According to the New Oxford American Dictionary, the word of the year is ‘unfriend.’ Oxford chooses a contemporary word every year to add to its official list. ‘unfriend’ beat out other doozies like ‘hashtag’ and ‘sexting.’ Wow, what a competitive year.
I am curious how ‘unfriend’ was chosen. I use dictionaries mainly when I don’t know how to spell something, it is clearly the easiest to spell. It is even the easiest to understand — one does not need to be a Latin major to know what the prefix -un means. I bet most of my (few) readers don’t even know what a hashtag is… see my previous twitter post. I know my friends know what sexting is….
‘Unfriend’ has actually turned out to be a controversial choice. Yes, people actually care about this stuff. ‘Defriend’ is Facebook’s official term for the removing of a friend from one’s friend list. Apparently ‘unfriend’ is the generic social media term for removing a friend. It is tissues for Kleenex.
CNN.com references a Twitter user who in posting about her frustration with choice actually uses a hashtag. I wonder what she would have chosen.
‘Unfriend’ is in good company. in 2004, Merriam-Webster added ‘blog’ and last year it added ‘overshare.’
What do you think should have been chosen?