Every year the New Oxford American Dictionary prepares for the holidays by making its biggest announcement of the year. This announcement is usually applauded by some and derided by others and the ongoing conversation it sparks is always a lot of fun, so I encourage you to let us know what you think in the comments.
Without further ado, the 2009 Word of the Year is: unfriend.
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.”
“It has both currency and potential longevity,” notes Christine Lindberg, Senior Lexicographer for Oxford’s US dictionary program. “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.”
Some of the other words which were considered include hashtag, intexticated, funemployed, birther, ecotown, deleb, etc. Read more here.
The word 'unfriend' may be Oxford's word of the year, but the word doesn't apply to how the year 2009 has been for us at Pratham Books. This year has been spectacular for us and we have made several friends across networks who help us further our mission, enjoy a chat with us, are constantly encouraging us to do our best.
Thank you all for being our friend and not unfriending us :)
Image Source : Roger Smith