Every year, the Oxford Dictionary chooses one word to be the official American word of the year. Now, I've always thought of the Oxford Dictionary as a book, so it's an interesting mental exercise to try and figure out what kind of people are making these choices. I like to assume its a group of bald men with white beards and who smell like a book that was left in the rain and opened for the first time thrity years later — both crisp and stale.
I don't know whether to throw it away or make out with it.
In any event, these brilliant, weird-smelling men convene once a year to decide what one word exemplifies a country. They must decide what is the American word of the year. And this year, they chose...
Yes, "gif." The animated file format used on Tumblr to prove the Supernatural guys look like characters from Tangled and to archive the best moments from Boy Meets World was chosen by most respected dictionary, a purveyor of language, as the word that best sums up American culture.
We've got to try a little harder. We've got to be a little better.
Apparently, gif was chosen because it can alternate from noun to verb — you can both HAVE an animated image of Jennifer Lawrence making a goofy face and you can also CREATE an animated image of Jennifer Lawrence making a goofy face — but honestly, I think Oxford is messing with us. I can't imagine there aren't better American words than "gif". Literally any word Hemingway ever wrote is better than "gif".
How about, like, "bed"?
Some solid evidence for the "Oxford is just d*ckin' around" theory comes from their selections for British word of the year. "Omnishambles" won, which is basically an arbitrary collection of syllables, and the shortlisted words included the phrase "mummy porn", refering to the 50-Shades-of-Grey-kind of porn your mom can read on the bus. Keep in mind, it's called "mummy porn" because the British use the word "mummy" instead of "mommy".
So I guess I still haven't found anyone who shares my fetish.
Do you think "gif" deserves to be called the American word of the year? Tell me on twitter @mikeyfromsu or in the comments below!
Check out 8 Of The Worst Words In The English Language!