How Selfie became 2013 Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year?
The Oxford Dictionary keeps up with times by adding new words every year. The tech-savvy world of today, with its fancy gadgets and technology that feels like magic, contributes highly to these additions. Therefore it doesn’t come as a surprise that the 2013 ‘Word of the Year’ is selfie.
The Oxford Dictionary defines the word as, “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website”. The word selfie is a modification of the phrase “self-portrait” which is a social media tag. First used by an Australian forum in 2002, it was further popularised by Flickr in 2004 with people sharing their photos with the hashtag of # selfie. As per one research, the use of the word has increased by 17,000% in the last year.
A natural question that arises in one’s mind is on what basis the word of the year is declared? In order to qualify to win the title of ‘word of the year’, it is not essential that a word is coined within the past twelve months? The only requirement is that it should have been widely used in order to become prominent in the same period. Software used by the Oxford Dictionary tracks emergence of new words along with their frequency of usage. It collects a massive 150 million English words per month approximately from the web search.