WOTY 2013: Enjoy your “selfie”

WOTY, word of the year, Oxford Dictionary Word of the Year 2013, selfie, etymology

That word that some of us love to hate has been chosen as the esteemed Oxford English Dictionary’s 2013 Word of the Year (WOTY): Selfie. There it is. The ultimate validation for [mostly bad] self-promotion.

Defined as “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website” – Uggggggh, you’re thinking! I feel the same way.

According to CNN.com, “selfie” is believed to have surfaced in a chat room down under back in 2002. By 2012, its ascent was rapid. By 2013, selfies were indeed everywhere.

The cult of the “Like”

I suppose there’s nothing new here. Artists have been creating self-portraits forever. Though not in this quantity and not with this much exposure.

Confidence builder? A quick self-esteem booster? Instant celebridom? Selfies are so popular – probably all of the above.

All Twitter, the Unofficial Twitter Resource states, “Instagram…rules the roost. Some 35 million posts using the #selfie hashtag have now been made on Instagram, generating hundreds of millions of likes each and every day.”

I found selfies from parties, from a ton of bathrooms, and probably the worst, many from funerals. Seriously, what is wrong with people. Is it so difficult to disconnect for a few hours to pay respect to the deceased?

Uggggggh, again.

Besting the competition

“Selfie” beat out seven competitors for the WOTY honor:

  1. bedroom tax
  2. binge-watch
  3. bitcoin
  4. olinguito (that teddy bear-like new mammal species from South America)
  5. showrooming
  6. schmeat (synthetically produced meat)
  7. twerk

I would have picked binge-watch. I’m anxious to see what the Merriam-Webster and the American Dialect Society WOTYs will be within the next few months. Please let them be better.

In the meantime, check out the WOTYs from 2012, and of course, get ready for your selfie.

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