Oxford Dictionaries just selected its word of the year for 2015 and it is the ‘face with tears of joy’ emoji. Yes, for the first time in history, the authority on the English language is selecting an emoji as its word of the year.
The selection is the culmination of a partnership between Oxford University Press, the publisher of all Oxford dictionaries, with third-party software keyboard maker SwiftKey. The partnership worked to explore the usage statistics for emojis around the world.
They determined that the ‘face with tears of joy’ emoji, also known as ‘face with tears of joy,’ was by far the most often-used emoji around the world in 2015.
The choice emphasizes how important the emoji has become to modern language and communication. The rise of text-centric communication apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger have made emojis a necessary solution for expressing emotion as clearly as possible.
The choice, Oxford Dictionary says is meant to “reflect the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of that particular year and to have lasting potential as a word of cultural significance.”