Upon hearing that the word ‘selfie’ was to be added to the Oxford English Dictionary, I was (quite rightly, I thought) appalled. Having risen in usage seventeen thousand per-cent in the last year, this ridiculous social networking invention has reached its way into the most hallowed of British Language institutions. Along with its bedfellows ‘twerking’, ‘yolo’, ‘hashtag’ and many others, this Americanised interloper has wormed its way into the impressionable lexicon of the youth.
‘Selfie’ was elected the OED word of the year on the 18th November, joining previous winners such as ‘podcast’, ‘credit crunch’, ‘chav’ and ‘omnishambles’, and beating other shortlist competitors like ‘bedroom tax’ and ‘schmeat’. And the unthinkable has happened: ‘selfie’ has spawned mutated offspring. These include helfie (a picture of one’s hair), welfie (workout selfie) and drelfie (drunken selfie, of which there are apparently many).
Where will it all end? With texting teenagers on both sides of the Atlantic coining terms left, right and centre, it is only a matter of time before we end up with ‘Schmelfishambleschmerk’ dominating the dictionaries on this and the other side of the pond.