Monthly Archives: November 2013

Selfie, Hashtag Among Top Words And Phrases of 2013



As the year draws to a close, I just want to take this opportunity to say how much I’ve enjoyed our social media course. When I signed up for this course, I thought we would just be learning how to use Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks more efficiently. I never imagined learning all the ways to communicate internally or the eight ways to enhance a social media plan. I also enjoyed reading everyone’s blogs this semester. It was wonderful to share our interests and ideas with one another.

Since this is my last blog post for the semester, I thought it would be fun to share with you the top words and phrases of 2013. I recently read that Oxford declared its word of the year is “selfie ” – that’s right, selfie. According to, the word was first used in an Australian chatroom in 2002 to describe an undignified scene. At first I was in disbelief that this is the word that defines our entire year. But at the same time, it’s interesting to think about how social media is so influential that a word like “selfie” or “hashtag” becomes part of our every day terminology. As much as “selfie” was used, it is not the only word to make the top words of this year. Here is Global Language Monitor’s  Top 10 Words, Phrases, and Names of 2013:

Top words:
1. 404
2. Fail
3. Hashtag
4. @Pontifex
5. The optic
6. Surveillance
7. Drones
8. Deficit
9. Sequestration
10. Emancipate

Top phrases:
1. Toxic politics
2. Federal shutdown
3. Global warming/climate change
4. Federal deficit
5. Tread lightly
6. Boston Strong
7. Marathon bombing
8. Chemical weapons
9. All time high
10. Rogue nukes

Top names:
1. Pope Francis
2. ObamaCare
3. NSA
4. Ed Snowden
5. Kate Middleton
6. IRS
7. Ted Cruz
8. Chris Christie
9. Tea Party
10. Marathon bombers


Hallmark Controversy: Removing The Word “Gay” From Christmas Carol


Hallmark, a world-renown greeting card company, released a new 2013 Keepsake ornament. The ornament is a Christmas sweater with an altered version of the lyrics to the Christmas carol, “Deck the Halls,” printed across it. Instead of the words, “Don we now our gay apparel,” the ornament reads, “Don we now our fun apparel.” I must admit, I shook my head when I first learned about this. 



A Hallmark Christmas ornament featuring a sweater with the words ”Don we now our fun apparel” is seen in an undated handout picture from Hallmark.



Hallmark’s spokeswoman Kristin Ernestine told The Huffington Post, “When the lyrics to ‘Deck the Halls’ were translated from Gaelic and published in English back in the 1800s, the word ‘gay’ meant festive or merry. Today it has multiple meanings … the trend of wearing festively decorated Christmas sweaters to parties is all about fun, and this ornament is intended to play into that, so the planning team decided to say what we meant: ‘fun.’ That’s the spirit we intended and the spirit in which we hope ornament buyers will take it.” 

Despite this, the change in lyrics offended many people. In a world where everything needs to be politically correct, I think we sometimes get carried away. In this case, the company drew attention to itself by changing the word from “gay” to “fun.” When the song was written, the word “gay” did mean festive or merry or happy. No one was offended by that word in the song and was, honestly, unnecessary. If Hallmark was so worried about creating a controversy, it could have just picked a different song. There are plenty of Christmas songs it could have chosen that are less controversial: “Jingle Bells,” “Winter Wonderland,” “Let It Snow,” “Feliz Navidad.” 

What do you think? Was the change necessary? Do we sometimes get carried away when trying not to offend people? For the full article, click here