“Is this a selfie which I see before me,
The angle toward my hand? Come, let me tweet thee*”
Oxford Dictionaries have announced that their word of the year for 2013 is ‘selfie’.
Over the course of the year, the frequency of the usage of the word selfie (the act of taking a self-portrait) has increased by 17,000%. Several spin-off terms have also emerged, including ‘drelfe’ (a drunken selfie) and ‘welfie’ (a workout selfie).
Once again the word of the year showcases technological and social trends that impact the general consciousness. (Last year’s words of the year included ‘omnishambles’ and ‘hashtag’.)
Other words shortlisted in 2013 include bitcoin, showrooming and <shudder> twerk.
In the Netherlands Participatiesamenleving – ‘participation society’ – has been named as the word of the year. One of the runner-up words was socialbesitas – ‘addiction to social media’ – a word which some of us would find useful – and apt!
The German slang word of the year is ‘babo’. It derives from a Turkish word meaning boss or chief.
Selfies – selfish or ‘another way to connect’?
According to mobileYouth, 48% of the photographs posted by UK teenagers to Instragram are selfies. Graham Brown’s slideshare presentation challenges us to look beyond the surface ‘narcissism’ of the selfie and encourages us to think of it – like Blipfoto – as ‘ordinary people doing ordinary things’.
Finally, here’s a wonderful selfie image, taken by Anastasia, the youngest daughter of the last Czar of Russia. One hundred years ago.
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