"Unfriend": Oxford's Word of the Year

Last year's Word of the Year: "hypermiling"

New Oxford American Dictionary has announced the verb "unfriend" as its word of the year, confirming the social networking term's ubiquity.

The definition: "To remove someone as a 'friend' on a social networking site such as Facebook." 

12 words you can never say in the office 

On its blog, Oxford University Press quotes Senior Lexicographer Christine Lindberg as saying: "It has both currency and potential longevity. In the online social networking context, its meaning is understood, so its adoption as a modern verb form makes this an interesting choice for Word of the Year. Most 'un-' prefixed words are adjectives (unacceptable, unpleasant), and there are certainly some familiar 'un-' verbs (uncap, unpack), but 'unfriend' is different from the norm. It assumes a verb sense of 'friend' that is really not used (at least not since maybe the 17th century!). Unfriend has real lex-appeal."

Other techie terms that were considered: hashtag, intexticated, netbook, paywall and sexting.

Oxford didn't ignore Twitter either, citing a notable word cluster including Twitt, Tweeple and other Twitterish terms.

Last year's Word of the Year: "hypermiling," which involves "maximizing gas mileage by making fuel-conserving adjustments to one's car and one's driving techniques."

Around the corner: Expect Merriam-Webster to announce its Word of the Year. Last year it was "bailout."

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Network World staff

Network World

Comments

Comments are now closed.

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?