A picture has won Word of the Year because nothing means anything any more.
Oxford Dictionaries has crowned the ‘tears of joy’ emoji 2015’s Word of the Year, claiming it to be the ‘word’ that “best reflected the ethos, mood, and preoccupations of 2015.”
Following last year’s winner ‘Vape’, the ‘pictograph’ beat other contenders including ‘on fleek’, ‘dark web’, and ‘lumbersexual’.
We can only be glad that a picture won over lumbersexual, but the decision has provoked a rather nonplussed response on social media.
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Oxford Dictionaries points out in its blog post that 2015 saw emoji use, and use of the word 'emoji', “increase hugely”.
It was the tears of joy emoji which, according to a study carried out by Swiftkey and the Oxford University Press, was the most used in the world this year.
Instead of therefore naming ‘emoji’ the winner and giving the Word of the Year award to, you know, a word, the tearful visage was crowned king.
Previously, we have seen such winners as ‘sudoku’ in 2004, ‘simples’ in 2009, and ‘selfie’ in 2013.
You can read the list of previous winners in both the US and the UK here if you want a visual representation of the decline of modern society.
And here’s the full 2015 shortlist:
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