Word of the year 2009

Oxford University Press has selected its word of the year. In sticking to a history of choosing new media words the result for 2009 is: Unfriend: verb – To remove someone as a ‘friend’ on a social networking site such as Facebook. As in, “I decided to unfriend my roommate on Facebook after we had a fight.” Here’s an interesting example

Other technology related words (of which some have been used extensively in this magazine) that were in the running are:

hashtag – a # [hash] sign added to a word or phrase that enables Twitter users to search for tweets (postings on the Twitter site) that contain similarly tagged items and view thematic sets

intexticated – distracted because texting on a cellphone while driving a vehicle

netbook – a small, very portable laptop computer with limited memory

paywall – a way of blocking access to a part of a website which is only available to paying subscribers

sexting – the sending of sexually explicit texts and pictures by cellphone

For other candidate words see the OUP Blog

Picture: Stock exchange | Dartboard | Tomek G

Marco | Editor

Editor at large and founder of a bunch of stockphoto businesses

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