Guess which emoji we used the most in 2015?

By Lindsay de Freitas
29 December 2015

Oxford Dictionaries recently released its findings on the word we most used in 2015. The funny thing is that the word of the year isn't a word at all – it's an emoji!

For the first time ever the Oxford Dictionaries' word of the year isn't a word at all, but an emoji – the ‘face with tears of joy’ emoji to be precise. Although their decision sparked an intense online debate on how a pictograph could be crowned ‘word of the year’ – Oxford Dictionaries stuck to their guns.

According to them the definition of a pictograph is, "a pictorial symbol for a word or phrase,” – making an emoji eligible for the top honours. Winners of years gone by have included, "podcast" (2005), "carbon footprint" (2007), "unfriend" (2009), "selfie" (2013), and "vape" (2014).

According to the President of Oxford Dictionaries, Casper Grathwohl, "You can see how traditional alphabet scripts have been struggling to meet the rapid-fire, visually focused demands of 21st-century communication. It’s not surprising that a pictographic script like emoji has stepped in to fill those gaps - it’s flexible, immediate, and infuses tone beautifully."

While this particular emoji took the top spot for 2015 Oxford Dictionaries also released its ‘word of the year’ shortlist which ranged from politically-charged buzzwords like ‘refugee’ to social media catch-phrases like ‘on fleek’ and tech-words like ‘ad blocker’ and ‘dark web’.

The very popular ‘face with tears of joy’ emoji also came out tops on social media site Twitter followed by the ‘smiling face with heart-shaped eyes’ emoji and ‘crying loudly face’ emoji. According to a study by mobile technology company Swiftkey, the expressive pictograph made up 17 percent of all emojis used in the US and 20 percent of emojis in the UK in 2015.


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