11.16.2015 7:06 PM

Culture

The Word of the Year for 2015 Is an Emoji 

Specifically, it's the "face with tears of joy" emoji.

Emoji

Much like Word of the Year “vape” before it, the “face with tears of joy” emoji (😂) has been selected as the supreme utterance of 2015 by Oxford Dictionaries. Suck it, actual words.

Once a year Oxford Dictionaries selects a word or expression to reflect the language of the times and announced today that they selected the pictograph to reflect the vast popularity of emojis. These images are officially mainstream.

“You can see how traditional alphabet scripts have been struggling to meet the rapid-fire, visually focused demands of 21st century communication,” says Oxford Dictionaries President Casper Grathwohl about the distinction. “As a result emoji are becoming an increasingly rich form of communication, one that transcends linguistic borders.

“When Andy Murray tweeted out his wedding itinerary entirely in emoji, for example, he shared a subtle mix of his feelings about the day directly with fans around the world.”

“Emoji culture has become so popular that individual characters have developed their own trends and stories,” says Grathwohl. “They can serve as insightful windows through which to view our cultural preoccupations, so it seemed appropriate to reflect this emoji obsession by selecting one as this year’s ‘word’ of the year.”

So how did Oxford Dictionaries pick that specific emoji? The company partnered with “leading mobile technology business SwiftKey to explore frequency and usage statistics for some of the most popular emoji across the world.”

According to research by Oxford Dictionaries and SwiftKey, the “face with tears of joy” emoji was globally the most-used emoji of 2015. In the United States, the emoji comprised of 17 percent of all emoji use (“face throwing a kiss,” as seen above, came in second with 9 percent). Twenty percent of UK citizens used the tears of joy emoji in 2015.

This news might come as a shock because the “see-no-evil-monkey”…

…And the “hand getting its nails painted” emoji are vastly superior.

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