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Thursday, 20 March 2014


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If it was in front of a window, maybe the photographer/linguist got himself in the picture after all.

It did make me smile, though it was more at the distinguished linguist acknowledging that a living language trumps him.

He should have been seething at the "I" rather than the correct "me."

I no longer find any of the internet language cute. All this was funny maybe ten-twelve years ago, but now it is just sad.

I think the clue here is 'elderly.' If she is anything like my Mom then just being able to TAKE a picture with her phone is a miracle in and of itself.

Seriously I think it was just the fact that taking a selfie with a cellphone can be a challenge for anyone. So for an elderly person it might not be possible at all and having someone take it for you is more like have a remote camera shutter release that just happens to be human.

Those incoherent art directors will get you all the time. "in front of this window" should have been "with that window in the background"

It would have been a better joke with a distinguished semiotician.

There is also the issue of whether the photographer is always the button pusher. Many arts such as sculpture and cinematography have got past that. So that the creative force in the equation can delegate some of the mechanical tasks and still call the end result theirs. In which case a selfie is still a selfie even if someone else pushes the button as long as the idea and creative direction comes from someone in the frame.

I'm seething at the suggestion of a "candy store" in Peebles, can only assume the writer meant "sweet shop".

How much artistic control would she have had to assume so that the photo would have become a self portrait even though she did not press the button?

Is it a selfie if someone else takes it?

And as a distinguished linguist and a gentleman as well as a gentle man (as stated in the article), he understood that language comes from living humans and not from a book of rules originally based on Latin grammar warped into quasi fitting English. Fortunately, she did not make that request on the Internut, or she'd a been eaten alive.

What if the lady in question thought a selfie was a "cell-fie", as in a photo taken with a cell phone?

Seems a possibility considering she was American.

Unfortunately one of the accomplishments of generations of English teachers is to train so many people to use "I" instead of "me" as paired objects, even though they know better in the singular. A little fear goes a long way.

But I like the idea of "take my selfie." Reminds me of a Tim Fite song...

The current magazine section of the german weekly newspaper "Die Zeit" has a small note on "Shelfies", defined as photos people take of their bookshelves. We TOP readers have more shelfies than selfies - don‘t we?

Reminds me of an old joke

Q: When is a photobooth picture not a self portrait?

A: When Andy (Warhol) puts the quarter in.

The linguist had no reason to seethe, at least not for the use of the word "selfie". The woman after all simply took a picture of herself. She just didn't push the button.

The word “song” has been similarly redefined. I blame MP3 players and their calling of any single track of music a “song” for driving in the final nail of that coffin.

Linguists study language as it is. Grammarians whack you in the chops with a ruler if you don't speak as they wish. This is my friends and I's understanding anyway.

Cellphie is my new favorite egg-corn.

A clear distinction needs to be made.
A "Selfie" is pretty clearly a photo of ones self taken by ones self, very typically with one's cellphone. A photo of anything other than one's self taken with the same device is not a "Selfie".
What the kindly linguist was asked to do, and did, was to take, I suggest, a "Posey".
While on the surface this sounds like taking a posed photo, quick reference to a good dictionary reveals that spelled like this - Posy - the word refers to a small bouquet of flowers. Or, a group assembled to please.
Spelled this way -Posey - the reference is to an attempt with another intention altogether.
"Posey" means "affected and attempting to impress others".
Come to think of it, that definition would also fit many "Selfies".
But, I think that "Posy" or "Posey" would make an apt category up alongside "Selfie" as the next new photographic buzzword.

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