“Hashtag” has been named as the word of the year by The American Dialect Society. Among other most prominent words are “Gangnam Style,” “YOLO” and “fiscal cliff”. This has been voted in the 23rd annual words of the year vote.
“This was the year when the hashtag became a ubiquitous phenomenon in online talk,” Ben Zimmer, chair of the New Words Committee of the American Dialect Society and executive producer of the Visual Thesaurus and Vocabulary.com, said in a statement. “In the Twittersphere and elsewhere, hashtags have created instant social trends, spreading bite-sized viral messages on topics ranging from politics to pop culture.”
The American Dialect society is 124 years old and has the members including linguists, lexicographers, etymologists, grammarians, historians, researchers, writers, editors, students, and independent scholars. It is not necessary that the members select the brand-new words as the words of the year but the word must be newly prominent or notable in the past year.
“Tweet” was the word of the year in 2010 and “Occupy” was the word of the year in 2011.
In another voting by the American Name Society, “Sandy” has been selected as the Name of the Year for 2012 in the ninth annual name of the year contest.