‘Unfriend’ is dictionary’s word of the year


18 Nov 2009

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“Unfriend”, the term used to describe a Facebook member removing a friend from their friends list, or being removed from a friends list, has been chosen as word of the year by editors at the New Oxford American dictionary.

The word, according to a senior lexicographer, has "lex appeal", but others disagree to it being the word of 2009. Members of micro-blogging site Twitter, for example, posted their opinions.

"I tend to go with ‘defriend’, but I’ll accept the OED’s verdict," one user tweeted.

"’Unfriend?’ That’s their new word? It’s DE-friend. Defriend…," another tweeted.

Other picks for the dictionary’s word of the year included "sexting," "hashtag," "intexticated," "netbook", "paywall", "funemployed" and "green state."

Facebook is the most popular social-networking site in the world, which may explain why the dictionary tapped it for its top word. MySpace was the world’s most popular social-networking site until June 2008, when Facebook took over the top spot.

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