Thursday, December 5, 2013

This Is How Obsessed We Are With Ourselves

The Oxford word of the year is selfie.

There are so many things wrong with that sentence, where to begin? How about the fact that Oxford even has a word of the year. Seriously, what's this all about? Do the words campaign for votes? Do they give speeches? If they give speeches, do they get extra points for using previous words of the year? Will the previous word of the year present the award?

You might be wondering how many more questions I could possibly have along this line of thinking? Oh, I have a few more?

If a word becomes scandalous, can it lose the award? Will the runner-up step in and carry out the duties of the word of the year? Has there ever been scandal about how a word rose to victory?

So many questions. But I must admit being surprised about a word like selfie winning this. After all, I hear Oxford and I assume a panel of college profs with cigars and suit coats with the elbow patches. I imagine a group of people who know words that no one else uses, much less has ever heard of.

What does this say about Oxford? Aren't they supposed to be above all this? I don't know why I assumed that Oxford would be filled with people who see librarians as being a bit too crazy.

I could be wrong, but even so, how does selfie win?

It says something about us when the Oxford word of the year is selfie.

It says something about our culture when something like the selfie becomes so prevalent that it a) becomes a word and b) becomes the word of 2013. After all, remember when the people who most used cameras were in the least amount of pictures. I can remember when it was a constant source of pain to find some stranger to take a picture of your entire group, trusting they wouldn't take your camera and run in the opposite direction.

Selfie. We shouldn't be this much about ourselves.

Now if only my programs would recognize the validity of the word and stop putting that red squiggly line underneath it every time I type it.

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