Alphadictionary.com

Our Sponsors

Technical Translation
Website Translation Clip Art
 

Selfie

Use this forum to discuss past Good Words.

Selfie

Postby Dr. Goodword » Thu Nov 21, 2013 10:58 pm

• selfie •


Pronunciation: sel-fee • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective, Noun

Meaning: A self-made photograph intended for social networking.

Notes: This year's Word of the Year according to the Oxford English Dictionary is selfie. I'm betting it will be a nonce word, undeserving a mention in the Good Word series, but since the most prestigious dictionary of the English language claims it to be the most important word of 2013, we cannot blithely ignore it.

In Play: A selfie is a self-portrait destined for social networking: "Since Bea Heine had no friends, she had to take a selfie to post on Facebook." Selfies are usually self-portraits of a person with one arm extended to hold the camera: "Gertrude wants us to believe that her dog made a selfie: his front leg is outstretched and his right paw is off-camera."

Word History: Today's Good Word obviously is a noun derived from the noun or adjective self. It is a slangy shortening of self-portrait. Self by far occurs more often in compound pronouns like myself, yourself, and himself. It has cousins throughout the Germanic language family: Dutch zelf, German selb, Icelandic sjálfr, Swedish själv, Norwegian sjølv, and Danish selv. Its origin is somewhat mysterious, but seems to have come from the same source word as Russian svoj "one's own" and Sanskrit svami "master (= on one's own)". Since Us often become Vs among Indo-European languages, this would allow its origin to coincide with Latin sui "himself, herself, themselves" found in the borrowed word suicide.
• The Good Dr. Goodword
User avatar
Dr. Goodword
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3453
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 9:28 am
Location: Lewisburg, PA

Re: Selfie

Postby MTC » Fri Nov 22, 2013 2:14 am

Don't you just love it when doc gets hip with a word and practice so au courant as selfie? You can almost feel the breeze blowing through. Time for the middle-aged, semi-codgers, and codgers outright to put down their Bibles and dictionaries and get with it. And what an "it" it is. Blatant narcissism, right? A chance to affirm one's existence online. "Hi. It's me. See." "Now I'm over here. See." Just in case you thought I was dead, or something. Another smiling zombie walking down the street, arm outstretched like a camera boom focused on the star, me, me, me. Well, G2R now, having lunch with me.
Bye.
MTC
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1066
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:40 am
Location: Pasadena

Re: Selfie

Postby Slava » Fri Nov 22, 2013 8:36 am

Selfie isn't really the word of the year for the OED. It's the word of the year for ODO, the Oxford Dictionaries Online. It's not in the OED, but is under consideration.

Here's the link: http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/pres ... year-2013/
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.
User avatar
Slava
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 4563
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:31 am
Location: Finger Lakes, NY

Re: Selfie

Postby Perry Lassiter » Fri Nov 22, 2013 4:09 pm

Would you believe that I did a selfie video for a group of college students I was supposed to speak to. The leader posted it on their Facebook page. Really weird! In the video I confessed that it was my first selfie.
pl
Perry Lassiter
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2273
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 12:41 pm
Location: RUSTON, LA

Re: Selfie

Postby MTC » Fri Nov 22, 2013 7:52 pm

Yes, Perry, I would believe it from other remarks you've made embracing the new technology. Good for you; a positive use of cell phones instead of the empty narcissism of "selfies" targeted in my little spoof.

What you did is variously called a self video, self (VIDEO), or self-video, my online research discloses. And this brings up the
"This way lies madness" comment Philip made about orthography on another thread. Which of these variant spellings is "correct" or preferred? Or will mere orthographic anarchy ("madness") prevail, in Philip's words? Or from my perspective, do we really need tig_t as_ed prescriptivists like Garner of Garner's Modern American Usage, to tell us? Especially when the spelling of a recently coined word is in flux, an uncertain public, fearful of committing an illiterate gaff, listens to the loudest voice about which way to go. But those with the loudest voices (commonly called "experts") often perpetuate errors, e.g., the rule about splitting infinitives, or arbitrarily impose their own tastes, e.g. changing perfectly good Old English words such as "iglund" to "island." So when it comes to the spelling of "self video," though I take into consideration the opinion of "experts," ultimately I choose the variant which makes most sense to me. Assuming the technology of video cell phones lasts long enough, at a guess we'll see "self video," "self-video," "selfvideo," and perhaps "selvideo." But if we do, the change in spelling will come from usage, not from the fiat of "experts."
MTC
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1066
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:40 am
Location: Pasadena

Re: Selfie

Postby Slava » Fri Nov 22, 2013 8:07 pm

I'd say that the concept of the self-shot video is not yet all that common for it to have acquired a standard spelling.

