Word of the Year 2012

Recently the esteemed editors of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) announced 2012’s word of the year: omnishambles. The word, coined by the writers of BBC political satire in 2009 means a situation that is chaotic or disorganized from every conceivable angle. “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,” explained one of the lexicographers. “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. If influence is any indication of staying power, it has already staked its claim by being linguistically productive in its own right, producing a number of related coinages (e.g., Romneyshambles or omnishambles). While many of them are probably humorous one-offs, their very existence shows that the omnishambles itself has entered at least the familiar parlance, if not quite the common parlance.”

The runner-ups for 2012 word of the year included:
Eurogeddon: the threatened financial collapse in the eurozone
Mummy porn: a new genre of erotic literature inspired by the 50 Shades trilogy
Green-on-blue: military attacks by neutral forces
To medal: a verb, that means to win a medal in an athletic competition, inspired by the London Olympics
Second screening: to watch TV while working on a computer or mobile device at the same time
Yolo: Textese for “you only live once”
Pleb: an ordinary person, often belonging to lower social class

For further reading: http://www.oed.com. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-20309441

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