Well, here you go, another cultural barometer to help you reassess your life's priorities. Each year, the Oxford American Dictionary chooses a word of the year, and looking the 2012 nominees, you would think hardly anything ever happened outside of the Internet.
Their word of the year is "GIF," a file format that allows for short, moving images. Though the GIF (.gif) has been around for 25 years or so, it has recently become the lexicon du jour for bloggers and Internet denizens who find it easier to express their lives in 2-second image loops than say, in words and pictures.
Respectable online news and culture destinations have also found GIFs useful for telling stories in a sort of free-association, charades-gone-mad sort of way. How else can you capture someone's hilarious facial expression or those events that are too short for video, yet too complex for a single lo-tech image?
How did our modern Internet epoch exist before GIFS were plucked from the obscurity of garish Geocities pages and banner ads for mortgage refinancing?
Well, vindication is finally here. And before you think it was an easy rise to the top of the American language, GIF had to beat out contenders like "YOLO" and "nomophobia" to be crowned culturally relevant. Click through to see what other words grabbed national attention this year. There are some totally legitimate entries ("superstorm" made the short list), and there are ones that probably make you feel old. Like, really old.
And for that, here is a GIF of a happy baby: