The American Dialect Society names “hashtag” the word of the year (2012)

Every year, the American Dialect Society decides which is the word of the year. Once more, as it happened in 2011, the winner term is linked with Internet and social media. We have seen how “app” or “tweet” got this recognition as well, but 2012 is for “hashtag” and I absolutely believe it has a lot to thank to Twitter, because it has popularized, doesn’t it? The New York Times has defined it as a dark-horse winner and bloggers and media from around the world have been posting about it. Other words were competing against hashtag, such as “Gangnam Style”, “YOLO (You Only Live Once)” or “fiscal cliff”.

If you want to read the whole story, you only need to go to the American Dialect Society website, where they have made an article for it. For those who aren’t familiarized with the term, they also described it:

Hashtag refers to the practice used on Twitter for marking topics or making commentary by means of a hash symbol (#) followed by a word or phrase.

Here you can find some blogs and newspapers that have published this piece of news:

  • Mashable: “‘Hashtag’ Declared 2012’s Word of the Year”
  • The New York Times: “Tweet This: ‘Hashtag’ Named Word of the Year by American Dialect Society”
  • Trecebits: “Hashtag, elegida palabra del año 2012”
  • The Daily Mail: “Hashtag named word of the year for 2012 after #winning Dialectic Society’s nomination”
  • TechRadar: “Hashtag named word of the year for 2012”

If you deeply analize the impact of this information, you may see there is an excellent strategy of visibility and popularity. If another word would have been chosen, the impact on media and blogs could have been less. It is true that “Gangnam Style” is also trendy, but do you think the media coverage would have been the same if “fiscal cliff” had been the winner? I would really like to see how many visits the American Dialect Society have nowadays and its increasement after the nomination, don’t you?

What headline do you like the most? Why? What do you think about this kind of initiatives?

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