The "Word" of the Year is an Emoji

Christine Rousselle
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Posted: Nov 17, 2015 2:45 PM
The "Word" of the Year is an Emoji

What a time to be alive.

This year, the Oxford English Dictionary has bucked tradition and named the "Face With Tears of Joy" emoji as its "word" of the year. Yes, a pictograph/smiley face variant now apparently qualifies as a word.

That’s right – for the first time ever, the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year is 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.

Other words considered for the 2015 Word of the Year were "lumbersexual," "they" (as referring to a person of unspecified gender), and "on fleek."

It was also noted that had "notable use" among celebrities and brands (and, ahem, yours truly), and was featured in the Vine that started the "on fleek" meme.

Last year's Oxford English Dictionary Word of the Year was "vape," in reference to e-cigarettes. While this may seem foolish, at least it was, you know, an actual word with letters.

It's nice to know that the cyclical transition back to using hieroglyphs and pictographs in lieu of writing is nearly complete. What this means for us as a society, I'm not quite sure, but it can't possibly be a good thing.