'Selfie' Is the Oxford Dictionary's Word of the Year
BY Laura Montini
"Selfie" and "404" are two different organizations' picks for the words we used most in 2013.
There are many ways to remember 2013--one of which is definitely as the "Year of the Selfie.” At least, this is the way The Oxford Dictionaries looks at it.
“Selfie” is officially Oxford's Word of the Year due to a huge rise in its usage since 2012. In a blog post, the organization revealed how it determines this prestigious award:
Our Word of the Year need not be a new word. However, it does need to demonstrate some kind of prominence over the preceding year or so and selfie certainly fits the bill. It seems like everyone who is anyone has posted a selfie somewhere on the Internet. If it is good enough for the Obamas or The Pope, then it is good enough for Word of the Year.
In case you were wondering, The Oxford Dictionaries defines selfie as “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.”
Social startups including Instagram and Snapchat, owe much of their success to the popularity of the selfie. And you might have heard that singer Justin Bieber had so much faith in the trend that he backed a startup solely dedicated to selfie taking.
The Oxford Dictionaries annually chooses its word of the year using automated search criteria to scan the web. It’s not the only organization taking note of the words we use. The Austin, Texas-based Global Language Monitor recently published the top 20 words of 2013. Number one on that list is the term “404.”
It was followed by “fail,” “hashtag,” “surveillance,” and “the cloud,” among others. You can visit the Global Language Monitor for the full list.
LAURA MONTINI is a reporter at Inc. She previously covered health care technology for Health 2.0 News and has served as an associate editor at The Health Care Blog. She lives in San Francisco. @lmmontini