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Media reaction to ‘GIF’ as Word of the Year [GIFed]

By Alice Northover

Reaction has been mixed from people around the United States and the world to the USA Word of the Year, so I thought I’d bring together a few highlights. Don’t forget the GIF WOTY confusables!

Jessica Roy for BetaBeat: “Now, the GIF has received the ultimate sign of zeitgeisty approval”

Marie Meyers for GeekSugar: “You go, GIF!”

Katy Steinmetz for TIME: “But the selection still seems to herald a post-recession era — a world where instead of counting pennies, we’re free to goof off on Reddit all day.”

Katy Waldman for Slate: “The bad news is that Oxford has instead selected GIF as its USAWotY—and even if GIF were actually a W, as opposed to another acronym, we would find the choice hard to forgive.”

Mark Raby for Geek.com: “Choosing GIF just because it is now recognized as a new part of speech seems to miss that mark. Oh well, if only there was a clever way to express disappointment on the Internet…”

Hannah Sung speaks with Dave McGinn at the Globe and Mail (video)

Laura Beck for Jezebel: “I ask you, what’s doper than a GIF? Except for any real word ever? You can’t answer that, can you.”

Nathan Ingraham for The Verge: “It’s high praise for a file format, but we’d be hard-pressed to disagree.”

Jan Doll for The Atlantic Wire: “So, we were giffed. Does that change things for you?”
(It’s quite hard to encapsulate the range of emotions in this article; I’m happy to take suggestions.)

Yasha Wallin for GOOD: “Given our affinity for animated memes, we think GIF was a solid choice as word of the year.”

Mario Aguilar for Gizmodo: “I think I’m going to puke a Tumblr’s worth of emotions because GIF has been named the Oxford American Dictionary’s 2012 word of the year. ZOMG!”
(And thank you for stodgy, infinitely preferable to hoity-toity)

Kyrie O’Connor for MeMo (Houston Chronicle): “Quite possibly the worst word of the year ever”

Christine Erickson for Mashable: “After 25 years of fighting for relevancy, the GIF has received the acknowledgement it deserves”

Any other excruciating reviews or wild cheers to add?

Alice Northover joined Oxford University Press as Social Media Manager in January 2012. She is editor of the OUPblog, constant tweeter @OUPAcademic, daily Facebooker at Oxford Academic, and Google Plus updater of Oxford Academic, amongst other things. You can learn more about her bizarre habits on the blog.

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