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On the new Word of the Year and why everyone needs to chill out

Posted by Ella Delancey on 19th November 2015

The Wildfire office has been up in arms this week, with the announcement that an emoji has been announced as the Oxford Dictionary’s Word of the Year 2015.

According to Oxford’s research, the emoji, otherwise known as ‘face with tears of joy’ accounted for “20% of all the emojis used in the UK in 2015 – a sharp rise from 4% in 2014.”

However, perhaps rather obviously – an emoji isn’t a word. Not at all – and some people are majorly annoyed about it.

“A slur on the English Language,” they cry (not with tears of joy). “Where would it even go in the dictionary?”

With some 76% of the UK adult population owning a smartphone, and of those, between 80% and 90% using emojis, it’s hardly surprising that this inevitable eventuality has finally happened.

Remember the time Hillary Clinton asked US graduates how they felt about their student loans in three emojis or less? What about when Andy Murray predicted his entire wedding day in a tweet made up entirely of emojis?

The fact that we can convey entire conversations and emotions using tiny pictures is quite fascinating to me. Language is evolving all the time and in this technology age, it’s not surprising that tech is beginning to encroach on our day-to-day ‘speech’.

Embrace it I say. Sometimes, when you need to express extreme joy, only an emoji will do. And hey, look on the plus side – at least ‘on fleek’ wasn’t named Word of the Year…

Ella Delancey

A trained journalist, with a degree in English Language and Journalism from Kingston University, Ella began her career writing for local newspapers such as The River, followed by several internships within the media industry, including stints in fashion PR and social media agencies. These experiences fuelled her transition from journalism to PR, allowing Ella to combine her writing and creative skills with a deeply instilled ‘news sense’ to ensure she maximises coverage for her clients at every opportunity.