2015 has yet another surprise for all and that is the “tears of joy” emoji that Oxford Dictionaries has selected for its Word of the Year. It’s not even a word but a pictograph, or a small digital image that shows a smiley shedding tears of joy from both eyes. Oxford Dictionaries officially calls it the "Face with Tears of Joy" emoji.

According to the Oxford Dictionaries blog, the 2015 Word of the Year was chosen among other contenders because it "best reflected the ethos, mood, and preoccupations of 2015."

This teary-eyed emoji was the most used emoji of 2015, a research conducted by mobile technology firm SwiftKey and Oxford University Press revealed. The pictograph made up 17% of all emojis used in the US and 20% in the UK. In 2015, the use of the word “emoji” increased compared to 2014. The word has been used in the English language since the year 1997. It was derived from the Japanese e (picture) and moji (character, letter)

Oxford Dictionaries further explained in its press release why the "Face with Tears of Joy" emoji was chosen as the 2015 Word of the Year.

"Although emoji have been a staple of texting teens for some time, emoji culture exploded into the global mainstream over the past year. Emoji have come to embody a core aspect of living in a digital world that is visually driven, emotionally expressive, and obsessively immediate."

The emoji competed with strong contenders such as ad blocker, Dark Web, Brexit, lumbersexual, on fleek, sharing economy, refugee and they.

Casper Grathwohl, president of Oxford University Press Dictionaries Division also talked about the emojis in the video below.

"The idea of a pictogram communication form like emoji, coupling that with traditional alphabet languages allows for a deeper subtlety and richness."

He added that emojis are becoming an increasingly popular form of communication that transcends linguistic borders.

The Oxford Dictionaries announcement about their choice for the 2015 Word of the Year was met with widespread criticism, disappointment and ridicule.

Below are some reactions from social media.

Source: YouTube/Oxford Dictionaries

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