Photographers and artists have been making self portraits or ages, so what’s the big deal with selfies? According to Judy Pearsall, Editorial Director for Oxford Dictionaries, “Using the Oxford Dictionaries language research programme, which collects around 150 million words of current English in use each month, we can see a phenomenal upward trend in the use of selfie in 2013, and this helped to cement its selection as Word of the Year.”
(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
Oxford’s wordsmiths have traced the origins of the word back to an Australian online forum, where it has since gained global momentum through social media. .
Research shows the word selfie in use by 2002. The earliest known usage is found in an Australian online forum post:
2002 ABC Online (forum posting) 13 Sept.
“Um, drunk at a mates 21st, I tripped ofer [sic] and landed lip first (with front teeth coming a very close second) on a set of steps. I had a hole about 1cm long right through my bottom lip. And sorry about the focus, it was a selfie.”
The word was finally added to the Oxford dictionary in August of this year, and now, it hast the coveted word of the year label by beating out other popular terms like twerk, bitcoin, and bedroom tax.
So, if you don’t have a good seflie (or a collection of good selfies), you should check out today’s extremely relevant infographic, The Anatomy of a Perfect Selfie. It has tips on how to select the proper lighting conditions and how to properly crop photos. Most importantly, it advises you to not puck your lips, because it makes you look duck-ish.