Oxford Dictionaries announces an emoji as 2015’s Word of the Year

The ‘face with tears of joy’ emoji—the most popular symbol used throughout the world—was chosen as the winner, but many argued that it isn’t a word.

Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2015 is… 😂! https://t.co/LjJyxO8cvv #OxfordWOTY pic.twitter.com/Ced28y3I6F

— Oxford Dictionaries (@OxfordWords) November 16, 2015

At first glance, my reaction was that they should consult their own product to get the definition of “word.” So, I did.

Turns out, the definition “word” is fairly broad. Here’s the first of a few definitions:

A single distinct meaningful element of speech or writing, used with others (or sometimes alone) to form a sentence and typically shown with a space on either side when written or printed.

Does the “face with tears of joy” emoji fit any of these criteria? You can certainly argue that it does. Nothing says the word has to be comprised of letters.

To read the full story, log in.
Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content.
Sign up today

Already a member? Log in here.
Learn more about Ragan Insider.