Someone should probably tell the folks at Oxford to re-check the definition of “word.”
That’s because the dictionary’s pick for 2015’s Word of the Year isn’t actually a word at all. In fact, it doesn’t even contain any letters. We’re struggling to figure out how they could miss the mark by so much, because the winner is actually a picture. Or an emoji, to be exact.
That’s right, “Face with tears of joy” was somehow selected as this year’s Word of the Year. Even though it won’t be added to the dictionary. Right. We would sooner understand “emoji” being chosen, but we’ll let Oxford explain its choice.
“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,” staff wrote in a blog post. “😂 was chosen because it was the most used emoji globally in 2015.”
True, the emoji did account for 20 per cent of all emojis used in the U.K. in 2015, and 17 per cent in the U.S. But the selection reeks of a desperate attempt to stay relevant, and the writers even start to sound like our dads after a while.
“Emojis are no longer the preserve of texting teens – instead, they have been embraced as a nuanced form of expression, and one which can cross language barriers.”
Other words that made the shortlist include “they” (a term used to refer to someone of unspecified sex), “on fleek” (extremely good, attractive, or stylish) and “lumbersexual” (a term for a young man who cultivates an appearance and style of dress suggestive of a rugged, outdoor lifestyle).
There must be a word for how we’re feeling right now…
Oh, right: 😡