I have a reasonably large vocabulary, I suppose. Some words, particularly newer ones, apparently elude me, however. Twerking and selfie have been added to the Oxford Dictionary of English recently, and I had been largely oblivious to both terms.
Oh, I had vaguely heard of twerking, when some white female celeb was accused of doing it on a video – I no longer know (or particularly care) who – a few months (or years?) ago. But it’s like the name of the second person I meet at a party where I know no one; it slips off into the ether of my mind. It wasn’t until the infamous Miley Cyrus incident on some awards show recently, that I don’t watch but got lots of coverage, did it finally stick. Oh, yeah, twerking: OK, got it.
Whereas I had never, to my recollection, heard, or especially seen, the word “selfie”, meaning “pouty self-portrait typically taken with a smartphone” until I read the complaint about the Rolling Stone cover of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev being a selfie. Since that time, the term has become ubiquitous in my universe. I see it EVERYWHERE now, even in Chuck Miller’s blog. Geraldo Rivera took selfies, which I hope the NSA has captured. I’m sure my ignorance is a function, in part, of not having a smartphone. We have a digital camera, but I understand this trend to be a slightly different animal, gestalt-wise.
A buddy of mine suggested that her ignorance of twerk and selfie “sounds like a sexual hang-up, not a problem of limited vocabulary.” That MAY be true of me as well, especially in the case of the former, although realizing now that Anthony Weiner was taking selfies, maybe the latter as well.
Twerking seems to be in that straight line from Elvis the Pelvis to The Twist to the lambada, plus a bunch of other stuff I wasn’t paying attention to. (You probably DON’T, I mean DO NOT, want to watch this Twerking To Classical Music Via HUFFPOST. Told you so.)
“Dappy – silly, disorganised or lacking concentration: never heard of it. Is it a mix of daffy and happy?
“Digital detox – time spent away from Facebook and Twitter: never heard of this either, though the phenomenon of unplugging I was aware of.
“Girl crush – an intense and typically non-sexual admiration felt by one girl for another”: Is this the female equivalent of bromance? Pretty lame term, I must say.
“Vom – to be sick”: What? It looks like a word already in use, only a syllable longer. Ah, this story explains that it “saves two characters when twittering. Or tweeting. Whatever.”
[Yes, I have stolen this article. But at least it is from myself.]