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Communications News

The Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2015 Is an Emoji (oxforddictionaries.com) 151

AmiMoJo writes: For the first time ever, the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year is a pictograph (that Slashdot is unable to reproduce), officially called the 'Face with Tears of Joy' emoji (U+1F602). Oxford University Press have partnered with SwiftKey to explore frequency and usage statistics for some of the most popular emoji across the world. Emoji is a Japanese word (pronounced "eh-mo-jee"), originating from Japanese mobile service providers who all had their own unique set before they were standardized in Unicode. Other notable words this year include "ad blocker," "Brexit" (British exit from the EU), lumbersexual and "they (singular)" (pronoun to refer to a person of unspecified sex).
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The Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2015 Is an Emoji

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 18, 2015 @01:42PM (#50956125)

    The modern app appers at Oxford know that only apps can app apps, which is why they're apping Emoji apps so we can app other apps using Emojis!

    Apps!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    IDK language is teh suck anymor i h8 wots up.

    • by MitchDev ( 2526834 ) on Wednesday November 18, 2015 @02:08PM (#50956417)

      Dark day for intelligence when these stupid emojis are given "word" status...

      Now maybe thousand-word status since a picture is supposedly worth a thousand words...

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by mythosaz ( 572040 )

        Crazy, the idea of a pictograph being used to represent a word....

      • And a dark day when a text-only technology website is behind the curve for, you know, text.

    • Does this mean that the English language has acquired its first official kanji? We have others, such as the common one for "merging traffic" that could be submitted for consideration.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ... making their "dictionary" official...ly useless. Next time someone tries to use it as an authority in conversation, like, "well, the OED says that that word means..." you can shut that fool down by pointing out that they (Oxford) think emoticons are words.

    fuck 'em

    • Re:F : A - I ( L (Score:4, Insightful)

      by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@worl d 3 . net> on Wednesday November 18, 2015 @01:51PM (#50956235) Homepage

      Actually, the OED is still a respectable scholarly work. This is just an offshoot that picks interesting words every year as a kind of PR stunt, and to show that they are actively studying language rather than just collecting words.

      Lumbersexual is a new one to me. Apparently it's someone who grooms and dresses to appear like a person who spends a lot of time outdoors (like a lumberjack I guess).

      • LOL, basically anybody who lives in cold climates, and has a beard I think.

        Think plaid flannel.

      • Al Borland, is that you?

        (no, I do not mean Frank Borland)

      • Actually, the OED is still a respectable scholarly work. This is just an offshoot that picks interesting words every year as a kind of PR stunt, and to show that they are actively studying language rather than just collecting words.

        Society "collects" and helps define words, not representatives from OED who merely work to validate them as an addition to OED.

        And President Obama could make a porn video as a "PR stunt". Doesn't mean it has fuck-all to do with his normal duties, much like dicking around with emojis has fuck-all to do with the english language.

      • Lumbersexual is a new one to me. Apparently it's someone who grooms and dresses to appear like a person who spends a lot of time outdoors (like a lumberjack I guess).

        This might be a bigger travesty than the emoji thing. I guess the suffix "-sexual" now also relates solely to the clothes somebody wears.

        For some reason, I don't think I'll be using the word "businesscasualsexual" any time soon.

        • by jandrese ( 485 )
          I'm sure the is a reaction to "metrosexual". I wonder how different it is from a "bear" in the same community? Perhaps more focused on attire than physique?
      • by rossdee ( 243626 ) on Wednesday November 18, 2015 @02:48PM (#50956797)

        "Lumbersexual is a new one to me. Apparently it's someone who grooms and dresses to appear like a person who spends a lot of time outdoors (like a lumberjack I guess)."

        Put on womens clothing and hang around in bars?

      • Lumbersexual is a new one to me. Apparently it's someone who grooms and dresses to appear like a person who spends a lot of time outdoors (like a lumberjack I guess)

        And they're okay.

      • Lumbersexual is a new one to me. Apparently it's someone who grooms and dresses to appear like a person who spends a lot of time outdoors (like a lumberjack I guess).

        they cut down trees, they wear high heels suspenders and a bra.

      • Lumbersexual is a new one to me. Apparently it's someone who grooms and dresses to appear like a person who spends a lot of time outdoors (like a lumberjack I guess).

        Initially I thought it might be a guy who was capable of getting wood.

  • Pathetic. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pla ( 258480 ) on Wednesday November 18, 2015 @01:48PM (#50956201) Journal
    Aaand, the OED just jumped the shark. Language may evolve, but at some point we need to draw the line - A pictogram does not count as a "word". Why not include Wood's American Gothic? Michaelangelo's statue of David (Or maybe they consider that more appropriate for the Italian dictionary?).

