Selfie, big data and # make the 2014 dictionary

#GottaLoveASelfie! Tech shows its influence by making its mark with Merriam-Webster's

Of the 150 new words added to this year's Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, hashtag, big data and selfie made the list.

The additions reflect the growing influence technology -- and specifically, social networking -- are having on American culture, according to the dictionary's editors.

"So many of these new words show the impact of online connectivity to our lives and livelihoods," said Peter Sokolowski, editor at large for Merriam-Webster, in a statement. "Tweep, selfie, and hashtag refer to the ways we communicate and share as individuals. Words like crowdfunding, gamification, and big data show that the Internet has changed business in profound ways."

Some of the words added to this year's print and online dictionary include big data, hashtag social networking and selfie. That last one has been gaining a lot of popularity with everyone from teens to celebrities and even actors at the Oscars getting in on it.

Late last year, "selfie" was chosen as the International Word of the Year by the Oxford Dictionaries.

Actually, a study conducted by editors at Oxford Dictionaries showed that the frequency of the word "selfie" in the English language had increased 17,000% since the same time in 2012.

The phrase cat fish also got picked up. The term, which gained usage when a television series of the same name was aired, refers to someone who sets up a phony online persona, particularly on a social network, to deceive someone else.

Last year, tweeting had become so popular that the Oxford English Dictionary broke one of its own rules to add 'tweet' to its word collection.

The addition stands out because it breaks an Oxford English Dictionary rule that a word needs to be in use for 10 years to be considered for inclusion. Since the Twitter social network just turned seven in March, the word aficionados broke their own rule by three years.

The word was given special consideration because it so quickly became widely-used in the English language.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at  @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her email address is

See more by Sharon Gaudin on

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

Bing’s AI chatbot came to work for me. I had to fire it.
Shop Tech Products at Amazon