‘Selfie’ bags word of the year Award
by FFE Entertainment News staff
From a photo of a man’s injured face to a group shot with the pope, the word ‘selfie’ has come a long way.
Oxford Dictionaries’ Word for 2013 was first coined in 2002 when a man posted his first selfie in an Australian online forum. The man tripped on some steps and posted photos of the injuries he sustained. He also apologised because the photo was out of focus, saying it was because the photo was a ‘selfie.’
The rise of social media has given the word momentum, but it was the photo of Pope Francis in a selfie with teenagers that made the word viral.
Oxford Dictionaries editorial director Judy Pearsall said ‘Social media sites helped to popularise 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.’
The editors the dictionary also pointed out a research that concluded the use of the word ‘selfie’ in the web has increased by 17,000% in the past year.
‘Selfie’ has been added to the online version of the dictionary in August and is defined as ‘a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.’ Its inclusion in the Oxford English Dictionary is being considered for future use.
Oxford’s Word of the Year award celebrates the creativity of English speakers when confronted with change in the social, political and technological spheres. To qualify, a word doesn’t need to be new. However, it has to be prominent or notable at a given time.
Other words that have been shortlisted in this year’s awards were ‘twerk,’ a raunchy dance move popularised by American singer Miley Cyrus, ‘binge watch’ which means to watch a lot of TV, ‘schmeat,’ a kind of meat produced biologically, ‘showrooming’ or examining shops before buying a product online at a cheaper price and ‘bitcoin,’a type of digital currency.