Wednesday, November 14, 2012

WOTY not YOLO but GIF? KMBCT

It's reaching that time of year when the dictionary publishers and lexophiles start assessing the new words that have popped up and bobbed around in the public's consciousness over the last 12 months and select their favourites. There's often a difference between the ones that the UK and US dictionaries go for and so far we've had the following:

The Oxford English Dictionary has gone for Omnishambles which is also considered here on the BBC site.

Oxford Dictionaries USA have plumped, controversially and rather strangely, for the verb 'to gif' (an acronym to noun to verb conversion, apparently) which is a choice criticised here on Slate's website.

Meanwhile, the American Dialect Society get very serious about this (while enjoying the silliness too, I'm sure) and vote for their WOTY at a big ceremony/party. Last year they chose Occupy, and this year the contenders might be frankenstorm, romnesia and robama, among others.

Soon, we'll have plenty of lists appearing in the papers, so have a think back to the words (and by words we can actually include noun phrases like squeezed middle and fiscal cliff) that have made an impression on you. Perhaps it's going to be gangnam style or even an old word that has been made popular again, pleb.

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