As 2012 draws to a close, the leading English dictionary makers have begun announcing their choice for the 'Top Word of the Year'. These words are usually selected based on how much they were used during the particular year, which is partly based on the frequency with which they were searched for and editorial choice.
Here is a list of the top words for 2012, selected by the major English dictionaries:
- Merriam-Webster: This dictionary lists the words 'capitalism' and 'socialism' as the top words for 2012. These words were mostly searched for with reference to debates about these systems of government in the USA and Europe, particularly during the US presidential elections.
- Dictionary.com: This online dictionary has chosen the word 'bluster' as its top word for 2012. Bluster means 'loud, swaggering, often empty boasts, threats, or other comments'.
- Oxford Dictionary, American edition: This dictionary has selected the acronym 'GIF', which is pronounced 'jif', and stands for 'graphics interchange format'. While this tech term is not new, it has recently become popular because of humourous GIF animations shared on Facebook and other social networking websites.
- Oxford University Press, UK: The editors of the British version of the Oxford dictionary have selected the word 'omnishambles' as their choice for the 'top word of 2012'. Omnishambles is a word which means 'a thoroughly mismanaged situation loaded with bureaucratic errors'.
What do you think of these top words for 2012? If you had a choice, which word would you select as the top word for 2012?
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