There I was happily rolling along towards the Christmas holidays smugly sneering at the thought that the word of the year, ‘selfie’, was an apt footnote to 2013.
As you may well recall, back in November The Oxford Dictionaries announced that the obsession many people have for posting pouting self portraits on social media sites is so widespread that it had selected ‘selfie’ as its word of the year. According to its researchers, in spite of the word being around since 2002, instances of its use increased on social media and photo sharing sites by a staggering 17,000 percent during 2013. Not a great choice, given that those people hardly need any more attention, but anyway, selfie it is.
However, now it appears that things are not quite so straightforward. This week, rival The Collins Online Dictionary has announced that its word of the year is ‘geek’. Geek? A word that didn’t even make the shortlist for the Oxford Dictionaries selection. Clearly, a month is a long time in the world of words of the year. Given that both words are directly linked to technology, if nothing else, this is yet another clear illustration of how technology is increasingly dominating all aspects of our lives.
The word Geek, apparently, has been around since the 19th century when it was used to describe a simpleton. Maybe there is a more of a link between geek and selfie than I first thought.