Okay, so they announced this, like, a month ago. THAT CHANGES NOTHING ABOUT OUR CULTURAL REACH. In fact, I'd argue that it makes us even greater trend setters as this idea had been kicked around that long.
2012 was the year of the reaction GIF blog, where everyone from law students to editors filled Tumblrs with GIFs meant to capture (and laugh at) the human condition. Then came an avant-garde form of election coverage, where stables of live-GIFers fought with Photoshop to bring their devoted audiences the funniest, most compelling GIFs of the presidential candidates.
Now, the GIF has received the ultimate sign of zeitgeisty approval: “GIF” (the verb) is officially the Oxford American Dictionaries’ 2012 word of the year.
“GIF celebrated a lexical milestone in 2012, gaining traction as a verb, not just a noun,” Katherine Martin, head of the US dictionaries program at Oxford said in a statement. “The GIF has evolved from a medium for pop-cultural memes into a tool with serious applications including research and journalism, and its lexical identity is transforming to keep pace.”
Spectacular. Remember, despite what any dictionaries or original creators of the GIF format say, the only pronunciation of "GIF" that won't get you made fun of is with a hard "g" sound, as in "graphic," not a soft "g" sound, as in "gin."