Any English major can tell you respect for the written word is on the decline. He'll probably tell you while smoking and wearing a slouchy beanie, but, he'll tell you. And to be honest, that hypothetical English major might have a point, because Oxford English Dictionaries just named the "Face with Tears of Joy’" emoji as the "Word of the Year." Cue sad face emoji.
That's right, the word of the year is not a word, but instead a yellow face icon.
According to Oxford's press release, the word of the year must reflect the "ethos, mood, or preoccupations of that particular year," which apparently an emoji does better than any assemblage of letters. The president of Oxford English Dictionaries had this to say on the decision: “You can see how traditional alphabet scripts have been struggling to meet the rapid-fire, visually focused demands of 21st Century communication. It’s not surprising that a pictographic script like emoji has stepped in to fill those gaps—it’s flexible, immediate, and infuses tone beautifully." Surely the next step is a love sonnet written in all emoji. But then again, some 13-year-old has already done this.