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Oxford dictionary’s word of the year is not a word,it’s an emoji

by SowmyaNovember 17, 2015

Last year it was vape. The year before that, it was selfie. Every year since 2004, Oxford Dictionaries has selected an official word of the year which, according to its Monday press release is “a word or expression chosen to reflect the passing year in language.”

Yes, that’s right Oxford dictonary’s word of the year is not even a word ,a pictograph: officially called the ‘Face with Tears of Joy’ emoji, though you may know it by other names.There were other strong contenders from a range of fields, outlined below, but 😂 was chosen as the ‘word’ that best reflected the ethos, mood, and preoccupations of 2015.

tears-of-joy-emoji

 

Oxford expands on its reasoning as follows:

“Emoji’s are no longer the preserve of texting teens -instead, they have been embraced as nuanced form of expression, and one which can cross language barriers.

Yes, emojis have been around for a while. In fact pictographs were used as earliest forms of writing. Over time communication evolved, and language (written and spoken) developed. Emojis (moji in Japanese means a “character”, or a “letter”, or a “symbol”, in fact Japanese script uses characters itself), in their modern form have entered our lexicon and are used in our day-to-day lives. There’s an emoji to depict every emotion—anger, sadness, happiness, goofiness, excitement, et cetera.

“It’s not surprising that a pictographic script like emoji has stepped in to fill those gaps—it’s flexible, immediate, and infuses tone beautifully. As a result emoji are becoming an increasingly rich form of communication, one that transcends linguistic borders,” he added. “They can serve as insightful windows through which to view our cultural preoccupations, so it seemed appropriate to reflect this emoji obsession by selecting one as this year’s ‘word’ of the year.”

To determine which emoji would be named “word” of the year, Oxford partnered with SwiftKey, the mobile technology company behind the SwiftKey Keyboard app. According to SwiftKey research on emoji usage, the “face with tears of joy” emoji was the most commonly used around the world this year, including in the U.S. and U.K., where Oxford declares an annual word of the year.

Finally they shortlisted  ‘Face with Tears of Joy’ emoji, as the oxford dictonary’s word of the year 2015.

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