Retrieved by Pat Darnell and Amanda Knox
Oxford Word of the Year 2009: Unfriend
Filed in A-Editor's Picks , A-Featured , Current Events , Dictionaries , Lexicography , Reference on November 16, 2009
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.
*[Note: Facebook sent out a flyer that showed up in my Dec. 1, '09 email inbox that they have reached a 350 million subscribers level of operations]*
As in, “I decided to unfriend my roommate on Facebook after we had a fight.”Wondering what other new words were considered for the New Oxford American Dictionary 2009 Word of the Year? Check out the list at OUPblog HERE.
“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.”
"I'm sorry 'Tiger, I have to unfriend you, but you know how they talk?" ...
"That's okay Mr President, I don't mind. You don't even have to shake my hand right now."