I do have to add, though, that Perry did not make a selfie. The Oxford definition is "a photograph that one has taken of oneself". A video is not a photograph, or do I misconstrue? :)
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.
User avatar
Slava
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 4563
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:31 am
Location: Finger Lakes, NY

Re: Selfie

Postby MTC » Sat Nov 23, 2013 8:37 am

From another website I culled a number of selfie "spin-offs"
including "helfie (a picture of one’s hair) and belfie (of one’s posterior) and welfie (a workout selfie) or drelfie (one taken while drunk). Also "shelfie and bookshelfie indicate that your picture includes furniture in the background...."

More than enough spin-offs to set the orthographic set spinning.
MTC
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1066
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:40 am
Location: Pasadena

Re: Selfie

Postby LukeJavan8 » Sat Nov 23, 2013 12:51 pm

Selfie. History is so replete with such foldorol.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
User avatar
LukeJavan8
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 3378
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:16 pm
Location: Land of the Flat Water

Re: Selfie

Postby Philip Hudson » Sat Nov 23, 2013 3:56 pm

Most folderol (spelling error Luke, naughty, naughty) of slang dies on its own. That which survives is no longer slang. My favorite example is one of an old word taken to a new meaning by the "Valley Girls". It is "gnarly" meaning excellent. It has, as far as I can tell, had a well-deserved and timely death. I expect and devoutly hope the same for selfie. The Good Doctor didn't mention sexting as an occasion for taking selfies. Anthony Weiner comes to mind here.

Do the "Valley Girls" still invent all the styles and slang, or am I behind the curve on this?
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
Philip Hudson
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1705
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 4:41 am
Location: Texas

Re: Selfie

Postby MTC » Sat Nov 23, 2013 4:38 pm

Here's a link to a book entitled, The Life of Slang, Philip, which addresses some of your points.

http://books.google.com.hk/books?id=vcr ... ng&f=false

Valley Girls probably take second place to IT and the Internet in the slang production department, one being regional, the other global. Selfie and kin originated on IT (cell phones) and the Internet. Some slang comes boiling up in the froth and quickly sinks back down. Some endures even as slang.
MTC
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1066
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:40 am
Location: Pasadena

Re: Selfie

Postby Philip Hudson » Sun Nov 24, 2013 6:45 pm

I agree the Internet is probably the greatest source of slang today. In their heyday, the Valley girls were ubiquitous across the scope of the English-speaking world's youth. Some of their slang and much of their fashion statement jumped language barriers.

Remember in the olden days when the French said, "Le Jazz Hot"? I suppose with the language police currently at work in France this term is now verboten, or whatever the word is in French.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
Philip Hudson
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1705
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 4:41 am
Location: Texas

Re: Selfie

Postby LukeJavan8 » Sun Nov 24, 2013 6:53 pm

interdit
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
User avatar
LukeJavan8
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 3378
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:16 pm
Location: Land of the Flat Water

Re: Selfie

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sun Nov 24, 2013 8:11 pm

MTC's discussion of the proper term for a self-video is likely another way of putting the old question of definitions as prescription or description. Currently my feeling is that with new words, the dictionaries job is to describe what is happening, how they are being used. Later when there seems to be widespread agreement in usage, one can refer to a dictionary to find a semi – prescription. It seems to me there are two basic reasons for referring to a dictionary. The first is to find out what an unknown word means or perhaps to clear up the meaning one understands only vaguely. The second is to make sure you are using the word in a proper sense and with a proper spelling. By proper spelling I mean the one that most people use. Remember Shakespeare spelled his name several different ways, as there was no general agreement nor dictionary to settle such disputes on any word.
pl
Perry Lassiter
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2273
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 12:41 pm
Location: RUSTON, LA

Re: Selfie

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sun Nov 24, 2013 8:22 pm

To expand on that idea, look at the post called let's talk about literally.
pl
Perry Lassiter
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2273
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 12:41 pm
Location: RUSTON, LA

Re: Selfie

Postby MTC » Sun Nov 24, 2013 10:21 pm

Perry--

Would you please provide a link to that discussion? Can't find it.
MTC
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1066
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:40 am
Location: Pasadena

Next

Return to Good Word Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 2 guests