The American Dialect Society has named hashtag the “word of the year,” after the word made famous by Twitter was used in excess during the last year.
The word hashtag has been around for decades, but hadn’t had major impact until its use in the Twitterverse came about.
“This was the year when the hashtag became a ubiquitous phenomenon in online talk,” chair of the New Words Committee Ben Zimmer in the statement.
Hashtags are used to keep track of tweets of a similar topic, as the pound sign is used to classify tweets with similar interests.
#ThrowbackThursday and #MusicMonday are popular hashtags, while others can be funnier and wittier.
When Newsweek magazine’s final print issue boasted a hashtag in the title, it solidified the word’s importance in society today.
“In the Twittersphere and elsewhere, hashtags have created instant social trends, spreading bite-sized viral messages on topics ranging from politics to pop culture,” Zimmer said.
Other contenders, which thankfully lost, were “YOLO,” – an acronym for “You Only Live Once” – and Gangnam Style, popularized by the song by Korean pop singer Psy.
Twitter will continue to be an integral part of society in 2013, so expect hashtags to run amok again this year.
Stephen Willard | Elite.