As We See It

Selfies for everyone! Oxford Dictionary chooses ‘selfie’ as word of the year

Bet you can’t guess what 2008’s word of the year was

We should probably all start taking selfies with dictionaries now.
Jason Harris

Oxford Dictionaries dropped a bombshell this week, naming “selfie” the word of the year. The good people at Oxford always seem to know what’s hip two years after the fact.

I suppose given the “look at me” nature of the world today, selfie is as good a word as any. The official definition:

a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.

Not mentioned are the kinds of selfies:

• Nude selfies of girls that dudes have begged for

• Selfies of men’s genitals that nobody wants to see

• High-angle selfies that give the illusion of a body type the subject doesn’t have

• Gym selfies

• Out-of-frame selfies by parents with new smartphones, who then call you and ask how to send it to you

• Selfies of talentless celebrities doing nothing interesting at all

• Selfies that give the impression of people being more important than they actually are

The kind people at Oxford also offer this helpful hint:

Occasional selfies are acceptable, but posting a new picture of yourself every day isn’t necessary.

Thank goodness Kardashian hasn’t made it into the dictionary.


Here’s a list of the trendy words Oxford picked as word of the year over the last five years:

Hypermiler (2008) - This word is so popular that the first time I ever heard it was when I just Googled “Oxford dictionary word of the year 2008.” Ten bucks to the first person who can tell me what it means without looking it up.

Unfriend (2009) - Did that many people on Facebook hate that many other people on Facebook that this earned WOTY status? Hey Oxford, you’re the dictionary. You don’t have to try so hard to be cool.

Refudiate (2010) - Sarah Palin’s mashup of “refute” and “repudiate,” this word had no mainstream cultural relevance. Just like Sarah Palin in 2010.

Squeezed Middle (2011) - Apparently to win word of the year, you don’t even have to be a single word. Because if there is one place where rules are made to be broken, it’s in the dictionary.

Gif (2012) - Hey, I remember this word from when I started using AOL in the ’90s. I suppose Compuserve was disqualified for being a proper noun.

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