‘Selfie’ and ‘Science’ Top Words for 2013

It’s that time of year when news outlets begin to compile the top news stories and dictionaries release their words of the year.

As someone who always does the vocabulary quiz in Reader’s Digest, I’m always curious to see what words make the cut.

One of my colleagues is caught taking a selfie (Photo by Jenn Atkins).

One of my colleagues is caught taking a selfie (Photo by Jenn Atkins).

Oxford Dictionaries recently announced that its Word of the Year for 2013 is selfie, which means “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.”

According to Oxford research, the use of the word selfie has increased by 17,000 percent since this time last year.

Ironically, the word has not made it into the dictionary yet.

Meanwhile Merriam-Webster announced its 2013 word of the year, which is science.

According to the Merriam-Webster website, This year’s list was compiled by analyzing the top lookups in the online dictionary at Merriam-Webster.com and focusing on the words that showed the greatest increase in lookups this year as compared to last year.”

Most of the words were not new but rather the words “behind the stories in this year’s news.”

Communicators might be intrigued to learn that communications came in at number four on the list. Part of it was due to the ongoing discussion about the NSA wiretapping program and what constitutes private communications, the site noted. The word also was looked up frequently by those who wanted to use it for resumes.

What do you think of the selections?

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