This year, Oxford Dictionaries announced that their ‘Word of the Year’ for 2015 is not a word, it’s an emoji. The ‘Face with Tears of Joy’ emoji (pictured above), to be exact.
“? was chosen as the ‘word’ that best reflected the ethos, mood, and preoccupations of 2015.”
First off, I think that’s playing kind of fast and loose with the word ‘word’. However, I actually think the choice reflects an interesting change in the way we communicate. I consider myself a linguist, an academic and grammar nerd, but I don’t object to the prevalence of emojis. In fact, I relish it. I think it might have the potential to build a more emotionally intelligent society, since communication through images of faces relies more consideration of how an emotion manifests itself on someone’s face. This is just a hunch; I have yet to find any scientific research to back up this idea.
Additionally, the emoji is universal; speakers of any language can communicate with emojis. Perhaps it’s the future for international communication. Is emoji the new lingua franca?
Anyway, the shortlist for ‘Word of the Year’ was interesting and diverse, but the emoji came out victorious.
Anyway, whether you like it or not, Oxford Dictionaries has made the decision, and I for one am embracing it.
However, was ? really the right choice?
The new iPhone emojis are finally out, and there are so many more exciting ones to choose from.
Because it’s my favourite emoji that I never use. When would you ever use this? To express disbelief? To accompany a fantasy?
Face With Rolling Eyes
Because I roll my eyes a lot, and this is proving a very useful and effective tool for convey my attitude to almost everything.
Dove of Peace
Because the world really needs this right now. Also, if I ever work for the UN, I plan to use this emoji on every important document. That’s probably one of the reason’s they’ll never let me work for the UN.
Because YUM! Also, handy to be able to ask for a burrito without having to google whether it’s spelled with one ‘r’ or two.
Because writing ‘you complete me’ is cheesy. Also, because yin yangs are cool.
Because I’m cheeky, and it’s perfect when I write something and I want the recipient to know that I know I’m being cheeky. Also, because it’s cute.
Pile of Poo
Because, well, I don’t know.
It’s an oldie and a goodie.
Because the world needs it.