The American Dialect Society has named “hashtag” as the word of the year, beating out “Gangnam Style,” “YOLO” and “fiscal cliff,” among others. Or, to put it another way: #winning.

Each year, the group nominates a series of words and phrases, and then votes to decide the word of the year. It also determines the top word in other categories, including: most useful, outrageous, unnecessary and creative. “Hashtag” is hardly a new word, but the judges concluded that it really came to prominence in 2012.

“This was the year when the hashtag became a ubiquitous phenomenon in online talk,” Ben Zimmer, chair of the ADS’ New Words Committee, 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.”

This isn’t the first time an Internet term has gotten the nod: “Tweet” was declared word of the year by the group in 2010, while “Google” was then-named the word of the decade. In a nod to the worldwide Occupy movements, the group declared “Occupy” to be last year’s word of the year.

Source : http://mashable.com/2013/01/05/hashtag-word-of-year/

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