90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Do You Know What ‘YOLO’ Means?

It’s that time again, when we start considering what words have found their way into our vocabulary this past year.

The Oxford English Dictionary has named “omnishambles” its word of the year – it means an all-out fiasco.

The Oxford American Dictionary picks the verb “GIF.” The acronym has long been used as a noun for the file type “graphic interchange format,” which supports animations. But it’s now being used as a verb for making the image and video sequences that have become ubiquitous on the web.

We speak with linguist and language columnist Ben Zimmer who’s been compiling his own list of words. He tells Here & Now that they include YOLO, the acronym for “you only live once,” made popular by rappers Drake and Rick Ross.

But Zimmer says it “kind of became a joke – YOLO actually stands for ‘you obviously lack originality.'”

This animation, merged with a Japanese pop song, is among the most famous GIFs. It’s been viewed more than 87 million times on YouTube:

Guest:


Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

November 27 Comment

Poet David Roderick Explores What It Means to Be American

Award-winning poet David Roderick joins us on this Thanksgiving to discuss his second book, "The Americans."

November 27 Comment

Mother Of Released Hostage Theo Padnos Speaks Out

Nancy Curtis discusses her son's capture and the behind-the-scenes negotiations that led to his release in August.

November 26 2 Comments

UC President Janet Napolitano Says Tuition Must Rise

Napolitano defends the planned tuition increases, which some students and lawmakers say are too steep.

November 26 19 Comments

National Bar Association Critical Of Ferguson Grand Jury Process

St. Louis attorney Pamela Meanes, who is president of the association, explains her concerns with how the D.A. handled the process.