- Country singer Tim McGraw not sorry for slapping female fan: ‘Things happen’
- Iraq vet cited for owning 14 therapeutic pet ducks
- White House takes credit for drop in unaccompanied children at border
- International crises be damned, Obama’s fundraising trip must go on
- Friend of bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev found guilty of impeding probe
- Train with MH17 plane crash bodies leaves rebel town in Ukraine
- Half of Colorado voters are OK with Hobby Lobby decision, poll shows
- HIV-killing condom to soon hit shelves in Australia
- Estonia pulls plug on Steven Seagal over praise for Putin
- Lawyer: Pelvic exam pics cost Hopkins $190 million
Oxford chooses ‘omnishambles’ as word of the year
Question of the Day
LONDON (AP) - Britain’s media are in a meltdown and its government is gaffe-prone, so Oxford Dictionaries has chosen an apt Word of the Year: “omnishambles.”
Oxford University Press on Tuesday crowned the word _ defined as “a situation that has been comprehensively mismanaged, characterized by a string of blunders and miscalculations” _ its top term of 2012.
Each year Oxford University Press tracks how the English language is changing and chooses a word that best reflects the mood of the year. The publisher typically chooses separate British and American winners. This year’s American champion is “gif,” short for graphics interchange format, a common format for images on the Internet.
Coined by writers of the satirical television show “The Thick of It,” omnishambles has been applied to everything from government PR blunders to the crisis-ridden preparations for the London Olympics.
Oxford University Press lexicographer Susie Dent said the word was chosen for its popularity as well as its “linguistic productivity.”
She said “a notable coinage coming from the word is Romneyshambles” _ a derisive term used by the British press after U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney expressed doubts about London’s ability to host a successful Olympics.
Omnishambles was chosen over shortlisted terms including “mummy porn” _ the genre exemplified by the best-selling “50 Shades” book series _ and “green-on-blue,” military attacks by forces regarded as neutral, as when members of the Afghan army or police attack foreign troops. (For American English speakers, it’s “mommy porn.”)
The Olympics offered up finalists including the verb “to medal,” “Games Maker” _ the name given to thousands of Olympic volunteers _ and distance runner Mo Farah’s victory dance, “the Mobot.”
Europe’s financial crisis lent the shortlisted word “Eurogeddon,” while technology produced “second screening” _ watching TV while simultaneously using a computer, phone or tablet _ and social media popularized the acronym “YOLO,” you only live once.
The final shortlisted term is an old word given new life. “Pleb,” a derogatory epithet for lower-class people, was alleged to have been uttered to a police officer by British Cabinet minister Andrew Mitchell. He denied using the term, but resigned.
All the shortlisted words have made a splash in 2012, but editors say there is no guarantee any of them will endure long enough to enter the hallowed pages of the Oxford English Dictionary.
TWT Video Picks
U.S. appetite for drugs begets violence migrants are fleeing
- IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 computer hard drives
- Jewish woman booted from JetBlue flight over fight with Palestinian
- Edward Snowden to work with Russia on anti-spy technology
- Rihanna, Dwight Howard delete #FreePalestine tweets
- YOUNG: A sinking presidency, deeper after November?
- PRUDEN: A deadly enemy within exacerbating immigration crisis
- MERRY: Handicaps in Hillary's way
- Driver who killed teen on bike sues family for $1.3 million
- Bill Maher blames Hamas for Gaza violence: 'Do you really expect the Israelis not to retaliate?'
- HUMPHRIES: 'Hes the Worst President in 70 Years'
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq