SELFIE – word of year 2013

SelfieHow often have you taken a self-portrait? Hold your mobile phones at arms length from a higher angle and click yourself because the such practice is a rage now. It is called ‘SELFIE’.

If you are wondering what it is, then let me tell you – ‘Selfie’ is the Oxford word of the year 2013 and it means a self portrait photograph. It’s generally taken for use on social media websites.

The word selfie has been in use since 2002 but was not popular till 2012. The action of taking a self portrait has been an old one. Earlier, as there were no such high tech cell phones and devices, people used mirrors and stands for taking selfies, but now we see everywhere people taking selfies and posting them all over social media and sharing among friends and groups for everyone to see. They are also popular as profile images which we call DP – display picture. But it is not similar to DP for every DP may be a selfie but every selfie is not a DP!

We also saw the selfie of Pope Francis this year with some youngsters and that picture became a viral on the Internet. So this is how a term from a social networking site used as a slang entered the mainstream dictionary and became a full-fledged word. Supposedly it beats ‘Twerk’ and ‘Binge-Watch’ which are also similar words picked by the passing-by generation.

In this manner the Oxford Dictionary will soon be full of such words and English will then become a diluted language and just might lose its charm. But then self-documentation may not be for everyone, at least for the time being, in India!

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