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‘GIF’ Named ‘2012 Word Of The Year’ By Oxford Dictionary

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The folks at Oxford American Dictionaries have announced that ‘GIF’ is the US Word of the Year for 2012.

GIF (verb)—an acronym for “Graphic Interchange Format”—is a compressed file format for images that can be used to create simple, looping animations.

The word was first unveiled in 1987, and turns 25 this year.


GIF also beat a number of shortlisted words for Word of the Year this year, such as runners-up “YOLO”, “Eurogeddon”, “Super PAC”, “Superstorm”, “Nomophobia”, “Higgs boson” and “MOOC”.

“Like so many other relics of the 80s, [GIF] has never been trendier,” Katherine Martin, Head of the US Dictionaries Program at Oxford University Press USA, said in a statement.

“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.”

[via OxfordWords Blog ]
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