Social media is changing the English language

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Stephanie Williams

Content Team Manager

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Social media has not only changed the way we interact with friends, colleagues and brands, but it has also changed the way we speak with words like ‘selfie’, ‘tweet’ and ‘unfriend’ now being part of our everyday language.

Yesterday, Oxford Dictionaries announced that ‘selfie’ beat ‘twerk’ to the top spot as their word of the year for 2013; the term has rocketed in popularity with its usage increasing by 17,000% over the past 12 months.

But what is a selfie? Oxford Dictionaries define it as:

A photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website: occasional selfies are acceptable, but posting a new picture of yourself every day isn’t necessary.

Other shortlisted terms for the word of the year were: ‘binge-watch’, ‘bedroom tax’, ‘bitcoin’, ‘twerk’, ‘schmeat’, ’showrooming’ and ‘olinguito’ – serious kudos to you if you know what all of those are because we certainly don’t!
Earlier this year, we also saw words like ‘tweetable’, and ‘social sharing’ being added to the online dictionary as social continues to dominate our lives!

Take a look at this great infographic from Oxford Dictionaries showing the year of the selfie and previous choices for their word of the year.

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So selfie has taken the spotlight for 2013, but which digital terms do you think will be added next?

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Stephanie Williams

Content Team Manager

After impressing Liberty on a work experience placement during her final year of university back in 2013, Steph was offered a role as a Junior Copywriter and joined the team after graduation. Since then, her hard work has seen her promoted multiple times to her current position leading the content team. She has a degree…

See more written by this author: Stephanie Williams

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