Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2015 is… An Emoji?!?!?!?

Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2015 is… An Emoji?!?!?!?

In another sign of the impending apocalypse, for the first time ever, the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year is a pictograph: ?, officially called the ‘Face with Tears of Joy’ emoji. That’s right, the word of the year is a freaking emoji!

Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2015 is… An Emoji?!?!?!?

Oxford Dictionaries Blog:

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 selection of the emoji as “Word of the Year” is mostly due to a partnership of Oxford University Press and third-party iOS and Android keyboard app developer SwiftKey. The duo partnered 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% of all the emojis used in the UK in 2015, and 17% of those in the US: a sharp rise from 4% and 9% respectively in 2014.

The duo report that the word emoji itself has seen a similar jump in usage rates, as usage more than tripled in 2015 over the previous year according to data from the Oxford Dictionaries Corpus.

Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2015 is… An Emoji?!?!?!?

As seen above, a number of words made the shortlist for the honor:

ad blocker, noun: A piece of software designed to prevent advertisements from appearing on a web page.

Brexit, noun: A term for the potential or hypothetical departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union, from British + exit.

Dark Web, noun: The part of the World Wide Web that is only accessible by means of special software, allowing users and website operators to remain anonymous or untraceable.

on fleek, adjectival phrase: Extremely good, attractive, or stylish.

lumbersexual, noun: A young urban man who cultivates an appearance and style of dress (typified by a beard and check shirt) suggestive of a rugged outdoor lifestyle.

refugee, noun: A person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster.

sharing economy, noun: An economic system in which assets or services are shared between private individuals, either for free or for a fee, typically by means of the Internet.

they (singular), pronoun: Used to refer to a person of unspecified sex.

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