So long language! An emoji is named "Word of the Year"

Published on 17 November 2015


Oxford Dictionaries announced its ‘Word of the Year’ on Monday. But this year, it’s not a word. 


The crying-from-laughter emoji has been named Oxford Dictionaries “Word of the Year”. It should be noted at this time that the official name for this emoji is the Face with Tears of Joy emoji. According to SwiftKey, who informed Oxford Dictionaries that Tears of Joy was indeed the world’s most popular emoji, Tears of Joy makes up an unbelievable 20% of emoji use worldwide.
It’s not surprising that a pictographic script like emoji has stepped in to fill gaps in language – it’s flexible immediate, and it infuses tone beautifully,” said President of Oxford Dictionaries Casper Gratwohl, adding “emoji are becoming an increasingly rich form of communication, one that transcends linguistic borders.” 

The Oxfordshire word-watchers also explain that: “The word emoji has seen a similar surge: although it has been found in English since 1997, usage more than tripled in 2015 over the previous year according to data from the Oxford Dictionaries Corpus.”

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.” This year, candidates included lumbersexual, on fleek and refugee, but the winner turned out not to be a word at all, at least not in the traditional sense. Instead, Oxford Dictionaries chose an emoji whose verbal description is “face with tears of joy.”