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Oxford Dictionaries Selects an Emoji as Word of the Year

“Face With Tears Of Joy”

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For the first time ever, the Oxford Dictionaries word of the year is not actually a word—it’s an emoji. The “face with tears of joy” was the most frequently used emoji this year, and Oxford Dictionaries writes in a blog post that it was chosen as “the ‘word’ that best reflected the ethos, mood, and preoccupations of 2015.” The emoji depicting a face crying from laughter made up one in five of all of the emojis used in the U.K. this year, compared with one in 25 last year, according to Oxford. American texters fell behind only slightly, with face with tears of joy accounting for 17% of all emojis used, compared with 9% in 2014. “Although emoji have been a staple of texting teens for some time, emoji culture exploded into the global mainstream over the past year,” the company’s team wrote in a press release. “Emoji are becoming an increasingly rich form of communication, one that transcends linguistic borders,” he said in a statement. And their choice for the word of the year, he added, embodies the “playfulness and intimacy” that characterizes emoji-using culture.

 

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