It has been, without a doubt, the word of the year for programmers, but now it's officially the word of 2010 beating "nom", "junk", "WikiLeaks and "trend". What could it possibly be? Well there's an "app" for that.
Yes "app" is not only the phenomenon of the year it's the word of the year.
In its 21st annual words of the year vote, the American Dialect Society voted "app" (noun, an abbreviated form of application, a software program for a computer or phone operating system) as the word of the year for 2010.
The vote was held during the national conference of the Linguistic Society of America, an umbrella group that includes the Dialect Society.
In the finals, "app" defeated "junk," "WikiLeaks" and "trend," and then beat "nom" a chat-, tweet-, and text-friendly syllable that connotes "yummy food" in a runoff.
According to Ben Zimmer, chair of the New Words Committee of the American Dialect Society and also the "On Language" columnist for the New York Times Magazine:
"App has been around for ages, but with millions of dollars of marketing muscle behind the slogan 'There's an app for that,' plus the arrival of 'app stores' for a wide spectrum of operating systems for phones and computers, app really exploded in the last 12 months,. One of the most convincing arguments from the voting floor was from a woman who said that even her grandmother had heard of it."
Apple aquired a trademark on the whole phrase "There's an App for that" in October 2010 but we are still free to use the word "app" as often as we like.
The power of computing to change the language just goes on...
American Dialect Society