Oxford Dictionaries has made its choice for the zeitgeist-capturing term of 2013: It’s selfie. Twerking, bitcoin, and binge-watch were short-listed.
In 2013, the selfie has been memorialized in a museum exhibit. It is the way we mourn; it is the way we screw; it is the way we move through time and space. It is already subject to scientific advances. The Oxford editors reported that the use of selfie has increased 17,000 percent since this time last year. While the word selfie still hasn’t been added to the Oxford English Dictionary, it does appear in its online version as of August.
Many a publication has decried the choice of selfie, noting that the 2013 word of the year seemed like a lock for twerk. After all, the term wiggled its way from niche use to the mainstream in a matter of months.
Somewhere, Miley Cyrus is shaking her selfie-taking fist. For it was long her dream to conquer the Oxford Dictionaries’ word of the year: She wanted to give the world something so extraordinary, so shocking, that year-end novelty news stories would have no choice but to recognize her achievement in linguistic influence. But twerking was robbed.
And so she plots, stewing and planning how she will make 2014 a year all of her own.