Here we are again, it’s that ever so magical time of year where a winner is crowned out of all the possible candidates that tend to leave us scratching our heads wondering “Really? That’s it?”
It’s the Oxford Dictionary Word of the Year!
I write for a living, you should’ve known this was coming.
We’ve got some doozies this year in the list of made up words that became so overused that Oxford decided they needed to be recognized – I’m assuming for their stupidity.
In Britain, the word of the year is “omnishambles.” I have no idea what that means.
But worry not! Oxford University Press knows! Their definition of omnishambles is “a situation that has been comprehensively mismanaged, characterized by a string of blunders and miscalculations."
I can think of another word for that, and it rhymes with flusterduck.
Across the pond in America, they also have a word of the year. Brace yourselves, it’s a very well thought out and comprehensive word.
That’s the word of the year in the States. Gif stands for graphics interchange format, a common sort of animated image you see on the Internet these days – basically a picture that moves.
Apparently the editors behind the whole Word of the Year thing feel that gif should be honoured for making the transition from noun to verb: “to gif,” the action of making something, or someone into a gif image.
There’s whole websites dedicated to gif images. Basically they’re funny mini videos that play on a loop. If you’ve been giffed, you know you’ve made it on the Internet.
Words – or rather phrases if you want to get technical – that made the shortlist for Word of the Year are just as bad.
Brought to us by the literary monstrosity that is Fifty Shades of Grey is “mommy porn,” which as I just said is not a word but a phrase, so it really shouldn’t count.
Then there’s “Eurogeddon,” which is in relation to the European financial crisis; “second screening” which is where you watch TV and your computer or tablet at the same time. I am guilty of this although I had no idea there was a phrase for it.
“Nomophobia” is given to the anxiety people feel when they are without their cellphone. Holy drama queens, Batman! Glue the phone to your face if you’re that worried about being without it!
Also on the British side was “pleb,” which is a derogatory term for lower-class people. It can also refer to vulgar or unrefined people. Not the nicest thing ever, but at least it has some historical context; short for plebeian, it refers to a commoner of ancient Rome. History lesson!
The Olympics also brought a few word/phrases to the shortlist: “to medal” and “Games Makers” and “the Mobot,” which references long distance runner Mo Farah’s victory dance.
Those are all fairly innocuous, but there is still one that makes me see red. It is among the worst words in existence.
The word – hell it’s not even a word, it’s an acronym – that makes me simultaneously cringe, weep for the future and want to never ever breed…
Standing for You Only Live Once, this moronic phrase is running rampant among youth that want an excuse to act like the halfwits they are. Oh, I’m gonna drink until I get alcohol poisoning and need to have my stomach pumped? YOLO!
I’m going to have unprotected sex and get knocked up with a baby I can’t take care of because I’m only a kid myself? YOLO!
I wanted to beat my head against the desk just typing those sentences.
I like to think that youth are smarter than that, but some of the things I see on the social media these days really make me wonder.
The face that the Oxford University Press is actually acknowledging this monstrosity of a phrase, just because it’s popular on the Internet, really makes me doubt their credibility.
So there it is, some of the most popular words of 2012.
I’m going to go wash my brain out with some Charles Dickens.