Oxford American Dictionary names "GIF" word of the year

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

By Prachi Gupta

Published November 12, 2012 11:38PM (EST)

   (Stuart Miles)
(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:


(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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Dictionary Gif Lexicon Oxford American Dictionary Word Of The Year Words Yolo