Lex Appeal

2009’s Word of the Year

The New Oxford American Dictionary has declared “unfriend,” meaning “to remove someone as a ‘friend’ on a social-networking site such as Facebook,” as the word of the year. “It has both currency and potential longevity,” says Christine Lindberg, senior lexicographer for Oxford’s U.S. dictionary program. “Unfriend has real lex-appeal.” The word is unique because it assumes a verb sense of “friend” that has not been used since the 17th century.