LONDON (Reuters) - He has the most-watched video in Youtube history, become a pop sensation with a horse-riding dance craze that has swept the world and now Korean singer Psy may cement his place in popular culture with recognition from a British dictionary.
“Gangnam Style,” Psy’s signature song, has been chosen along with “fiscal cliff” and “Romneyshambles” as some of Collins Dictionary’s words of the year.
“We were looking for words that told the story of the year,” said Ian Brookes, the dictionary’s consultant editor.
“Some words are from events that have been and gone and so are not likely to stick around ... but others are probably here to stay.”
Other headline entries centred on American politics.
“Fiscal cliff” has drawn a lot of attention as the deadline for Congress and President Obama to agree on government spending and tax plans draws nearer.
While the term “Romneyshambles” entered the British public’s consciousness after Mitt Romney’s gaffe-ridden visit to London in July in which he questioned Britain’s readiness to host the Olympics.
The inclusion of “47 percent” on the list after a leaked video showed Romney telling donors that 47 percent of Americans would definitely vote for Obama because of their dependency on the government capped off a bad year for the losing presidential candidate.
Collins received over 7,000 submissions on its online database.
Twelve words of the year - one for each month - were then selected on the basis of the frequency with which they were spoken, how many places they appeared and their longevity in public discourse.
Appearing on the Collins words of the year list is no guarantee of insertion in the next dictionary.
But Gangnam Style stands a very good chance, Brookes said.
“It’s obviously a craze, so there’s the possibility it will go away. But it’s been heard by so many people that I think it’s probably earned the right to go into the dictionary.”
Other words of the year include “mummy porn” after the popularity of the “Fifty Shades of Grey” books, and “superstorm” after Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc along the east coast of America in October. (Reporting By Peter Schwartzstein, editing by Paul Casciato)