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WOTY selfie
Posted: 19 November 2013 02:41 PM   [ Ignore ]
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http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-11-19/this-photo-is-worlds-first-selfie/5102568
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-24992393

Selfie has been named by Oxford Dictionaries as word of the year.

Funnily enough, the earliest usage they have found was on a science forum I used to frequent, the Self-Service Science Forum, in a thread called “Dissolvable Stitches”. Sadly, the forum no longer exists.

I am surprised that the article says “its frequency in the English language had increased by 17,000% in the last year”. I thought it was big before that, but memory is a funny thing.

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Posted: 21 November 2013 04:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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FWIW, the article in the OP, appropriately, says only that the first known “selfie” appears in the ABC forum.  However, it contains a link to another ABC story that expressly says that the user “Hopey” coined the term “selfie” in 2002.  He might well have done so, but I am skeptical.  He used the term “selfie” without “scare quotes” and without making any attempt to explain the term, suggesting to me that it probably already had some circulation.  Admittedly, the meaning was fairly clear in context, but, even so, I feel like the casual usage suggests that some familiarity with it was expected.

I have to admit that, for some reason, my brain refuses to remember what “selfie” means: I’ve looked it up several times, and for now, at least, have managed to retain the knowledge of what it means, but my brain keeps wanting to reanalyze it as a slang term for “selfish person”.

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Posted: 21 November 2013 06:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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FWIW, we (the old SSSF forum regulars) have been trying to track down Hopey to ask him about it.

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Posted: 21 November 2013 06:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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ABC Radio tracked down Hopey to talk about this. In interview he said that he did not coin it: the word was in use at the time.

Still, might be the first time anyone typed it.

Might not.

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Posted: 24 November 2013 02:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Is selfie in the OED?

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Posted: 24 November 2013 07:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Faldage - 24 November 2013 02:51 PM

Is selfie in the OED?

No, only on the online oxford dictionary.

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Posted: 25 November 2013 03:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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When was the last time they updated the S section in the OED?

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Posted: 25 November 2013 04:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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New words don’t necessarily have to wait for the rolling update to be included in the OED. But self has not been updated since the entry was originally published in 1911. (There was the addition of the immunological sense in 1993, though.)

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Posted: 25 November 2013 05:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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And it won’t go into the OED, or other real dictionaries, until and unless it’s hung around long enough to be worth taking the trouble over.  Lots of suddenly fashionable lexical items go out of fashion and are forgotten just as quickly.

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Posted: 25 November 2013 01:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I would say that it should (and will) make it into the OED. It’s been around for over a decade, and it’s quite common. So even if it fades from use, it’s a prime candidate for historical dictionaries like the OED. Desktop dictionaries, which focus on current, standard usage, might be a different story.

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Posted: 25 November 2013 01:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Yeah, I suppose.  I just dislike the word, so I’m hoping it goes away.

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Posted: 25 November 2013 06:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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But it is not now in the OED?

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Posted: 25 November 2013 06:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Correct.  It is not now in the OED.

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Posted: 25 November 2013 10:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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languagehat - 25 November 2013 01:57 PM

Yeah, I suppose.  I just dislike the word, so I’m hoping it goes away.

Ditto

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Posted: 26 November 2013 01:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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I always consider you the very soul of tolerance, languagehat, and would think that a word that falls foul of you must be a real stinker. Is there some particular aspect of this word that you find objectionable?

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Posted: 26 November 2013 07:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Don’t be fooled by my calm, scientific, it’s-all-good facade!  Beneath it, I’m just as full of irrational get-off-my-lawn linguistic prejudice as anyone else, and more so as I get older and the language, steered by irreverent young people, sails off in another direction, leaving me sputtering in its wake.  There are lots of words and constructions I don’t like (a particular object of my ire, for example, is the now-standard use of “may have” for what to my mind has to be “might have,” in counterfactual sentences like “If he’d run faster, he may/might have caught the ball").  The difference between me and your average peever is that I understand fully that my own prejudices are no more than that—they’re facts about me, not about the language.  Where someone else would say “That’s a terrible word, I want it burned with fire!” I say “I dislike it, so I’m hoping it goes away.” Since most of the time we’re talking reasonably objectively about language and I’m frequently in the position of countering people who identify their own feelings with facts about language, I’m usually wearing my objective-linguist hat.  But in this context, I can let my inner peever hang out.

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