Who would’ve thought that a simple source of online entertainment would be officially recognized by the Oxford University Press? As it turns out, the GIF, which turned 25 this year, has been named word of the year here in the U.S. That’s pretty ridiculous/astonishing considering candidates like YOLO were up for contention. It also shows just how far the word has infiltrated everyday culture.

In a statement to Beta Beat, Oxford said, “The GIF has evolved from a medium for pop-cultural memes into a tool with serious application including research and journalism, and its lexical identity is transforming to keep pace.”

While the word is being recognized, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll forever be cemented in the fabled Oxford pages. Tumblrs around the globe will likely be a little more active tonight; the day in which GIF was officially recognized by a respected organization as a word that “best reflects the mood of” 2012.

What GIF sums up the entire year for you? Keep it clean.

[via BetaBeat]