Its official: Selfie is now a real word Actor Jon Hamm, from AMCs Mad Men takes a selfie with his wax figure at Madame Tussauds museum in New York
Its official: Selfie is now a real word
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Did you know that the dictionary is growing? Even selfie is included now.

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary 11th edition has added 150 words. Many stem from digital life and social media. Spoiler alert, hashtag, selfie and tweep are included.

As for social media, well, that term is already in the dictionary, but social networking wasn't. Adding the latter was "just taking care of business," said Peter Sokolowski, an editor at large for Merriam-Webster. He's a word nerd and Twitter lover with nearly 11,000 followers.

Others added words are food driven, including pho and turducken, which is a boneless chicken stuffed into a boneless duck stuffed into a boneless turkey.

Fracking also made it into the update. So did e-waste and freegan. A freegan is a person who scavenges for free food in store and restaurant trash bins as a way to reduce consumption of resources.

How are new words chosen for the dictionary? Merriam-Webster relies on a network of observers. They track down word usage in everything from newspapers to soup can labels. Three or four senior editors make the final cut.

Selfie, that thing with the smartphone that Ellen DeGeneres did at the Academy Awards, has now spawned shelfies. Those are photos people put up on social media to show off their books and how they have arranged them.

And we now have stealthies, those sneaky little phone pictures masquerading as selfies. That's when the taker actually snaps what's behind him or her instead.

And still more additions to the dictionary: crowdfunding, big data, baby bump, digital divide, dubstep, fangirl and gamification. Gamification is the process of adding gamelike elements to something to encourage participation.

Critical thinking challenge: What would happen to Merriam-Webster, the company that publishes the dictionary, if it didnt add new words? Wouldnt Merriam-Webster save money if it merely published the same list of words every year?

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COMMENTS (65)
  • alexw-Koc
    5/20/2014 - 12:11 a.m.

    I cant believe this word selfie is now a word!!! My generation is changing the world a lot from all this technology and kids are just making it even more technological.

  • morgank-Koc
    5/20/2014 - 12:12 a.m.

    I think that it is really cool that selfie is a word now because it just goes to prove that if you make a trend it might become official. Teens made that word & now look at it it's an actual word.

  • omars-Koc
    5/20/2014 - 01:29 a.m.

    I think it's pretty funny how they are adding words that sound so funny. Words that don't sound like a real word at all. It's kinda of good because they are making money out of it and well they just sound funny. Selfie will now be around for ages to come.

  • jesseh-Koc
    5/20/2014 - 02:15 a.m.

    I think selfie should be a word because it is very known. People take selfies all the time so they should make a word for it. The new generation are the people who created the word selfie .

  • MarissaColvin
    5/20/2014 - 08:37 a.m.

    I'm not suprised that the word selfie was added in the dictionary. The word was the word of the year. Although this is a start, why are all these words added that I don't know?

  • WS05YANKEES
    5/20/2014 - 08:38 a.m.

    I yhink it is good they added this. If people use the word a lot, then it should be considered a word. BUt i also think seflie will stopped being used, but im not sure how long that will take.

  • kaylaVa
    5/20/2014 - 12:28 p.m.

    I think that is just great that selfie is and offical word I mean people made it up as a joke so I guess people actually wanted to make it a real word.

  • ZM17Games
    5/20/2014 - 01:03 p.m.

    I think it's weird that they would make selfie a real word. I think that it isn't really a smart thing to do because now the dictionary is getting more and more filled with slang words then important ones.

  • odalysi-Koc
    5/20/2014 - 02:19 p.m.

    Thats great that the word selfie is now a real word. And it is also great that the dictionary is expanding, What I'm curious is about is that who even invented the word selfie!

  • Zues3
    5/20/2014 - 07:19 p.m.

    I wonder how long it took selfie to make the cut. Who knows what will be next. It is really surprising what is included in the dictionary and what isn't. For example:
    Dalek (?d??l?k)

    n
    any of a set of fictional robot-like creations that are aggressive, mobile, and produce rasping staccato speech

    [C20: from a children's television series, Dr Who ]

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