On November, 16, 2015, the Oxford Dictionary Press announced the word of the year, and you'll never guess what it is. Every year, the Oxford Dictionary picks a list of words that they think could be the best of the year, and they pick the word that they feel captures who we are as a people this year. There was a list of about eight to ten words to that the staff choose from and [drumroll] the winner is:
The "Face with tears" emoji!
According to the company Swiftkey and the Oxford Online Dictionaries, this is the most used emoji in the United States and in England. The follow-up emoji in the United States is:
The "Face Throwing a Kiss" emoji.
While the 'face with tears' emoji isn't technically a word, emojis in general aren't technically words, it was still chosen for the Oxford Dictionary Press's word of the year. Emojis, however, have become a part of our language even if people don't say them out loud. Our language has evolved online from using acronyms like tbh, lmao (which personally, I still use) to using images to describe how we feel whether it would be a dash of affection or showing that someone enjoyed a good joke, or is pretending to enjoy a joke. Of course, these emojis have their ironic uses that are sometimes a little hard to discern, but nevertheless, they've become a part of our language.
Some other words that made the short list (and made me laugh) for word of the year were:
Ad blocker: A piece of software designed to prevent advertisements from appearing on a web page.
Brexit: A term for the potential or hypothetical departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union.
Dark Web: The part of the World Wide Web that is only accessible by special software, allowing users and website operators to remain anonymous or untraceable.
Lumbersexual: A young urban man who cultivates an appearance and style of dress (typified by a beard and checked shirt) suggestive of a rugged outdoor lifestyle.
On fleek: extremely good, attractive, or stylish.
Refugee: A person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster.
Sharing economy: An economic system in which assets or services are shared between private individuals, either free or for a fee, typically by means of the Internet.
They (singular): Used to refer to a person of unspecified gender.
(All definitions taken from Oxford English Dictionary.)
English is constantly evolving to include new words or symbols and the Oxford English Dictionary Press understands that. This marks an amazing time in our history where we have an evolution of language includes not only words, but images, which can serve to help express ourselves in new and creative ways.