Let’s accept it. We’ve used this emoji ‘😂' a lot.
Oxford Dictionaries recently announced the Word of the Year. Not surprisingly enough, it is 😂.
But it isn’t even a word, you must be wondering. It is a pictogram, and in this case, an emoji. It is officially named ‘Face with Tears of Joy’. The Word of the Year is given out to a very popular word everyone was using that year - just that this time, it turned out that 😂 was used significantly more popularly than any other word. Hence it deserves this title.
This kind of recognition to be given to an emoji is not a bad idea at all. Emojis have had - and are having - their place in our conversations. At times, we can express more thoughts using emojis than using actual words… exactly what emojis are intended to do. This emoji, the Face with Tears of Joy, is so popular that almost 20% of all emojis sent in UK and 17% in the US use this. I myself can’t remember not using one almost everyday for the last few months.
Oxford Dictionaries didn’t choose 😂 out of nowhere. Solid statistics support this award. How did Oxford Dictionaries collect all this data? They collaborated with SwiftKey, the most popular third-party keyboard (makers) with over 10 - 15 million (or more) users. The usage patters of the users show that the popularity of emojis is significantly on the rise, with 😂 topping the charts. In fact, the word ‘emoji’ itself has seen significant usage growth.
You should read about the process that led to this recognition yourself at Oxford Dictionaries’ blog.
Emojis are powerful words - words that are bound to no language or region. Oxford Dictionaries did a good job choosing 😂 as the Word of the Year.
Keep Technonerding 😂.