Selfie 2013
Social Media, Technology

Evolving Language

According to the Oxford Dictionaries Online quarterly update, “Technology remains a catalyst for emerging words and is reflected in new entries”. Over the last five years, there has undoubtedly been a strong social media influence on today’s social lexicon.

New acronyms like BYOD (”bring your own device”) and FOMO (“fear of missing out”: anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere) are examples of how we have change the way we define our environments, daily activities an even ourselves.

A couple of weeks ago, there was a big buzz about the word “selfie” being named the word of 2013. The word Selfie in fact can be traced back to 2002 when someone on an Australian online forum posted: “Um, drunk at a mates 21st, I tripped over and landed lip first (with front teeth coming a very close second) on a set of steps. I had a hole about 1cm long right through my bottom lip. And sorry about the focus, it was a selfie.”

But regardless of the big media coverage about selfies being the word of the year, I wanted to know which other new words related to social media and digital marketing were added to the Oxford Dictionary this year.
Here are the ones I’ve found more closely related to the field:
bitcoin – a digital currency in which transactions can be performed without the need for a central bank
click and collect – a shopping facility whereby a customer can buy or order goods from a store’s website and collect them from a local branch
digital detox – a period of time during which a person refrains from using electronic devices such as smartphones or computers, regarded as an opportunity to reduce stress or focus on social interaction in the physical world
emoji – a small digital image or icon used to express an idea or emotion in electronic communication
flash mob – a large public gathering at which people perform an unusual or seemingly random act and then disperse, typically organized by means of the Internet or social media
Internet of things – a development of the Internet in which everyday objects have network connectivity
live-blog – a blog providing a commentary on an event while it takes place, typically in the form of frequent short updates
MOOC – ‘massive open online course’: a course of study made available over the Internet without charge to a very large number of people
Mouseover – a computer function in which an image or hyperlink can be generated by moving a cursor over a specific point on a web page
Phablet – a smartphone having a screen which is intermediate in size between that of a typical smartphone and a tablet computer
Selfie – a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website
Unlike – withdraw one’s liking or approval of (a web page or posting on a social media website that one has previously liked)

I strongly believe the word of the year in 2014 is going to be tech-related and I will be following the new entrances for now on, maybe because of my FOMO? Who knows! 😛


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