As purveyors of words, we tend to enjoy keeping an eye on semantic trends. And as residents of the Internuts, we enjoy it even more when quirky stuff originated online permeates the offline world. And while we can’t take credit, we still take small joy in hearing the word Oxford Dictionaries crowned king of 2012.
“A telling part of our modern recapping tradition is choosing “words of the year.” In 1789, lexicographers probably would have gone with guillotine. In 1912, iceberg surely would have been a contender. And for 2012, Oxford Dictionaries settled on GIF.
“That’s GIF the verb, derived from GIF the file extension…The GIF, a compressed file format for images that can be used to create simple, looping animations, turned 25 this year,” notes Oxford University Press’ Katherine Martin, “but like so many other relics of the 80s, it has never been trendier. [TIME]”
GIF: Raw Rhetoric