This week the Oxford Dictionaries official 'word of the year' was revealed as 'selfies' - or to give their precise definition:

[FONT=Courier New]Pronunciation: [URL="http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/words/key-to-pronunciation"] /ˈsɛlfi/[/URL]
(also selfy)

noun (plural [B]selfies[/B])
[I] informal[/I]
[/FONT][INDENT][FONT=Courier New] a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website:
[/FONT][/INDENT][INDENT][INDENT] [FONT=Courier New][I]occasional selfies are acceptable, but posting a new picture of yourself every day isnt necessary[/I]
[/FONT][/INDENT][/INDENT][FONT=Courier New]
[B]Origin:[/B]

early 21st century: from SELF + -IE"

[/FONT]One of the reasons that the Oxford Dictionaries editors declare a 'word of the year' is for the chosen word to be new and to have entered into widespread use. It actually took a while for the word 'selfie' to take off in 2012 after having first been coined by a forum poster in Australia who photographed his swollen lip to display to the world in 2002, describing the photo as a 'selfie'.

They may not have been called selfies back then but I have been taking selfies for decades and well before the idea of a mobile phone having a camera in it was even believable, let alone thought of as being routine!

So here's a few personal examples, in chronological order:

[URL="http://dpnow.com/galleries/showphoto.php/photo/30771"][IMG]http://dpnow.com/galleries/data/547/Image03.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

Me in my chubbier days back in 1998 with Lizzie (then not quite 2) just before her younger sister, Lara, was born. I used a 1.2 megapixel (interpolated!) Agfa ePhoto 1280 digital camera and this was ideal for selfies as it had no optical viewfinder and instead it had a live view screen on that could be twisted so it faced the same way as the lens.

I used the same camera at the birth of Lara a few days later:

[URL="http://dpnow.com/galleries/showphoto.php/photo/30772"][IMG]http://dpnow.com/galleries/data/547/Image08.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

Of course the smiling was easy for me and a big effort for poor Julia and Lara of course slept through it all!

[URL="http://dpnow.com/galleries/showphoto.php/photo/30776"][IMG]http://dpnow.com/galleries/data/547/IMAG0039-2.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

Fast forward to 2010 and Julia received her Maths degree at Ely Cathedral and her proud family recorded their presence with - a selfie. This time I used a HTC Desire smartphone although the composition was all guesswork as there is no front facing camera on this handset.

[URL="http://dpnow.com/galleries/showphoto.php/photo/30775"][IMG]http://dpnow.com/galleries/data/547/20120502_182247.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

Taken in May last year, this time with my then-new Samsing Galaxy Note 'phablet' Android smartphone and with a front-facing camera.

[URL="http://dpnow.com/galleries/showphoto.php/photo/30773"][IMG]http://dpnow.com/galleries/data/547/selfie1.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

This was taken just a couple of months ago and yes, I was using a smartphone (the same Galaxy Note as the previous shot) but not to record the photo. Instead it's acting as the viewfinder of an Olympus Pen E-P5, linked via wifi, to the smartphone. The photo is triggered on the smartphone (at which I am staring) but the Olympus camera is actually the camera taking the shot - which Lara knew very well!

[URL="http://dpnow.com/galleries/showphoto.php/photo/30774"][IMG]http://dpnow.com/galleries/data/547/selfie2.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

At the same event (Julia's parents' 50th wedding anniversary) Julia's mum, Rosemary, becomes another subject of a selfie.

So there you go, the selfie is both new and old!

Have you taken any interesting selfies? Feel free to post them here :)