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Unfriend is the Word of the Year

Posted on Monday, November 16 2009 @ 22:40:41 CET by

New Oxford American Dictionary announced "unfriend" has been received the 2009 Word of their Year award. This new verb describes the action of deleting someone as a "friend" on social networking sites like Facebook.
unfriend - verb - To remove someone as a 'friend' on a social networking site such as Facebook

"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."
A full list of Word of the Year finalists can be found over here. Here are some interesting additions to your vocabulary:
  • sexting - the sending of sexually explicit texts and pictures by cellphone
  • funemployed - taking advantage of one's newly unemployed status to have fun or pursue other interests
  • birther - a conspiracy theorist who challenges President Obama's US birth certificate
  • choice mom - a person who chooses to be a single mother
  • death panel - a theoretical body that determines which patients deserve to live, when care is rationed
  • teabagger - a person who protests President Obama's tax policies and stimulus package, often through local demonstrations known as "Tea Party" protests (in allusion to the Boston Tea Party of 1773
  • deleb - a dead celebrity
  • tramp stamp - a tattoo on the lower back, usually on a woman



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