A brief history of emoji…
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’. The similarity to the English word emoticon has helped its memorability and rise in use, though the resemblance is actually entirely coincidental:emoticon (a facial expression composed of keyboard characters, such as ;), rather than a stylized image) comes from the English words emotion and icon.
Emojis are no longer the preserve of texting teens – instead, they have been embraced as a nuanced form of expression, and one which can cross language barriers. Even Hillary Clinton solicited feedback in the form of emoji’s, and ? has had notable use from celebrities and brands alongside everyone else – and even appeared as the caption to the Vine which apparently kicked off the popularity of the term on fleek, which appears on our WOTY shortlist.
What the hell! Have Oxford Dictionary lost their freaking minds?! Until now, I was under the impression that Oxford Dictionary was a well respected and “proper” authority on adding English vocabulary to the dictionary, something millions of people use every day to find the meaning of words.
For me, it’s made it all a bit tacky, like getting a fake t-shirt in Egypt or Thailand. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m as guilty of using emoji’s as the next guy, but that’s all part of trends and society. It’s just what we do. But for Oxford Dictionaries to make it “word of the year” is nonsense.