News, Technology

Word Of The Year: Selfie

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Four selfies taken by Queen Sheene Roloos
Four selfies taken by Queen Sheene Roloos

“Selfie” has been named the word of the year.

Oxford Dictionaries chose the word because its usage increased by 17,000 per cent over last year.

A “selfie” is a photo that a person takes of himself, usually with his smart phone.

Have you ever seen a picture of a person that he took by holding his phone out in front of him? That’s a selfie.

A selfie can also be taken in a mirror or with a webcam (computer camera).

Another term for selfie is “self portrait.”

The term was first used in 2002, in an online chat in Australia.

The word started out as a term used mostly in social media (Facebook, for instance) but it has become a mainstream word.

The publishers of the Oxford English dictionary track how often words are used.

They collect and analyse about 150 million words each month.

In this way, they identify new and emerging words to decide whether they want to add them to the dictionary.

 

Information for this article was taken from an article by Thomson Reuters, written by Michael Roddy.

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS
By Kathleen Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
“Selfie” is a relatively new word that has become very popular this year. Words like “selfie” are often described as slang (words that are informal). What other words can you think of that have become more popular recently? Are these words in the dictionary? If they aren’t, do you think they should be?

Reading Prompt: Extending Understanding
“Selfie” was picked as the most popular word this year because it is used all the time during conversations. In fact, the article explains that “Oxford Dictionaries chose the word because its usage increased by 17,000 per cent over last year.” Can you explain this statement in your own words? How does something increase by 17,000%?

Junior
Extend understanding of texts by connecting the ideas in them to their own knowledge, experience, and insights, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them (OME, Reading: 1.6).

Intermediate
Extend understanding of texts, including increasingly complex or difficult texts, by connecting the ideas in them to their own knowledge, experience, and insights, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them (OME, Reading: 1.6).

Grammar Feature: Slang
Some other new words that were recently added to the dictionary are: bitcoin, phablet, unlike, cake pops and MOOC. What do these words mean? Figure out their definitions and try to use them in sentences.