The OED has named selfie its word of the year for 2013.
The publisher of the Oxford dictionaries said Tuesday that ‘‘selfie’’ saw a huge jump in usage in the past year, bursting from the confines of Instagram and Twitter to become mainstream shorthand for any self-taken photograph.
But the other finalists are also fine words in their own right:
The term beat other buzzwords including ‘‘twerk,’’ the sexually provocative dance move that got a huge boost in usage thanks to an attention-grabbing performance by pop star Miley Cyrus; ‘‘showrooming,’’ the practice of visiting a shop to look at a product before buying it online at a lower price; and ‘‘Bitcoin,’’ the digital currency that gained widespread media attention.
Also making the shortlist was ‘‘binge-watch,’’ a verb that describes watching many episodes of a TV show in rapid succession.
I’ll confess that I haven’t twerked, but the other words have all become part of my life. One son posted a selfie on Facebook after he shaved off his beard. The other son has bought a Bitcoin, which is currently showing a 1000% profit; we had an interesting discussion about Bitcoin’s liquidity and volatility — how did he get so smart? My lovely wife and I were showrooming for TVs at Best Buy recently. And then there was the evening we were watching our third straight episode of “Homeland,” and we said to each other, “There’s got to be a word for what we’re doing….”
It’s interesting that WordPress’s spelling dictionary recognizes none of these brave new words. Catch up with the times, WordPress!