    / Lumbersexual. Nice knowin' ya, OED.
    • A pictogram does not count as a "word". .

      Tell that to the Chinese. Or the ancient Egyptians. Or the Mayans.

    • by dargaud ( 518470 )
      Yes. If I wanted to learn a whole bunch of pictograms, I'd just learn... chinese ! We have 26 symbols that we combine to write any word imaginable (even new ones). Learning thousands of ugly-ass glyphs (and remembering their unicode code) is not what I want to waste my brain cells for. That's so retarded. Which is alos why I hate user interfaces that identify everything by icons; give me their fucking NAMES on the screen, not a slightly lighter green oval with two yellow dots to remember what the app is. !
      • I would say, it is in the eye of the beholder if chinese script is ugly. I find them extremely esthetic.
        If you think so, it is fine not to learn them.

        However you are pretty dumb if you believe Chinese use unicodes to 'type' chinese on a a keyboard.

        I concur with the stupid modern icons on computer screens, I prefer text, too. Hence Imalways switch if the tool bar and use the menu, and if they make sense I learn the shortcuts.

        • by dargaud ( 518470 )
          I never meant ugly, but I disagree that "an image is worth a thousand words". If you've never seen (and memorized) the glyph (or the icon) before, you have no idea what it means. I've seen chinese and japanese people type text, I know it doesn't involve unicode, but it's still pretty mysterious to me; I meant that in the context of emoticons.
    • Aaand, the OED just jumped the shark.

      You're living in the last century. "jumped the shark" has been replaced by "nuked the fridge".

    • I support your comment as a kneejerk reaction, but let's be clear: This is a PR stunt. The OED may be a staid reference book, but it won't print itself and its editors won't work for free. You have to drum up public interest to maintain mindshare and thus sales, and given the OED's limited appeal in a world saturated by digital entertainment choosing an emoji and declaring it a word is a clever move.

      By choosing an emoji, the OED has made millions of people actively think about the OED, and when the hell
    • A pictogram most certainly is a word.
      At ideograms and logograms you may stop if you are to dumb to grasp them.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "They" as a singular pronoun? What the fuck? We already have a gender-neutral singular pronoun, "it." Oh, but you want to use a pronoun to refer to a person on an unknown gender? We have one for that too, it's "he." No reason to ignore the rules of grammar just because it hurts your feelings. Or, to put it in new-speak, hurts your SJW feels.

    • by noldrin ( 635339 ) on Wednesday November 18, 2015 @03:11PM (#50957015)

      The use of "they" as a singular pronounce dates back to the 15th century and is a generally understood convention, one which is receiving increased use due to increased need to refer to people in a way which is dignified.

    • I've been using "they" that way my whole life. It's not to avoid hurting anyone's feelings. It's just a common way people use that word, and part of how I grew up speaking. Glad OED has finally caught up with me.

      • by MacTO ( 1161105 )

        I'm actually surprise that "they (singular)" wasn't already in the dictionary, and never really understood why some people opposed it. It sure beats all of the debates over using "he/she", or people saying that the use of "he" or "she" is not meant to imply gender, or people arguing that "it" is valid or disrespectful. Not only is "they (singular)" in common use, there is enough redundancy in the English language that you can figure out whether it is singular or plural, it avoids the politics of "he/she",

  • Thumbs down (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kaatochacha ( 651922 ) on Wednesday November 18, 2015 @01:48PM (#50956209)

    sad face.

  • Cue the Luddites (Score:2, Insightful)

    by PvtVoid ( 1252388 )
    Before the inevitable 60 posts bemoaning the fall of civilization, it's probably worth noting that logographic scripts [wikipedia.org] are very common in the world, and have been used throughout history. What could be more revolutionary, and interesting, in the 21st century to see logographic elements making inroads into languages with alphabetic scripts? Kudos to Oxford!
    • This is a remarkably thoughtful post. Thanks for the reading material on these scripts.

      However...I still have to disagree with Oxford and will assert my right to resort to ad hominem attacks against them and their editors.

      What I give them kudos for is that they considered a pronoun that we've had forever to be a notable word (instead of attempting to validate the dumb new made-up pronouns). I have mixed feelings about all of this crap. Our language is a living language, and as such is evolving. At the s

    • Re:Cue the Luddites (Score:4, Interesting)

      by geekmux ( 1040042 ) on Wednesday November 18, 2015 @02:37PM (#50956693)

      Before the inevitable 60 posts bemoaning the fall of civilization, it's probably worth noting that logographic scripts [wikipedia.org] are very common in the world, and have been used throughout history. What could be more revolutionary, and interesting, in the 21st century to see logographic elements making inroads into languages with alphabetic scripts? Kudos to Oxford!

