GIF is America's word of the year

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GIF is America's word of the year

But file type doesn't rate a mention in Britain.

Oxford Dictionaries has decided that GIF is its word of the year in North America, although the acronym did not rate a mention in the British version of the contest.

In a blog post, the dictionary maker said that pronunciation of GIF with either a hard or soft 'g' was acceptable, though it had not yet come to a consensus on how to correctly add "verbal endings".

"The most common form features GIF in capitals but the inflected endings in lowercase (GIFed, GIFing), so that is the spelling we have chosen to use here," the dictionary maker noted.

"However, there is also very strong evidence for an all-lowercase spelling with the f duplicated (giffed, giffing), perhaps by analogy with the verb riff.

"With such a new word, it isn't surprising that a single spelling hasn't yet become established; Oxford's lexicography team will be watching to see which version ultimately wins out."

The graphic interchange format's honour came in the same year as its 25th anniversary.

It beat out contenders to the US title that included subatomic particle Higgs boson; nomophobia ("anxiety caused by being without one's mobile phone"); and "MOOC" - which stands for massive open online course.

Most of those words didn't rate a mention in the British word contest, which was taken out by "omnishambles", which was coined by a TV show.

The main technological word contender in Britain was "second screening", which Oxford Dictionaries described as " the activity of watching television whilst simultaneously using a smartphone, laptop, etc., often so as to be able to use a social media site to post about what was happening".

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