Omnishambles Named Word of the Year by Oxford English Dictionary
has been named word of the year by the Oxford English Dictionary.
meaning a situation which is shambolic from every possible angle
was coined in 2009 by the writers of BBC political satire
The Thick of It.
But it has
crossed over into real life this year, said the judges.
included "Eurogeddon" the threatened financial
collapse in the eurozone and "mummy porn"
a genre inspired by the 50 Shades books.
military attacks by forces regarded as neutral, such as when
members of the Afghan army or police attack foreign troops
was also on the shortlist.
Olympics threw up several contenders including the verb "to
medal", "Games Maker" the name given to thousands
of Olympic volunteers and distance runner Mo Farah's victory
celebration "the Mobot".
New words from
the world of technology included "second screening"
watching TV while simultaneously using a computer, phone or tablet
and social media popularised the acronym "Yolo",
you only live once.
an old word given new life by claims Conservative Chief Whip
Andrew Mitchell used it to describe police officers in Downing Street
was also shortlisted.
He denied using
the word, a derogatory term for the lower classes, but was forced
to resign as a minister.
But it was
omnishambles that most impressed the judges.
McPherson, one of the lexicographers on the judging panel, said:
"It was a word everyone liked, which seemed to sum up so many
of the events over the last 366 days in a beautiful way.
funny, it's quirky, and it has broken free of its fictional political
beginnings, firstly by spilling over into real politics, and then
into other contexts.
is any indication of staying power, it has already staked its claim
by being linguistically productive in its own right, producing a
number of related coinages.
many of them are probably humorous one-offs, their very existence
shows that the omnishambles itself has entered at least the familiar
parlance, if not quite the common parlance."
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© 2012 BBC