Sorry, “Super PAC.” Your loss, “Eurogeddon.” The eggheads at Oxford American Dictionaries have spoken — and they’ve decreed that 2012’s Word of the Year is, officially, GIF, a verb meaning “to create a GIF file of (an image or video sequence, especially relating to an event).”
GIFs weren’t invented this year, but 2012 was a pretty big year for animated photos — as the dictionary’s blog notes, huge events like the London Olympics and the American presidential election gave Internet users countless opportunities to show off their GIFing skills. Several GIF-focused Tumblrs such as whatshouldwecallme also blew up this year, bringing GIFS to a wider audience than ever.
Really, though, GIF may have been anointed because its competitors were so weak. Here are a few of the other words Oxford American Dictionary considered: