Apparently the word of the year for 2009 is......Unfriend
Unfriend – verb – To remove someone as a ‘friend’ on a social networking site such as Facebook.
As I am a social networking fiend, the term ‘unfriend’ was not unknown to me, but it doesn’t strike me as word of the year material. Luckily it is not up to me to choose, that is down to the folks at the Oxford University Press (USA). They must have a lot of fun picking words that some people will idenitfy with, some people will hate and some people won't have a clue about.
Does it really matter if you 'unfriend' a person that was never actually your friend in the first place? I can see how it would cause a wee bit of friction if you went round clicking an imaginary button and unfriending all your close family and friends. Do those people living inside your computer care if they suddenly can't see what you have had for breakfast anymore? I suppose it all depends on how you use social networking in the first place.
Unfriend is certainly a popular term, I googled 'unfriend' and a hoard of epic proportions were desperate to know more about it (4.59 million when I last checked). Can so may people be desperate to unfriend, did they add some horror from high school, look at all their photographs and are now looking to dump than faster than I don't know what?
Apparently 'Sexting' nearly made it, but at a mere 3.9 million hits, I can see why they went with 'Unfriend' (not really). Maybe if there was more sexting there would be less unfriending....Although facebooking someone's mum may lead to sexting, which would undoubtedly lead to unfriending. My head is spinning as these terms whizz by and I am already wondering if 'unfriend' is trending as a #hashtag on twitter, I am also wondering when the heck I started understanding these internet like terms. A few years ago I wouldn't have had a clue what any of that meant.
My 'British English' firefox extension tells me that 'unfriend' is not yet a word, so I am safe for now aren't I? I better check my followers count on twitter, friend list on facebook and so on and on and on..
The Oxford University Press (USA) - blog http://blog.oup.com/
Word of the year article is here – http://blog.oup.com/2009/11/unfriend/
Oxford English Dictionary - The definitive record of the English language http://www.oed.com/
Only highbrow stuff found on this site, no 'unfriend' nonsense.... Like the Dog's Bollocks.