Happy Holidays everybody. The Word of the Year for 2013, according to both the Oxford Dictionaries and Geoffrey Nunberg, is selfie. Listen to Nunberg’s commentary on Fresh Air — Narcissistic Or Not, ‘Selfie’ Is Nunberg’s Word Of The Year — which he concludes with:
I give the critics a lot of the credit for making “selfie” a contender for word of the year. When we look back on 2013, we’ll recall this not just as the year when everybody was posting pictures of themselves on social media, but as the year when nobody could stop talking about it.
It seems that anointing a Word of the Year is a competitive sport. Dictionary.com chose privacy as its Word of the Year for 2013, which is pretty much the exact opposite of selfie. Merriam-Webster chose science as its Word of the Year, apparently for some sort of scientific reason. Meanwhile, the Collins Dictionary has tapped geek as the Word of the Year, which seems a few years late, unless they just make geek the Word of the Year every year, in which case I applaud their lazy efficiency. And Germany has their own Word of the Year, #GroKo (yes, the hashtag is part of the “word”), which is short for Grosse Koalition, or Grand Coalition, the new political partnership between Germany’s two largest parties. (I guess you have to be there.) The NSA probably knew they’d choose #GroKo well before the Germans made it official, but it was nice of them to keep mum and not spoil the surprise.
Perhaps 2014 will be the year everyone turns their cameras around and takes pictures of other people — you know, just as an experiment. Maybe it will be the year of the youie, or the themie. In the meantime, all of us here at Zinzin would like to wish all of you the happiest and most joyful of holidays and a wonderful new year.
For a different — and deeper — take on the selfie culture, here’s the late great George Harrison singing and talking about his Beatles song, I Me Mine: