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Tears-of-Joy Emoji Is Word of the Year

NOVEMBER 30, 2015

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Tears-of-Joy Emoji Is Word of the Year

tears-of-joy-emoji- that’s right – for the first time, the Oxford Dictionary's Word of the Year is a pictograph, officially called the ‘Face with Tears of Joy’ emoji, though you may know it by other names. There were other strong contenders was chosen as the ‘word’ that best reflected the ethos, mood, and preoccupations of 2015.


Language is a wonderful, evolving beast and we're all just puppets bending to its many whims. Dictionaries aren't safe from a linguistic and so maybe that's why Oxford Dictionaries has chosen an emoji as its 2015 word of the year. It's the crying-from-laughter / crying-from-happiness emoji — officially known as the Face with Tears of Joy emoji. The ToJ's rise has been a quick one: in 2014, it made up just 4 percent of all emoji used in the UK, and this year that number rose to 20 percent.

Emojis have been around since the late 1990s, but 2015 saw their use, and use of the word emoji, increase hugely. This year Oxford University Press have partnered with leading mobile technology business SwiftKey to explore frequency and usage statistics for the most popular emoji across the world, and was chosen because it was the most used emoji globally in 2015. The word emoji has seen a similar surge: although it has been found in English since 1997, usage more than tripled in 2015 over the previous year according to data from the Oxford Dictionaries Corpus.

A brief history of emoji

An emoji is ‘a small digital image or icon used to express an idea or emotion in electronic communication’; the term emoji is a Japanese word and comes from e ‘picture’ + moji ‘letter, character’. The similarity to the English word emoticon has helped its memorability and use, though the resemblance is coincidental: emoticon (a facial expression composed of keyboard characters, such as ;), rather than a stylized image) comes from the English words emotion and icon. Emojis have been embraced as a nuanced form of expression, and one which can cross language barriers.


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