Everything's coming up emoji. For the first time, the Oxford Dictionaries' Word of the Year isn't a word at all, but an emoji -- the 'Face with Tears of Joy,' to be exact.
In a blog post, Oxford University Press explained that the emoji was selected in part because it "best reflected the ethos, mood, and preoccupations of 2015."
So how did the venerable organization settle on this emotion-driven choice? Oxford University Press teamed up with SwiftKey, the company behind SwiftKey Keyboard, an app that works to predict your favored words, turns of phrase and yes, emojis, and found that the 'Face with Tears of Joy' was the most frequently used emoji in 2015, with the expressive icon making up 17 percent of all emojis used in the U.S., and 20 percent of emojis in the U.K.
While this particular emoji took the top spot this year, the Oxford Dictionaries also released its Word of the Year shortlist which ranged from politically minded possibilities with "refugee" and "Brexit" (a British exit from the European Union), to more stylish stylistic choices with "lumbersexual" and "on fleek," to technologically oriented options like "ad blocker" and "dark web."
It is true, communication is hard and sometimes words aren't quite enough. To that end, Oxford University Press also made a video to show that, while it seems like emojis are here to stay, the time and place for them is perhaps not IRL.