I didn't do much of anything on New Year's Eve, which is just fine by me. When you are in the state of gestation that I am in, eating cake is about the most exciting thing you can do. But I did scroll through Facebook to live vicariously through everyone else's intoxicated night of merriment. Amongst the multitude of wishes for a better year than the last one, were tons and tons of drunk selfies. Not people taking photos with their friends, but people taking photos of themselves while their friends stood at the bar behind them ordering drinks or being sociable. My first thought was, "Why are you taking pictures of yourself by yourself when you are surrounded by other people?" But my second, and much more annoyed thought was, "Man, I hate the word selfie."
The year 2013 was a whole lot of things but unfortunately one of them was the saturation of this awful word, among many others that should only be spoken in embarrassed hushed tones. Speaking of definitions, did you know that this year "selfie" made it into the Oxford Dictionary Online (ODO) and, not only that, the ODO declared it the No. 1 word of the year?
Adding words to the ODO is is like a gateway drug for the actual dictionary and, to be honest with ourselves, no one has a hardcopy dictionary anymore anyway, so when a word makes it into the ODO, it's official.
What other horrific words made the 2013 cut? Twerking (verb): dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance
Among all of the other things we would probably like to forget about 2013, twerking, that bootie shaking "dance" popularized by celebrities such as Rhianna, Beyonce and Miley Cyrus and then mocked but only ironically by everyone else in the country, is now a word in the Oxford Dictionary. Will this dance craze last even into January of the current year? I sure hope not, but regardless it is forever etched into our vocabulary. In its defense, other dances that also mean nothing now made the cut during their reigns such as the Macarena and the Mashed Potato. But those dances had really popular songs too. And no, the Electric Slide is not in the dictionary.
Abbreviated words also made it in such as "vom" - to vomit, "srlsy" - seriously, "apols" - apologies and "grat" - congratulations.
I have a real problem with this. These are not words but rather an American sign of dormancy. By adding these words to the dictionary we are saying to our youth, it's OK to write a cover letter to a potential employer and tell them that you "srlsy" want this job. Am I being a cranky old lady here or do we all agree that text-speak has taken over and it's ruining our lives and turning us into robot monkeys?
Braggadocious (adjective): boastful or arrogant
I don't know about you, but I've never even heard this word before. The suffix "adocious" or "dacious" came into fashion during the surfer lingo craze of the 1980s. Think Ninja Turtles or Sean Penn in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Actually the word "bodacious" has origins dating back to 1832 according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as a combination of the words bold and audacious. Who knew? But adding the word "adocious" to other words fell out of vogue mostly because they made you sound like a moron. Braggadocious does the same.
Dumbphone (noun): a basic mobile phone that lacks the advanced functionality characteristic of a smartphone.
Do we really need a word for this? It's not a smartphone. That's about as descriptive as it needs to get.
Defriend (verb): another term for UNFRIEND.
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Defriend is such an odd word, but I find it fascinating. The prefix "de" means to remove or reverse. Thus defriending is to reverse friendship, but this means that the word friend is a verb, which technically it's not. Or is it? In an issue of Intelligent Life magazine author Anthony Gardner states, "But no trend has been more obtrusive in recent years than the changing of nouns into verbs." Maybe we are more action oriented than we used to be? Or maybe we're just lazy.
Speaking of lazy, other words added to the ODO in 2013 were:
A/W - autumn/winter BYOD - Bring Your Own Device FIL - Father-in-law LDR - Long distance relationship TL;DR - Too Long Didn't Read SSD - Solid-state Drive
I can't imagine what will be added next year. Hopefully, not YOLO.