`Omnishambles` is Oxford University Press’ word of the year!

Last Updated: Thursday, November 15, 2012 - 14:33

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Keeping up with its tradition of tracking the changes in the English language, Oxford University Press has chosen a word that best reflects the mood of the current year.

The publisher, on Tuesday, crowned the word ‘Omnishambles’ - defined as "a situation that has been comprehensively mismanaged, characterized by a string of blunders and miscalculations" – as its word of 2012.

Oxford generally picks up separate winning words from British English as well as American English. So, for 2012, the ‘IT’ word from American English is "gif," which is a short form for graphics interchange format which is a common format for pictures on the internet.

The word ‘omnishambles’ has been coined by writers of the satirical television show ‘The Thick of It’, and it 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."

Susie explained that ‘omneyshambles’ is a derisive term used by the British press after US presidential candidate Mitt Romney expressed doubts about London`s ability to host a successful Olympics.

‘Omnishambles’ was selected over shortlisted word like "mummy porn" - the genre defined by the best-selling book series ‘50 Shades of Grey’ - and "green-on-blue," military attacks by forces regarded as neutral, as when members of the Afghan army or police attack foreign troops.

Although the shortlisted words have trended well in 2012, but the editors say there is no guarantee any of them will survive long enough to enter the prestigious Oxford lexicon.

(With agency inputs)



First Published: Thursday, November 15, 2012 - 14:33
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