Language in flux

The other day I was at an event where the host asked her guests to ‘smile for a selfie’. The thing is, the host was not in the photo, she was only taking it. Then I saw someone on TV being ribbed about the large number of selfies he was posting, they even showed one for illustrative purposes. In that photo he was posing with both his hands in view, so unless some unseen parts of his body were very dexterous, I’m confident that he did not take the photo himself.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against the evolution of language, and I think the word ‘selfie’ beautifully describes a photo taken of one’s self by one’s self – but surely both those factors need to be true for it to be a ‘selfie’? If they are not we have another word for photos like that… photos.

It seems like the definition of ‘selfie’ is morphing to mean any picture of human beings taken by a device that is able to post the images to the internet. So perhaps instead of ‘selfies’ we should be calling them ‘posties’. I know we already use that for the people who deliver our mail, but hey, there used to be a time when ‘stream’ just meant a small waterway.

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