Many people confuse the purpose of a Dictionary, as a final arbiter of what ‘should be or should not be’ a word. In fact, Dictionaries are reporting devices that add or remove words from language based on their usage. In 2015, for the first time ever, the Oxford Dictionary is adding the emoji Face with Tears of Joy in lieu of a text word. The official name of that emoji is the ‘Face with Tears of Joy’ and its usage has grown exponentially in recent years according to Oxford Dictionary.
“This year Oxford University Press have partnered with leading mobile technology business SwiftKey to explore frequency and usage statistics for some of the most popular emoji across the world, and Face with Tears of Joy was chosen because it was the most used emoji globally in 2015. SwiftKey identified that Face with Tears of Joy made up 20% of all the emojis used in the UK in 2015, and 17% of those in the US: a sharp rise from 4% and 9% respectively in 2014. The word emoji has seen a similar surge: although it has been found in English since 1997, usage more than tripled in 2015 over the previous year according to data from the Oxford Dictionaries Corpus.”
The founder of Emoji One saw this recognition as a welcome, albeit belated acknowledgement of image based communication. “Pictographic text is not something new” said Rick Moby of EmojiOne.com, “It dates back to Egyptian hieroglyphs and the earliest paintings on cave walls by our ancestors. So, while it’s great that emojis continue to gain mainstream support, the idea that the Oxford Dictionary now sanctions them as words isn’t really all that important, unless you are trying to impress your grandmother by scoring a million points in Scrabble using ‘FaceWithTearsofJoy’, which would probably make her smile with tears of joy ironically.”
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