The Straits Times
Published on Nov 13, 2012

Oxford chooses 'omnishambles' as word of the year


LONDON (AP) - Britain's media are in a meltdown and its government is gaffe-prone, so Oxford Dictionaries has chosen an apt Word of the Year - "omnishambles."

Oxford University Press on Tuesday crowned the word - defined as "a situation that has been comprehensively mismanaged, characterised by a string of blunders and miscalculations" - its top term of this year.

Each year Oxford University Press tracks how the English language is changing and chooses a word that best reflects the mood of the year. The publisher typically chooses separate British and American winners.

This year's American champion is "gif," short for graphics interchange format, a common format for images on the Internet.