For initial time ever, an emoji is crowned Oxford Dictionaries’ Word of a Year

November 17, 2015 - Picnic Time

These Hawaii fans reason their emoji impression masks in jubilee of Halloween before a start of an NCAA college football diversion in October. (Eugene TannerAP)

A design is value a thousand words, as a aged observant goes. But in today’s fast-paced world, there is reduction calm for an entire, fully-developed image. Facebook, Twitter, your smartphone et al. direct something pithier.

Something not many bigger in distance than a minute of a alphabet, though flushed with distant some-more meaning.

Something that transcends denunciation — emotion, even — as we know it.

In 1999, Japanese mobile engineer Shigetaka Kurita gave a universe a present it continues to reap in small, easily-digestible packages. He is, in short, the father of a emoji.

Kurita designed a very initial emoji for cellphones, a package of 180 opposite pixelated symbols, in only one month. Since then, emoji use has risen steadily, apropos a bedrock of content conversations and, some-more generally, of many online interfaces. Nowadays, it’s formidable to suppose a scintillating digital sell that lacks a “heart” or innuendo-laden “eggplant.”

Oxford Dictionaries has famous a successful and formidable duty of emoji by giving one of a black a top honor. For a initial time in Oxford’s history, a Word of a Year is a pictograph.


Officially, 2015’s linguistic champion is famous as a “Face with Tears of Joy” emoji. Oxford Dictionaries announced in a statement Monday: “There were other clever contenders from a operation of fields…but [Face with Tears of Joy] was selected as a ‘word’ that best reflected a ethos, mood and preoccupations of 2015.”

Oxford remarkable that 2015 has seen a large boost in a use of a word “emoji,” and statistics on magnitude and use from mobile record business SwiftKey found that Face with Tears of Joy was a many renouned emoji opposite a world.

According to SwiftKey, Face with Tears of Joy comprised 17 percent of a emoji used in a U.S. in 2015 and 20 percent of those in a U.K. — a poignant arise from 9 percent and 4 percent, respectively, final year. Oxford information also found that use of a word “emoji” some-more than tripled in 2015 compared to 2014.

“Emojis are no longer a safety of texting teens,” a matter said. “Instead, they have been embraced as a nuanced form of expression, and one that can cranky denunciation barriers.”

Indeed, your choice of emoji can pronounce volumes about the nation we come from and a denunciation we speak, not to discuss your emotional state.

But even emoji aren’t defence from misunderstandings. As The Post’s Fred Barbash noted, a innumerable interpretations that people have tacked onto emoji have prolonged strayed from their strange dictated meanings — many of that were tied to Japanese informative cues.

“Are we indeed regulating emoji wrong?” he asks. “Or is it that there is no right or wrong when it comes to emoji since it’s all in a context and a culture?”

Among a difference that done Oxford’s brief list for Word of a Year were “on fleek” (meaning: Extremely good, appealing or stylish), “lumbersexual” (meaning: A immature civic male who cultivates an coming and character of dress — typified by a brave and check shirt — revealing of a imperishable outside lifestyle) and “Brexit” (meaning: A tenure for a intensity or suppositious depart of a United Kingdom from a European Union, from British + exit).

Another contender was “refugee”: “A chairman who has been forced to leave their nation in sequence to shun war, harm or healthy disaster.”

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