Okay, so you know when you’re with your friends and you joke about how the world is going to the dogs? Well, this might actually be the first step to such a notion. Oxford Dictionaries have named the word of the year, and yes, you didn’t read this incorrectly – it’s the word “Selfie”. The word, which recent research has suggested has increased in frequency of use by 17000% over the last year, took out the title during the week.
So, we have to ask the question, how on earth did such a colloquial term for an act of pure narcissistic passion win such an award. Well, the people from the coveted dictionary tell us that the ‘Word of the Year’ award celebrates the inventiveness of English speakers around the world when confronted with political, social and even technological change. The word “Selfie” is a symbol of all of that in 2013.
We have to be thankful, however, that some of the other contenders didn’t take the cake. Other shortlisted words included “Binge-watch”, which means watching a monumental amount of television and “Schmeat”, meaning meat synthetically formed from biological tissue. Personally, I’m most thankful that the leading runner up didn’t get through – “Twerk”.
As a word lover, I have to wonder about the credibility of this award, especially if you consider previous winners, like the word “Chav” (a young, lower class British person). I have to admit, however, if you’re going to be judging words that are new and modern, the list can’t be that glamorous. The question we really should be asking is, what is wrong with our society these days? To think that a hundred years ago, people dreamt of the future being a magical place. Now, we use these magical devices of ours to take photos of ourselves to show others over the Internet.
Oh, social narcissism, you’ve done it again.