The word of the year is…

by Skyler Samuelson, Writing Fellow ’17



Thank you, Monica. My words of disbelief can’t really get on this word’s level. Because it isn’t a word. I decided, therefore, to use a gif. (How do you pronounce gif anyway? Does it matter? Clearly words don’t need to be pronounced anyway anymore!)

The community of those who still communicate in full sentences (punctuation, capitalization, and all!) has erupted at the announcement that Oxford Dictionaries’ word of the year is, in fact, not a word. The emoji named “Face with Tears of Joy” has instead been “chosen as the ‘word’ that best reflected the ethos, mood, and preoccupations of 2015.”

Oxford Dictionaries’ specious justification is that 2015 saw emoji use increase. Why wasn’t the word of the year the word emoji, you might ask? I haven’t the foggiest. I don’t even want to get into the choice of emoji. How does the face that’s laughing so hard it cries sum up the ethos of a world confronting hate crimes, nuclear deals, annexations, and refugee crises? Words that made the shortlist were: sharing economy, on fleek, Brexil, Dark Web, lumbersexual, they, refugee, ad blocker.

See definitions of these words and a funny(ish) video by Oxford Dictionaries about what communication would look like if we communicated in real life using emojis:

To sum up, here’s light reading for your afternoon:

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

Darcy: 😍

Elizabeth: 😂

Darcy: 😩

Elizabeth: 😳

Darcy: 💍

Elizabeth: 😍

Darcy & Elizabeth: 💏


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