The Word of the Year is GIF!

GIF via Tumblr.

It was a close race for words in the English language competing alongside 2012’s more popular words like “Higgs Boson” and “YOLO.” The Word of the Year, as chosen by Oxford University Press’ lexicographers is GIF. An acronym for “graphic interchange format.” Aka those silly moving images that we’ve been using to illustrate ridiculous things like what the gays of New York City are up to. The problem that many people are having with the word of the year is that people have been using GIFs for the past 25 years: to describe a computer file that can cycle through a series of images and also to capture awesome moments from TV shows and movies. Lexicographers are defending their choice saying the word conveys our increasing use of technology. This year GIF also took on a whole new meaning when it become commonplace to use it as a verb like Googling and Photoshoping. The popularization of Tumblr has seen a mass production of GIFs, and has become a part of our everyday lives. And in case you’re worried about the correct pronunciation, Oxford has deemed both the hard and soft G as acceptable.

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