For the record: a selfie is a photograph of a person taken either by that person, or at that person’s request.
— Kevin Roose (@kevinroose) March 29, 2016
Because no one has anything better to do anymore, there’s a rather spirited debate centering around this deeply misguided man’s attempt to claim that a word somehow means both its stated definition and something that is clearly at odds with that definition. And while I can see an argument being made that this entire discussion should be given a UNESCO designation of Utter Uselessness under the International Who Gives A Shit Conventions of 2004 — “selfie” being an appallingly idiotic formation and yet another example of the total teen-girlization of standard English that the Internet has been so guilty in abetting — it says here that no matter how doltish a word is, how vomitously cutesy-wootsy it might sound to the ears of anyone who finds the continuing degradation of the language of Shakespeare to be a profound source of regret and even rage, you cannot change what that word connotes simply out of sheer laziness. A simile is not a metaphor. A board that does not hover is not a hoverboard, unless you are aggressively stupid or deliberately indifferent to the concept of meaning. For whatever horrible reason a bunch of people who almost certainly should have known better chose to start referring to this century’s most visible symbol of shameless narcissism as a “selfie,” and as offensive as it may be to those of us who find ourselves stricken by even typing the word, that is what it shall remain: a picture you take of yourself in hopes that other people will see it and want to be you or fuck you. It can mean no other thing. Here endeth the lesson.