Culture & Entertainment

Word to the wise: Selfie steals the spotlight

By: Stephanie Zolis
Canadian Living
Culture & Entertainment

Word to the wise: Selfie steals the spotlight

By: Stephanie Zolis
Being a copy editor, I'm a something of a wordsmith by trade. I live and die by my dictionary. I've spent hours leafing through my trusty Webster's, previously my Oxford in the days before I arrived at Canadian Living. I remember cringing when I heard "unfriend" had been deemed the Word of the Year back in 2009. How horrid, Oxford. (For those who might be interested, this should, in my humble opinion, be "defriend." Consult your dictionary, if you care. No one? OK.) What's the word of 2013? Selfie. That's right. The infantile term—typically associated with narcissistic tween girls and Kim Kardashian—coined for a self-snapped portrait taken with a smartphone, is the best we could come up with in 2013. To be fair, it could have been worse. It could have been "twerk," enshrining Miley Cyrus and her oddball behaviour in history for all time. Selfie has been in usage for over a decade, but it wasn't until 2013 rolled around that the term reached such colloquial proportions that it began popping up regularly in mainstream media. There have been less pop culture–determined entries into Oxford's hall of fame. In 2010, it was "refudiate," a hybrid expression combining "refute" and repudiate" coined by Sarah Palin. But we're back to social media vernacular for 2013. Thank you, Instagram, Twitter and, of course, Oxford, for officially adding this to our lexicon.
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Culture & Entertainment

Word to the wise: Selfie steals the spotlight

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