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Oxford Dictionaries Announces Word of the Year

Keith Brofsky/Photodisc(NEW YORK) -- Oxford Dictionaries has selected its word of the year in the U.S., though it's not one you'd use in everyday conversation.

The word is "GIF," which stands for graphics interchange format.  It's a common format for images -- especially ones containing looping animations -- on the Internet.

The format has been around for a while, but Oxford University Press says, "The GIF has evolved from a medium for pop-cultural memes into a tool with serious applications including research and journalism, and its lexical identity is transforming to keep pace."

Oxford has also announced its U.K. word of the year: "omnishambles," defined as a "situation that has been comprehensively mismanaged, and is characterized by a string of blunders and miscalculations."  It was coined by the writers of the U.K. TV series The Thick of It.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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