The Word of the Year, and Other News


On the Shelf

  • Oxford American Dictionaries have chosen the word of the year: GIF. The rationale? “The GIF, a compressed file format for images that can be used to create simple, looping animations, turned twenty-five this year, but like so many other relics of the 80s, it has never been trendier.”
  • The NYPL celebrates the pick thusly.
  • Biographers falling for their subjects: an occupational hazard?
  • “Any biography of a living, breathing and active figure who’s still at the height of his powers is going to have to strike a delicate balance between access and objectivity … It can be very tricky, and it requires real finesse.”
  • Speaking of: the ten grumpiest authors in literary history.