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Emoji versus the rest: Oxford Dictionary recognises the Word

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I like Emoji as it is powerful & is now part of corporate communications too! It increases the emotional quotient in a conversation and shows the user to be a live wire who is open, candid, and lets the hair down!

Wed, Nov 18 2015
[h=1]Emoji versus the rest[/h]A look at the other words that Oxford Dictionaries shortlisted this year for its annual Word of the Year.



These are the words that were very close but lost out to the emoji. Photo: OxfordDictionaries.com For the first time, Oxford Dictionaries’ Word of the Year is not a word at all.
It’s an emoji.
The popular emoticon ’face with tears of joy’ became the Word of the Year 2015, beating eight runners-up that included such gems as ‘on fleek’ and ‘lumbersexual’.
While frenzied users of Twitter and Whatsapp celebrate with tears running down their cheeks, let’s look at some of the words which were shortlisted but couldn’t make it to the pages of the dictionary:
Ad blocker (noun): It refers to a software used to block advertisements from appearing on a webpage. This word was shortlisted because the researchers at the Oxford Dictionaries noticed a 24-fold increase in its use over the last one year.
Brexit (noun): A term for the potential or hypothetical departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union. Researchers at the Oxford Dictionaries realized that with previous fears of a Grexit (Greece exiting the EU) replaced by new worries after the victory of the Conservative Party in UK’s general election, Brexit (Britain+exit) is here to stay.
Dark web (noun): The part of the World Wide Web that is only accessible by means of special software, allowing users and website operators to remain anonymous or untraceable. In the age of cybercrime, what can be more threatening than evil netizens who are untraceable? The researchers found repeated usage of the words in the media reports relating to the issue of Internet frauds and decided to nominate it for the Word of the Year.
Lumbersexual (noun): A young urban man who cultivates an appearance and style of dress (typified by a beard and checked shirt) suggestive of a rugged outdoor lifestyle. November is the month to be talking about this word! The word could have been apt to describe all the young male corporate employees who are using ‘Movember’ as an excuse to show up in office without a clean shave. Linguists at the Oxford Dictionaries tracked the first use of the word (which is a combination of lumberjack and metrosexual) to 2008 “as beards and checked shirts began to be de rigeur among urban males” but they say that the word didn’t catch on before late last year.
On fleek (adjectivial phrase): Extremely good, attractive, or stylish.
The word was used by a Vine user by the name ‘Peaches Monroee’ to describe her eyebrows and gained so much popularity that it was also included in a Nicki Minaj song. The Oxford’s monitor corpus picked it up last year for its sharp rise in usage frequency and the fact that it is still in vogue.
Refugee (noun): A person forced to leave one’s country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster.
No, you didn’t read it wrong! The word has a French origin and is yet to be a part of the Oxford Dictionaries. With the refugee crisis constantly being one of the key global issues, Oxford’s language monitoring corpus has shown usage of the word refugee increasing by 110% this year, compared with the same period in 2014, making its way to the nomination list.
Sharing economy (noun): An economic system in which assets or services are shared between private individuals, either for free or for a fee, typically by means of the Internet. It refers to the peer-to-peer model of business developed on sharing of human and physical resources. Airbnb is a good example of a business that is based on this model. It didn’t become the word of the year probably because of the controversy around its meaning which led to questions like “whether this ‘sharing’ is sometimes simply a method by which corporations avoid officially hiring employees’.
They (singular, pronoun): Used to refer to a person of unspecified sex.
The common English pronoun that was used to denote the third person plural is now increasingly being used to refer to a person of unspecified gender.
The emoji won over all of the above words because experts at Oxford Dictionaries said the symbol “embodies a core aspect of living in a digital world that is visually driven, emotionally expressive, and obsessively immediate”.
The Oxford Dictionaries site mentions how in August this year, Hillary Clinton had tweeted out a poll to gather opinion on student loan debt and instructed Twitter users to comment with “3 emojis or less”.
The tweet:
Though the emoji fits in perfectly in the Indian atmosphere, when we conducted a Twitter poll on which Indian word should be made the Word of the Year, "intolerance" came up repeatedly along with words like "banistan" and "wapasi".
Since 2005, quite a few Internet-only words have been incorporated in the Oxford Dictionaries:
2005: Podcast (noun)—Beating popular words like ‘bird flu’ and ‘lifehacks’, ‘podcast’ made it to the top becoming the US Word of the Year in 2005. Podcast, a combination of ‘iPod’ and ‘broadcast’ defined as "a digital recording of a radio broadcast or similar program, made available on the Internet for downloading to a personal audio player", suddenly became everyone’s go-to media option.
2009: Unfriend (verb)—It means to remove someone from one’s Facebook friend list. It is a deviation from most ‘un’ prefixed words since it is a verb derived from a word (friend) which is not used as a verb and became the US Word of the Year.
2012: GIF (verb)—Graphics Interchange Format which is a compressed fiile format for images that are used as looping animations. Though it has been around since the 1980s, the word gained popularity as a verb in 2012 and hence became the US Word of the Year.
2013: Selfie (noun)—Everyone’s favourite photograph composition, the ‘selfie’ found a place in the Oxford Dictionaries because ‘It seems like everyone who is anyone has posted a selfie somewhere on the Internet. If it is good enough for the Obamas or The Pope, then it is good enough for Word of the Year’, according to the official blog announcing the word.

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