Who’s not happy with “selfie” as Word of the Year?

What do you think of the Oxford English Dictionary’s choice of “selfie” as Word of the Year for 2013?

I’m not mad about the word itself, although that’s probably an age/generational thing. In my young day (indeed, in most people’s young day) the technology for selfies wasn’t available: you took a photo of yourself, alone or with our friends, in a photo booth. And that was that. You couldn’t post the photo online or publicise it.

TARDIS onesieWe should be grateful, I suppose, for small mercies: they could have chosen “onesie”. Or, even worse, “selfie-in-a-onesie”.

Here’s my choice of word of the year, in honour of 50 years of Dr. Who: TARDIS (Time and Relative Dimension in Space), used as a term to describe a building that looks small on the outside but is, or looks, much bigger once you’re inside. Again, this might be a generational thing: I was a big Dr Who fan during the 1960s (and  had nightmares about the Daleks). So now it comes naturally to me to use TARDIS in that way.

Maggie's Centre, Western Infirmary, Glasgow

One TARDIS-like building that comes to mind is the Maggie’s Centre at Glasgow’s Western Infirmary, by Page/Park architects. Quite an amazing building, I think.

What do you think of the OED’s choice of “selfie”? What would you have chosen?

PS: If you really want to know, the TARDIS onesie is available from RED5.

Other posts you might like:

English words the world likes…

…and words you just can’t abide

Hard times bring new words

By Marian Dougan

2 responses

  1. One of the terms that has really struck me this year is “3D printer”. Since January 2013 I’ve gone from not knowing what it was, to learning about all the wonderful things it can print, to finding out it can create some terrible objects (fake arms for example). Hopefully in the long run good uses will outweigh the bad.

    1. I still find radio, telephones and TV mind-boggling so yes, 3D printers are pretty amazing. And yes, let’s hope the good uses will outweigh the bad – I was so shocked (but shouldn’t really have been) when I saw someone on TV demonstrating how to make a gun with one.

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