February 18, 2015
One word that’s currently in the air everywhere is “selfie”. If people aren’t saying it, they’re doing it.
A Selfie of Two People
The dictionary meaning is: a self-portrait taken on a smartphone and, as Simon Kuper writes in his column in the Financial Times of 12/20/14, it is now penetrating languages worldwide.
Since Kuper has done such excellent research on this topic I am going to briefly recap the salient points he makes in his Opening Shot column. Let’s take a look.
How prevalent is this word? The Oxford Dictionary folks named it the English word of the year in 2013. Since then it has become popular in the Netherlands, France and Italy. It was also recently named Austria’s “youth word of the year”. And, it has also inspired a family of words, which includes “belfie” (a portrait of one’s own backside) and “shelfie” (portrait of a bookcase). Enough already.
Why is all this selfie news happening? Kuper notes this is the season when countries name their word of the year. And worldwide, social media and texting are taking over. In other words, a global tech-based language is coming up fast.
A Selfie of a Crowd
What is a “photobomb” and who did it? Apparently, this is when one inserts one’s self into someone else’s picture. Queen Elizabeth did this to two Australian hockey players at the Commonwealth Games, e.g., she totally photobombed their selfie. How naughty!
Queen Elizabeth and a selfie
What do LOL, IDC and YOLO mean? In order, they mean: Laugh Out Loud, I Don’t Care and You Only Live Once. Is your head going around?
Who started this new English? Credit goes to the Australians because they are more daring than other countries about inventing words. And those under 30 are coining words faster than ever.
What does the future hold? If you think there’s a decline in standards, then hold on tight: languages have begun to abandon alphabets altogether.
The shortest correspondence in history was always said to be Victor Hugo’s with his publisher about the sales of his book Les Misérables. Apparently, Hugo wrote “?”. And his publisher replied, “!” That exchange would now be standard.
How is this going to end? According to Kuper this phase of language is going to end when voice-recognition technology improves. We won’t have to write anymore. We’ll just speak into our devices. New tech will again create new language.
MAY WE SUGGEST…
Since we’re heading for one of the coldest months of the year don’t forget Adea’s layering approach to warm dressing. We offer a great assortment of colors, necklines and sleeve lengths that will zap up your wardrobe – and take you right into spring.
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October 22, 2020
I just read an article that sounded – to me at least – like “a canary in a coal mine” or an early warning of danger. This piece, written by Joe Pompeo, appeared in the May 2020 issue of Vanity Fair magazine with the title “The British Tabloid Invasion” and a subtitle that read, “How the Daily Mail is conquering American gossip.”
The paparazzi horde, La Dolce Vita, 1960 – photo courtesy of Vanity Fair
October 14, 2020
Apparently the good old U.S. is a nation of “not great” sleepers. Really? And I thought I was the only one! According to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention it was revealed that one out of three Americans are chronically sleep-deprived. Yikes!
October 06, 2020
I think we’re all taken by the incredible mystique of the famous French fashion house, Hermès that has been with us for two centuries and is still owned and operated by the same family. From its beginnings in fine equestrian leather goods, they are – in the tumultuous year 2020 – best known for their handbags and many other items.
My image of Hermès has always been rarified products at equally rarified prices so imagine my surprise when I recently received a very stylish publication of theirs in the mail.