Oxford American Dictionary names “GIF” word of the year

"GIF" as a verb "has evolved ... into a tool with serious applications"

Topics: yolo, gif, word of the year, oxford american dictionary, lexicon, words, dictionary,

Oxford American Dictionary names "GIF" word of the year (Credit: Stuart Miles)

Internet culture gets its proper due in journalism today, as ”GIF” has beat out “YOLO” as the Oxford American Dictionary’s word of the year. “GIF celebrated a lexical milestone in 2012, gaining traction as a verb, not just a noun,” said Katherine Martin, head of the U.S. dictionaries program at Oxford. “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.”

Martin is probably referring to a new form of political coverage, storytelling and event highlights – none of which would have been possible without animated GIFs.



At 25 years old, the GIF has come a long way today. It is probably celebrating like this:

http://i.imgur.com/y1Igq.gif

(And YOLO is probably feeling like this):

h/t BetaBeat

Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at pgupta@salon.com.

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