April 16 2014

styledotcom New technology aims to make the clothes you see on the street instantly shoppable. Too far?

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Do You “Showroom”?



The Oxford Dictionaries, purveyor of the be-all and end-all reference, the Oxford English Dictionary, has spoken. The 2013 word of the year—though I confess I was rooting for obsessed—is selfie. The word, which at this point probably needs no definition, is, of course, a self-portrait by smartphone, usually intended for social media. But I was as interested in the runners-up list, which includes, among entrants like bitcoin and binge-watch this curious verb:

showrooming, noun: the practice of visiting a shop or shops in order to examine a product before buying it online at a lower price. [ORIGIN early 21st century: from SHOWROOM, "a room used to display goods for sale."]

The word, if not the practice, is new to me. Which makes me wonder: Has the world been labeling its online-comparison shopping all this time under my nose? Style File readers: Do you showroom?

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