Actually an emoji.
? ? ? ?
For the first time ever, the powers that be at Oxford Dictionaries have decided that the word of the year should be an emoji. The ‘face with tears of joy’ emoji to be exact. Yes, this one here ? (Previous years’ winners include ‘vape’ and ‘selfie,’ so some might say this was inevitable, really).
They explained, ‘There were other strong contenders from a range of fields, but ? was chosen as the ‘word’ that best reflected the ethos, mood, and preoccupations of 2015.’
Oxford University Press teamed up with mobile tech company SwiftKey and found out that the crying-laughing face emoji was the most used emoji globally in 2015. It accounted for 20 per cent of all the emojis used in the UK alone, compared to just 4 per cent last year.
The ? emoji beat some stiff competition to become word of the year, with the shortlist including the likes of ‘on fleek’ and ‘lumbersexual.’
Here’s the shortlist in full:
Ad blocker, noun: A piece of software designed to prevent advertisements from appearing on a web page.
Brexit, noun: A term for the potential or hypothetical departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union, from British + exit.
Dark Web, noun: The part of the World Wide Web that is only accessible by means of special software, allowing users and website operators to remain anonymous or untraceable.
On fleek, adjectival phrase: Extremely good, attractive, or stylish.
Lumbersexual, noun: A young urban man who cultivates an appearance and style of dress (typified by a beard and check shirt) suggestive of a rugged outdoor lifestyle.
Refugee, noun: A person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster.
Sharing economy, noun: An economic system in which assets or services are shared between private individuals, either for free or for a fee, typically by means of the Internet.
They (singular), pronoun: Used to refer to a person of unspecified sex.
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?? ??? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?? ??? ?