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article image'Selfie' Oxford Dictionaries 'word of the year' hits main-stream

By Lesley Lanir     Nov 19, 2013 in Technology
London - 'Selfie' has been named as 'word of the year' by Oxford Dictionaries as usage shoots up by 17,000 percent. Runners-up were 'twerk', 'binge-watch' and 'Schmeat.'
A couple of months ago, Oxford Dictionaries added 'selfie' to their online site. Now, since research has shown that the frequency of use of 'selfie' in the English language has increased by 17,000 percent in the last year, Oxford Dictionaries have named it word of the year.
The tremendous increase in usage was calculated by Oxford Dictionaries using a research program that collects around 150 million English words in use from around the internet monthly.
In an interview with the BBC, Oxford Dictionaries online editor, Richard Holden, says that the word has been around for a while and they first noticed it on an Australian forum back in 2002. He explains the choice of "selfie" as word of the year, in 2013, by saying:
"Although it has been around for a few years in social media, in the last year we have seen a 17,000 percent increase in usage ... it has gone from being used in social media and it has hit the mainstream..." Holden explains that It's not just pure frequency that counts it's about "what it captures, whether it is iconic."
Selfie is listed in Oxford Dictionaries as being:
'A photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website:occasional selfies are acceptable, but posting a new picture of yourself every day isn’t necessary.'
Other shortlisted words included "twerk" - a raunchy dance move exemplified by Miley Cyrus in a recent performance, - "binge-watch" - meaning watching lots of TV and "Schmeat" - synthetically produced meat products.
More about selfie, Oxford Dictionaries, word of the year, Twerk
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