The Oxford University Press selected "omnishambles" as the word of the year 2012. The precise definition of the word is "a situation that has been comprehensively mismanaged, characterised by a string of blunders and miscalculations".

Each year the Oxford University Press monitors how the English language is changing and selects a word that best describes the spirit of the year. Usually it chooses different words for British and American English.
This year the winner for America is "gif" – abbreviation for an image file format used for images on the internet. The word "omnishambles" was coined by the script-writers of the satirical TV show "The Thick of It". It is already used for everything from state PR blunders to the Olympics preparation abounding in crises.
"Omnishambles" was chosen from a shortlist including words such as "mummy porn" – the genre of "Fifty shades" bestsellers, "green-on-blue" – military attacks made by forces regarded as neutral, for example attacks by Afghanistan army or police against foreign military forces. The Olympics offered shortlisters such as "to medal" and the victory dance of runner Mo Farah – "Mobot".

The European financial crisis coined the word "eurogeddon", while technology gave us "second screening" – watching TV while simultaneously using a computer on another screen. Social media popularised the YOLO acronym (you only live once). An older word enjoying a new life also made the shortlist – pleb, a derogatory name for people of lower social status. It has been claimed that British minister Andrew Mitchell used it to refer to a policeman. He denied it but handed in his resignation.

The American Dialect Society (ADS) chose "hashtag" as word of the year based on the results for 2012.
A hashtag is a word (or expression) marked by a hash symbol (#) which is used to group separate messages by type or topic in Twitter and other internet services.

In 2012 the hashtag became a universal trend in online discussions, says Ben Zimmer, chair of the New Words Committee of the ADS. "Hashtags created topical social trends, disseminated short viral messages on various topics – from politics to pop-culture", he says.

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