That GIF is an Omnishambles: 2012 Words of the Year

Language is a process of free creation; its laws and principles are fixed, but the manner in which the principles of generation are used is free and infinitely varied. Even the interpretation and use of words involves a process of free creation.” ~ Noam Chomsky

Two new words were added to the “monster accordion” of the English language today:

Omnishambles (noun, informal):  a situation that has been comprehensively mismanaged, characterized by a string of blunders and miscalculations.


GIF (verb) : to create a GIF file of (an image or video sequence, especially relating to an event.

Guess which one is from the Oxford English Dictionary and which one is from the Oxford American Dictionary?

(An important note:  I learned today that I mispronounce “GIF”. I say it as if there is a silent “t”… “gif”… and it’s like the peanut butter, Jiff. I plan to continue to say it my way. What are ya gonna do, call a cop?)

Omnishambles owes its origins to the British political satire The Thick of It.   Here are other words that have become part of our parlance, whose origins also come from television:

From The Simpsons

D’oh!” (in the OED)

Embiggen‘s 21st Century Lexicon

Stephen Colbert:  “Truthiness

Conan O’Brien:  “Crunk” 

Bugs Bunny:  Nimrod” and “Maroon”

As for technology, imagine going back even fifteen years, perhaps less, and telling someone that you needed to tweet something  you found on youtube and hey, by the way, did you hear flashdrives are on sale at Amazon? See you later.  I need to go to iTunes and download that new MP3.