      It's probably worth noting that at one point the Ford Motor company only made one car (The Model T), and while the concept of automobiles and transportation has endured throughout history, the concept of one way to do it has long died, along with the kitsch of a crank-start car (a.k.a. using pictures to communicate)

      If Ford were to start selling one kind of car again regardless of where roads may take us today, that's hardly room for praise. At some point a person with half a brain is going to ask the all-important what-the-fuck-were-you-thinking question that clearly wasn't asked at Oxford when adopting a picture as a word.

      The "inroads" that brought logographic scripts into existence were born from ignorance, and there's a reason they have died off throughout history. We have words for that shit now.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        If Ford were to start selling one kind of car again regardless of where roads may take us today, that's hardly room for praise.

        I dunno... if the past is any indicator, people might go crazy with joy if Ford decided to make it white, remove all but one door, round off all the edges and triple the price.

        • I dunno... if the past is any indicator, people might go crazy with joy if Ford decided to make it white, remove all but one door, round off all the edges and triple the price.

          That would be the upcoming Apple ICar.

      • The "inroads" that brought logographic scripts into existence were born from ignorance, and there's a reason they have died off throughout history.

        Wow, that's a remarkably ethnocentric perspective, considering that the world's most populous country uses a logographic script.

        Alphabetic scripts have a huge advantage with respect to mechanical typesetting, but I would argue that the rise in popularity of emoji is a de facto demonstration that electronic typesetting is eroding that advantage away to nearly nothing. If I can type a logographic word with five keystrokes that would take ten for the equivalent alphabetic word, which one wins? What we're seein

        • by chihowa ( 366380 )

          Chinese, and even the Egyptian hieroglyphics, isn't logographic in the same sense that emoji is. A purely logographic system is impractical, which is why there are none in use today.

          It's a horridly inefficient and vague way to communicate any but the most superficial concepts. How would you even select the relevant five icons from the increasing number of pages of emoji?

      • It's probably worth noting that at one point the Ford Motor company only made one car (The Model T)

        And, to show how flexible the company was, you could buy a brand-new one in any color you wanted, as long as you wanted black.
  • There are no words for this.

    Seriously. This is nuts.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Why don't you support Unicode you stupid fucks?

  • Singular "they" (Score:4, Insightful)

    by spaceyhackerlady ( 462530 ) on Wednesday November 18, 2015 @01:55PM (#50956287)

    I'm surprised singular "they" has only just now made it. I've heard it (and used it myself) since the 1980s.

    Times change. Language changes.

    ...laura

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Language changes.

      Yes, yes they does.

    • I'm pretty sure the singular, gender-neutral use of the word "they" has been around a lot longer than the 1980s.

      "When a person is cold they might shiver" is hardly a new grammatical construct.

      • by Raseri ( 812266 )
        True, but that's always been an incorrect use of "they". The correct pronoun would be "he", "she", or "he or she" (pick whichever one you want). If you really wanted to use "they" anyway the sentence would be, "When people are cold they might shiver."
        • True, but that's always been an incorrect use of "they". The correct pronoun would be "he", "she", or "he or she" (pick whichever one you want).

          My short answer to you is: that is utter bullshit.

          You got some facts to back that up? Or just your own mistaken belief?

          English is not a language in which everything has a gender. Claiming "he" and "she" are the only valid singular pronouns is wrong.

          • by Raseri ( 812266 )
            While the bold text is really convincing and completely negates the instruction of every English teacher on Earth, you forgot the link to the blog that was using other blogs as citations. As for "valid singular pronouns", we have "one": "When one is cold one might shiver." We also have "it", though it's generally not used in reference to people, unless, of course, you keep your victims at the bottom of a hole in your basement floor. https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]
        • True, but that's always been an incorrect use of "they".

          According to who?

          (YIDTD)

      • I, for one, have used it in this manner for 60+ years. But I thought it was mostly confined to the South where I grew up.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Yeah, I had a writing teacher tell me it was wrong then she bemoaned the masculine and made us write he/she or just she.

      What a crackpot.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      It's because this year transgender issues have really come into the public conciousness, and I've seen a number of mainstream media outlets publishing articles on the language surrounding them. The general public is becoming more aware and learning how to speak about transgender people and issues without accidentally being offensive.

