The 2015 Word Of The Year Isn't Even A Word, But It May Make You Laugh

by Stacey Leasca

Each year, Oxford Dictionaries picks a new word meant to represent where we are as a human race for the year.

For 2015, Oxford Dictionaries has declared one particular pictograph, otherwise known as an emoji, as its "word" of the year: the "tears of joy" emoji.

In a statement, Oxford Dictionaries says,

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.

The emoji beat out other choices such as "on fleek," "refugee," "dark web" and "lumbersexual."

Oxford Dictionaries says it chose this particular emoji as its word of the year for its increased use. In the statement, it adds,

This year Oxford University Press have partnered with leading mobile technology business SwiftKey to explore frequency and usage statistics for some of the most popular emoji across the world, and 😂 was chosen because it was the most used emoji globally in 2015. SwiftKey identified that 😂 made up 20 percent of all the emojis used in the UK in 2015, and 17 percent of those in the US: a sharp rise from 4 percent and 9 percent respectively in 2014.

Think this was the right choice, or should the dictionary have chosen a more traditional word?

Citations: Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2015 is… (Oxford Dictionaries)