journalism, and its lexical identity is transforming to keep pace," head of Oxford's US program Katherine Martin says, in a report by the Inquisitr.

However, if you are to take into consideration the other words in the running, "GIF" really is the best bet. One of them, who gained momentum in the last moment and ended up as runner up, is "YOLO." For those of you who are not familiar with every acronym known to man, that is short for "You only live once."

"Superstorm" was a popular one, but we suspect that nomination was based on political criteria. One funny term was Nomophobia, which is the fear of being left without your cell phone.

For the United Kingdom, this year's winning word was "omnishambles." Yes, "omnishambles."

"Omnishambles" is described as "a situation that has been comprehensively mismanaged, characterized by a string of blunders and miscalculations." I knew that.

Don't forget to pick your favorite word of 2012 and post it in the comment section below.

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