Why You’re An Infovore (Even Though You Don’t Know What One Is)

The Macquarie Dictionary has released its Word of the Year for 2013. And the winner is… ‘Infovore’. We’re willing to bet that most of you have never seen or heard this phrase before. However, it’s actually something that adequately describes our readers.

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Each year, the Macquarie Dictionary tasks a committee of academics and wordsmiths with choosing the best new words of the year. Previous winners and finalists have included ‘muffin top’, ‘bromance’, ‘crowdfunding’, ‘toxic debt’ and ‘pod slurping’ (don’t ask). This year, the committee chose to crown ‘infovore’ as its word of the year. The Macquarie definition can be found directly below:

infovore: noun a person who craves information, especially one who takes advantage of their ready access to it on digital devices.

“The Committee thought that the coinage infovore was a response to the perception that we now had access to information all the time,” the organisation explain on its website.

“The smartphone made it possible to find out immediately what we wanted to know. For some people knowing that whatever questions life threw at us the answer was a click or two away was a liberating experience. Indeed they were in danger of becoming addicted to this rush of instant information. This was a word that reflected a significant change in how we conducted our lives. It was also a neat coinage.”

So there you have it. Macquarie Dictionary’s 2013 Word of the Year essentially describes a voracious consumer of information. If you’re a Lifehacker reader you’re probably an infovore.

Honorable mentions included ‘firescape’ (to landscape an area with the possibility of bushfire in mind), ‘cli-fi’ (a genre of speculative fiction based on the premise that climate change will give rise to fundamental changes in the way human beings live) and the People’s Choice winner ‘onesie’ (a loose-fitting one-piece suit, usually of a stretch fabric, gathered at the wrists and ankles and loose at the crotch).

You can read more about the reasoning behind each word choice at the Macquarie Dictionary website.

We feel it’s worth noting that ‘vore’ is also a slang word for a sexual fetish involving the oral consumption of living creatures and/or sentient objects. In other words, you might want to refrain from calling yourself an ‘infovore’ in case people think you get off on eating dictionaries.

Macquarie Dictionary Word of the Year [Macquarie Dictionary]

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