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GIF, Bluster hailed as 2012 Words of the Year by Separate American Dictionaries

word of the yearOxford American Dictionaries has chosen ‘GIF’ as its word of the year. Dictionary.com, on the other hand, declared ‘Bluster’ as its word for 2012.

Oxford American chose GIF, which is the file format extension in computers for animated images, because of the traction it gained with the people and the media. “The GIF, a compressed file format for images that can be used to create simple, looping animations, turned 25 this year, but like so many other relics of the 80s, it has never been trendier,” said Katherine Martin, Head of the US Dictionaries Program at Oxford University Press USA.

GIF“GIF celebrated a lexical milestone in 2012, gaining traction as a verb, not just a noun,” Martin emphasized. According to their dictionary, GIF is to create a GIF file of (an image or video sequence, especially relating to an event).

“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,” she added.

Dictionary.com chose Bluster, which means to roar and be tumultuous, as wind; or to be loud, noisy, or swaggering. The site explained that they liked its meaning, which can both interpret to communication or to the weather. It is believed that Bluster earned the 2012 nod because of the calamities and crises different countries experienced, such as the Australian floods and Hurricane Sandy in East Coast United States, or the US’s economy and Europe’s austerity measures.