Oxford's Word of the Year Is a Picture

For the first time ever, we can't print Oxford Dictionaries' Word of the Year. And not because it's an expletive.

It's an emoji. Specifically, the "tears of joy" emoji. 

Oxford Dictionaries said Monday that the pictograph — which is what emoji used to be called (and still are by hard-core language nerds) — "best reflected the ethos, mood and preoccupations of 2015."

The annual selection doesn't always mean a word will stand of the test of time. Last year's choice, vape, is still going strong, and selfie, from 2013, is nearly omnipresent today.

But do you even remember squeezed middle from 2011 (an artifact of the Occupy movement)? Or what about hypermiling from 2008 (the hobby of tweaking your car's engine to get extravagant miles-per-gallon readings)?

Oxford University Press said it worked with SwiftKey, which makes a popular predictive-text keyboard for mobile devices, to assess frequency and usage statistics and found that "tears of joy" was the most used emoji around the world so far this year — making up 17 percent of all the emoji used in the United States and 20 percent in Britain.

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