The word "hashtag" has been voted word of the year in the annual list issued by the American Dialect Society. This year marks the vote's 23rd year.
The American Dialect Society (ADS) has announced "hashtag" as the word of the year for 2012. According to Mashable, it beat out popularized and commonly used terms such as "Gangnam Style" and "fiscal cliff".
Every year a selection of phrases are chosen and a vote subsequently takes place; this is the organization's 23rd year in selecting the "word of the year". The voting took place on Jan. 4 and was presided by ADS Executive Secretary Allan Metcalf of MacMurray College, and Ben Zimmer, chair of the New Words Committee of the American Dialect Society and executive producer of the Visual Thesaurus and Vocabulary.com, according to a press release.
While 'hashtag' is not a new term by any means, the group of voters felt 2012 was the year when the word really made its impression.
“This was the year when the hashtag became a ubiquitous phenomenon in online talk,” Zimmer said. “In the Twittersphere and elsewhere, hashtags have created instant social trends, spreading bite-sized viral messages on topics ranging from politics to pop culture.”
Other honorable mentions included YOLO ("You Only Live Once"), fiscal cliff, Gangnam Style and marriage equality. On a related note, "YOLO" and "Gangnam Style" were also voted under the Least Likely to Succeed Category, while "marriage equality" and "fiscal cliff" were voted most likely to succeed.
For 2011, "Occupy" had earned the title for Word of the Year.