Every year the Oxford English Dictionary selects a word to add to the quarter of a million entries in the OED collection. These words are chosen by popularity from a list terms that can be culturally, technologically, socially, or politically driven. In the past, technology has led the word selection with terms like GIF, unfriend, and podcast. This year is no exception, “selfie” has taken to the top spot.
Have you taken a selfie, or a picture of yourself, using a smartphone or mobile device and then uploaded to a social media site? If so, you are joining the millions around the world who have captured themselves at some moment in time. Selfies are not a new phenomenon, but they have definitely skyrocketed into popularity with the increased use of social media apps like Facebook and Instagram. The word selfie first appeared in Australia in 2002, but use of the term did not become widespread until 2012 (OED Blog, 2013).
While some may consider selfies a vain habit associated with rise of social media, these types of pictures have been around for centuries. Self-portraits have evolved along with the medium available at the time (OED Blog, 2013). Centuries ago, a selfie would have looked like the Mona Lisa, but with today’s technology everyone can be their own Leonardo da Vinci.
Some of the other contenders this year include:
- Bitcoin- noun, a digital currency in which transactions can be performed without the need for a central bank.
- Schmeat- noun, a form of meat produced synthetically from biological tissue.
- Twerk- verb, dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance.
- Binge-Watch- verb, to watch multiple episodes of a television programme in rapid succession, typically by means of DVDs or digital streaming.
If you would like more information about Oxford’s word of the year, please visit the full article at Oxford’s Dictionaries Blog.
Picture and information courtesy of:
Oxford Dictionaries Blog. (2013). Retrieved from http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/press-releases/oxford-dictionaries-word-of-the-year-2013/.