Time to fire up Instagram and party like it’s, um, 2013, because ‘selfie’ has been named the Oxford Dictionaries word of the year.
Fending off competition like ‘twerk’, ‘bitcoin’ and ‘binge-watch’ — all good words! — selfie won out because of its huge surge in usage over the past 12 months. In fact, Oxford Dictionaries editors claim the use of the word has increased by a jaw dropping 17,000 per cent since this time last year. The dictionary describes it thus:
Despite the surge in use, the Oxford University Press has managed to trace the usage of the word way back to 2002, where it found it being used in an Australian forum to describe a self-taken photo posted by someone following a drunken fall. Apparently the hashtag #selfie then first appeared on Flickr in 2004.
The crowning of selfie as word of year marks a growing trend of technological words creeping into common use. Back in 2005 the Oxford American Dictionary’s word of year was ‘podcast’ and then last year ‘GIF’. For 2013, the Oxford University Press has merged the UK and US competition, and selfie is the overall champion for both countries.
There can, obviously, only be one way to celebrate this iconic moment, and that is to celebrate by posting as many selfies as you can in the comments. Do it. [OD]