Tuesday, 17 Nov, 2009 Offbeat
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And the Winner of Oxford Dictionary's 2009 Word of the Year Is .... Unfriend

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The social networking craze lead to making the term "unfriend" Oxford Dictionary's 2009 Word of the Year. The famous verbal tome maker also features such words as "netbook," "sexting," and "paywall." Here's how it defines the 2009 word of the year:

Unfriend: verb; to remove someone as a 'friend' on a social networking site such as Facebook.

According to Christine Lindberg, Senior Lexicographer for Oxford's US dictionary program, the new term features 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," she says.

The lexicographer noted that the majority of words with an "un-" prefix are adjectives. However, there are a few verbs with such prefix, like "uncap" and "unpack," reports The Register. As for the "unfriend," the new term is somewhat different. Lindberg explains: "It assumes a verb sense of 'friend' that is really not used. Unfriend has real lex-appeal."

It would be interesting to mention some of the finalists for the New Oxford American Dictionary's 2009 word of the year.

Hashtag: used among twitters; it involves placing a # sign to a word or phrase that enables the users of the social networking website to look for tweets featuring similarly tagged entries and view thematic sets.

Netbook: the term refers to a small, portable laptop.

Paywall: this term represents a method of blocking access to a part of a website that is available only to paying subscribers.

Freemium: the term refers to a business model that features a number of basic services free of charge with the goal of attracting users to pay for some extra, premium features.

Funemployed: refers to people who lost their job and are currently unemployed, but who try to have fun in their free time while waiting for a new job opportunity.

Posted by greendan80

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