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Word Of The Year For 2012: ‘Hashtag’

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In its 23rd annual ‘Word of the Year’ vote, the American Dialect Society (ADS) has declared “hashtag” as word of the year for 2012.

Hashtag—which is widely used on Twitter—beat out other words such as “Gangnam Style”, “YOLO” and “fiscal cliff”, to name a few.

“This was the year the hashtag became a ubiquitous phenomenon in online talk,” said Ben Zimmer, chair of the New Words Committee of the ADS and executive producer of the Visual Thesaurus and

“In the Twittersphere and elsewhere, hashtags have created instant social trends, spreading bit-sized viral messages on topics ranging from politics to pop culture.”


The term has broken out from Twitter and been used more commonly—like on Newsweek’s last print cover, which features a hashtag.

In November last year, "Hashtag" was even given as a name to a newborn baby girl—which we still can't decide if it's a good or bad idea...

[via American Dialect Society, image via Shutterstock]
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