      • It's because this year transgender issues have really come into the public conciousness, and I've seen a number of mainstream media outlets publishing articles on the language surrounding them. The general public is becoming more aware and learning how to speak about transgender people and issues without accidentally being offensive.

        I don't view this as a transgender issue. I view it as a needed word. At one time "he" was accepted as a generic third-person singular pronoun, but since few people born since about 1920 accept it as such, we needed a new word. Singular "they" fills that need.

        ...laura

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Like SJWs give a shit what actual women think. Notice how this only became an issue when men pretending to be women all of a sudden found that they got called by the "wrong" pronouns.

  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Wednesday November 18, 2015 @02:00PM (#50956321) Homepage
    Until reading this article Id been a chipper young admin, fast at the keyboard with a gentle hand to users but once I'd gazed upon this fact, this indelible pockmark upon our society in this foul year of our lord 2015, My hair burst a radiant white and a shock of that same hue flew throught the beard I never before had. Hair filled my nostrils and a pocket protector flew furiously into my button up homage to the cartesian plane. small stuffed tux's and beasties fell from the heavens unto my cubicle and a smattering of old userfriendly comics printed upon delicate tractor paper adhered themselves to the walls. my mundane gaze turned slowly into a furious scowl and I knew what must be done. I furiously cranked out a script to sync microsoft ldap parameters to my desktop for my user, configured NIS, and reverted every account in the organization to csh. I then forwarded my phone to the switchboad and the switchboard to a cream cheese factory in wisconsin. Gathering my briefcase now filled with LISA digests and a calculator from the cold war I made my way to the pub for the day and silently muttered

    "Kids....Kids on my lawn..."
  • If it's in Oxford, it's official. I can stop using "he or she" and just use "they". So much less work. I'm even willing to not be annoyed that emoji are in the dictionary if it means I get this.
  • ...who wants to define a picture as a word.

    Idiot.

    Since we are talking about a dictionary here, let me add another word to help elaborate and clarify.

    Fucking Idiot.

    • Nobody has defined a picture as a word. They've said "the word which denotes a picture used as a word" is a word.

      You know: emoji.

      You will note that "emoji" is not a picture.

      What are you on about? I bet your mother knows what an emoji is ... which is probably why it became a word of the year.

      You might as well complain we have the word statue, because a statue isn't a word either.

      • by Raseri ( 812266 )

        Nobody has defined a picture as a word. They've said "the word which denotes a picture used as a word" is a word.

        From TFS:

        the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year is a pictograph

        Better luck next time.

    • That person that you're calling an idiot for using pictures as words wants you to get off their lawn. After all, their language is a couple thousand years older than yours.
  • ... the extended middle finger, which has been in use long before the emoji and much more often. (and was my first reaction to this announcement)

  • Could we have UTF-8, please, on Slashdot? If not for emoji, then for characters in non-European languages? I know people have been asking for this for years now - it's embarrassing.

  • I don't know what's worse. The fact that this story is true or the headline's grammar... I hope they intended plurality and missed the possessive Dictionaries', but it would make far more sense to be Dictionary's. I guess proper grammar doesn't mean anything to a dictionary these days...
  • I really don't get the trend of adding the suffix "-sexual" to lifestyle choices that have nothing to do with sexuality.

    "Metrosexual" makes just as little sense, but it's older so I guess we've accepted it.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Smilies and emoticons ?

  • Boss: Everyone gather round. Listen, guys, this new line of Merriam-Webster-brand phosphorescent butt plugs is killing us! If we want to stay relevant in the twenty-first century, we have to innovate, people! Who has some forward-thinking ideas for our next edition?

    Worker 1: What if started a FaceBook account for every word in the dictionary?

    Worker 2: What if we used a different color of ink for every part of speech? No, wait, a different scent!

    Worker 3: What if we started calling ourselves OXDIC.com?

    B

  • Everybody knows that the Ancient Egyptians are using the Japanese people as pawns in their Illuminati style conspiracy to reintroduce hieroglyphics. First it's emojis and the next thing you know, everything will be drawn as pictures on stone tablets and papyrus.
  • So is Swifkey logging everything their users type? How come they know these statistics? Disturbing.
  • ... an objective contest when there is no barf emoji yet?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    we had the graphic emoticons on instant messengers, and that was before the turn of the century. Before that (since September '82) using ASCII text, like :-)

    Ohhh wait, but just like patents, now it's "on a mobile device" and it's suddenly new?

  • Back to cave walls? I guess we're fueling the future of archeology.

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