ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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I, Me, My Selfie

Self-portraits are passe – the “selfie” is the order of the day if you own a smartphone and wish to post your own mugshot on some social media.

I first came across the word “selfie” on Twitter. At that time I didn’t know what it meant, but I guess I liked it instantly for, among other things, the way it sounded and how it was spelt – ending with “ie” and not “y”. For the uninitiated, a selfie, according to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), which named it the Word of the Year 2013, is a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.

Though I never engaged in the selfie act myself, my lingual and philosophical fascination with the word continued. The word is supposed to have been first used in 2002 in an Australian online forum post: “Um, drunk at a mates 21st, I tripped ofer [sic] and landed lip first (with front teeth coming a very close second) on a set of steps. I had a hole about 1cm long right through my bottom lip. And sorry about the focus, it was a selfie.”

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