Hashtags may have originated on Twitter, but the popular internet shorthand has since spread to Facebook and even everyday speech. And now, "hashtag" has been declared the 2012 word of the year by the American Dialect Society. #waytogohashtag

Each year, the society nominates a handful of words and phrases, then selects one based on its impact in pop culture. "This was the year when the hashtag became a ubiquitous phenomenon in online talk," said Ben Zimmer of the ADS. 

“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 continued.

Interestingly, the word beat out other contenders such as "YOLO," "fiscal cliff" and "marriage equality." What do you think? Are there better choices for word of the year? How come "Gangnam Style" got no love?

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