Now that narcissism and a collective obsession with Facebook have combined to make “selfie” the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year, it is time to see how the childish shortening of “self-portrait,” redefined for our age of social media and its inherent pressures to control, fatuously, every aspect of our outward presentation, stacks up against the previous selections made by the fine folks at Oxford Dictionaries. Why? Because making a power ranking of not-actually-codified words as if those words actually carried cultural weight, treating their superfluous “addition” to our language as if such additions were meaningful in a woe-be-our-sacred-Sprache way, couldn’t be any more pointlessly self-aware unless there was a sentence describing the process of creating such a list that, as a sentence, declared both itself and the whole idea of list-making as being pointless.
Yeah. Cultural critique.
Anyway, here are the the ten Words of the Year, ranked. We only decided to include the words inducted by the U.S. version of the Oxford Dictionary because we are xenophobes/jingoists.
10. refudiate (2010)
People loved mocking Sarah Palin for her use of “refudiate” in a 2010 tweet about the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque,” but did anyone ever take the time to consider that she was using a Dvorak as opposed to QWERTY keyboard and was thus the victim of a simple, two-key-away typo? No, nobody did, and you all should feel ashamed.
9. squeezed middle (2011)
It’s like “middle class” but with more feelings of frustration at only having x-amount of privilege!
8. selfie (2013)
I’ll never understand why the selfie replaced the mirror-shot as the popular method of showcasing yourself on social media. Seriously, how am I supposed to flaunt my ripped abdominals, ones that inspired D’Angelo’s “Untitled (How Does It Feel)” video, via a selfie? The angle is all wrong. And if nobody knows about my ripped abdominals, how can Tila Tequila friend me on Myspace?
7. locavore (2007)
Thanks to Thomas L. Friedman as well as the insightful scientists at The Flat Earth Society, I now know we live in a world where everything is local, which is why I’m supporting the local farming community by eating these totally in-season strawberries.
6. GIF (2012)
I have a GIF that depicts a broken record — an LP of a Douglas Hofstadter lecture on recursion — endlessly repeating itself while situated in a hall of mirrors. I am not yet ready to release its power on the Internet.
5. unfriend (2009)
You wanna know who’s friends with the U.N.? The goddamn Bilderberg Group, that’s who. At least 2009 will be remembered as the year we all acknowledged the real puppet masters.
4. chav (2004)
Honestly, I didn’t know what a chav was until I searched Wikipedia. And now, after looking at the picture, I realize that my classmates in high school didn’t just inexplicably think my name was “Chad” for four years.
3. hypermiling (2008)
Not to be confused with hyper-Miley-ing, which is used to describe a a person who frantically twerks Miley Cyrus hot wrecking ball rumors appropriation video Salvia. (Wassup, SEO?)
2. carbon-neutral (2006)
I’m pro-carbon since I’m pro-lifeforms, but y’all can feel free to ambivalent about the element if you so choose. Just don’t carbon-shame me for my views.
1. podcast (2005)
Hey, we have podcasts! You should download them!