Nishtha KanalNov 19, 2013 16:12:28 IST
The word “selfie” has beaten the likes of “binge-watch”, “twerk” and “showrooming” to become the word of 2013 by Oxford Dictionaries. While last years’ honours were split between the US and the UK, this year a joint award is being given to selfie for a massive increase in usage since last year.
In a blog post announcing selfie as the word of the year, the Oxford team described it as “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website”. The Oxford Press announced that the word had seen an uptick in its usage in the English language by over 17,000 percent since this time last year. Yes, 17,000 percent!
So cool, even Pope Francis is doing the selfie
The word was added to OxfordDictionaries.com back in August 2013. It isn’t a part of the physical Oxford English Dictionary yet, but it’s being considered. In the contention to be word of the year was also Bitcoin, a digital currency in which transactions can be performed without the need for a central bank. Despite this very well known buzz word, selfie took home the honours.
The blog said that the word selfie could be traced to 2002 where a user took a picture of himself to show a blow he received to his face after a drunk night out with pals. Social networking websites then facilitated the growth of the term selfie to describe a self-clicked image. Judy Pearsall, Editorial Director for Oxford Dictionaries, explained the evolution of the word selfie, in the blog, “Social media sites helped to popularize the term, with the hashtag #selfie appearing on the photo-sharing website Flickr as early as 2004, but usage wasn’t widespread until around 2012, when selfie was being used commonly in mainstream media sources.”
Technology has gone hand-in-hand with helping Oxford Dictionaries choose a word for the year. “Podcast” and “GIF” have previously been recipients of this award in the past. While “selfie” being the word of the year may not go down well with a lot of folks, at least it is better than Miley Cyrus’ weird, gyrating dance “twerking” being it.