The Oxford Dictionary has decided to put out their own little touches of controversy into recent news. That’s right, I’m talking about emoji gate. On November 17th, we were swept up amongst a flurry of sarcastic tweets regarding 2015’s word of the year.
Was it something profound? Something that eloquently captures the modern day troubles in one succinct word? Was it an emoji that symbolises a face with tears of joy? Oh wait, yeah, it’s the last one there. For those of you not used to seeing words written rather than symbolised or shortened this is what I am talking about.
So why have they chosen this non word as word of the year? Apparently a mixture of partnering with a tech company and them showing you statistics on emojis just hit the right spot with the guys over at Oxford. Now, don’t get my cynical tone wrong, I could get on board the tears of joy bus, I just kind of thought for a second that there would be some sort of lavish explanation behind it. If 20% of all emojis are tears of joy however, I have to put my hands up and say the power of the people hath spoken.
Despite my reluctant surrender, my inner digital side is still a little disappointed that some of the runners-up were missed out on. I mean, Ad Blocker was in the running there! Not only a word that I need to use on a regular basis in my line of work but it’s also one of my favourite things to install freaking everywhere. Pop-ups, I hate you, it’s true #sorrynotsorry.
Another wee gem was the term ‘sharing economy’. Information is pretty much the bread and butter of the digital industry and these two little words summarise how things are heading perfectly for me. Despite the darker associations with companies using this as a way to get work done for free, collaborative projects such as HitRECord and other ‘crowdsourcing’ efforts can create some pretty nifty stuff! The internet is promoting a whole bunch of creative people to come together and create oddities together. And. It’s. Awesome.
Aside from digital there were, of course, many more noteworthy entries. You can have a read at some of the serious stuff here but I’m very much set on lamenting about one final runner-up this year.
There’s something that has been growing for the past few years. A dark forest of trend wiring it’s way through the hipster scene. Now, you may remember that we have a tendency to mock all things hipster at times but in all seriousness this one that brightened my day! Lumbersexual. Yip, I put that all on its own in the one sentence so that you had the nice wee pause to let it sink in.
Let’s just consider this for a moment. Picture sitting round a big fancy board room with all your big fancy colleagues. Now imagine that you get to pick some top words for the year. Someone’s just lead with a strong debate for the tears of joy emoji (those stats on usage have blown your mind) and then you get up to debate your Lumbersexual nomination. You have a nice wee slideshow of all the top actors ‘rocking’ the look this year along with some Tweets of it being used in a hashtag.
Now, when you are done the whole room applauds and declares - Yes! A clear runner up! Now, if only we have a way to chose between the bearded plaid lovers and the tears of joy emoji.
First world problems at the Oxford Dictionary offices.