'Omnishambles,' 'GIF' top words of 2012

Nov. 13, 2012 at 11:27 AM

OXFORD, England, Nov. 13 (UPI) -- Britain's Oxford University Press announced "omnishambles" as the Oxford Dictionaries word of the year for Britain and "GIF" as the U.S. word of the year.

Fiona McPherson, one of the lexicographers on the judging panel for Oxford, said "omnishambles" was coined by satirical TV show "The Thick of It" and means "a situation that has been comprehensively mismanaged, and is characterized by a string of blunders and miscalculations."

"It was a word everyone liked, which seemed to sum up so many of the events over the last 366 days in a beautiful way. It's funny, it's quirky, and it has broken free of its fictional political beginnings, firstly by spilling over into real politics, and then into other contexts," McPherson said.

Meanwhile, the publisher announced "GIF," a verb meaning to create a GIF file -- an image file featuring looping animations -- of an event, as the world of the year for the United States.

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