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Oxford’s ‘2015 word of the year’ is... an emoji!

In an unexpected move, the notable Oxford English Dictionaries has chosen the widely shared ‘tears of joy’ emoji

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In an unexpected move, the notable Oxford English Dictionaries has chosen the widely shared “tears of joy” emoji used on smartphones and social media as its 'word of the year.'

Traditionally, Oxford Dictionaries pick a word or expression that has garnered considerable interest during the year that reflects the global general mood of that particular year.

This year, and for the first time, it has decided to take a different turn, highlighting social media’s role in expressing human emotions.

Oxford Dictionaries justified its selection as it best represents the “mood and preoccupations of 2015.”

An emoji is ‘a small digital image or icon used to express an idea or emotion in electronic communication’; the term emoji is a loanword from Japanese, and comes from e ‘picture’ + moji ‘letter, character’, according to Oxford Dictionaries website.

“Emoji culture has become so popular that individual characters have developed their own trends and stories,” said Casper Crathwohl, president of Oxford Dictionaries.

Two years ago, the dictionary giant decided to award the word "selife" as word of the year.