I think a lot about words, and I love to hear which words get picked by linguists as “the word of the year” as we reach the end of December. Here’s what the linguistically inclined have come up with for 2013.
The good people at Oxford Dictionary chose “selfie”. In an unusual turn, Geoff Nunberg, Linguist/Commentator for Fresh Air, agrees. explains his decision in Narcissistic Or Not, ‘Selfie’ Is Nunberg’s Word Of The Year.
selfie noun, informal
(also selfy; plural selfies)
a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website
I admit, I use this word. I’m almost always behind on new slang, but this one is big enough to have made it into my general usage. I also admit to have taken selfies – it’s good to know I’m in good company with Meryl Streep and Hillary Clinton.
science, noun \ˈsī-ən(t)s\ : knowledge about or study of the natural world based on facts learned through experiments and observation : a particular area of scientific study (such as biology, physics, or chemistry) : a particular branch of science : a subject that is formally studied in a college, university, etc.
I’m excited about this one, even if that definition offered by Merriam-Webster is more than a little anemic. Says Peter Sokolowski, Editor-at-Large at Merriam-Webster:
It is a word that is connected to broad cultural dichotomies: observation and intuition, evidence and tradition.
The options this year span quite the gamut. I’m excited to see where the conversation about self-promotion goes, and I hope that people look for more information about science than what a dictionary can offer.