In a victory for people who want the world to know what they look like when they're standing in front of stuff, selfie was named 2013's word of the year by the Oxford Dictionaries.
The decision, Oxford says, was "unanimous this year, with little if any argument," probably because the people making it were too busy taking poor-quality photos of themselves in the middle of the Oxford Word Deciding Hall for all their friends to check out.
Selfie has been around since 2002, Oxford reports, though its use increased dramatically over the past year — by 17,000 percent. The word isn't in the Oxford English Dictionary, by the way, though it is listed in the online version (for an in-depth, fascinating look at the history and current role of the OED, read the Financial Times' take from Friday).
Past Oxford words of the year have included GIF (there was no ruling on pronunciation) squeezed middle, and refudiate. You'll notice that one of those is actually two words, another is an acronym, and the third is not a word so much as a joke at Sarah Palin's expense.
Just in case you wanted to know what lost to selfie, here are the rest of the words on Oxford's shortlist:
- bedroom tax: An English thing, don't worry about it.
- binge-watch: Thanks, Netflix.
- bitcoin: Didn't this end?
- olinguito: Cute new animal that is useless at taking selfies.
- schmeat: Lab-grown synthetic meat. Not the same as the stuff that is made out of soy that vegetarians buy.
- showrooming: When you try stuff out in a store and then tell the clerk your have to think about it and run home and buy it online.
- twerk: Why is this still a thing?
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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