Oxford Dictionaries' 'word' of the year is not a word

Oxford Dictionaries’ Word of the Year for 2015 is an emoji, or pictograph, instead of an actual word.

The dictionaries' esteemed language experts chose the emoji known as "Face with Tears of Joy."

A statement posted on Oxford Dictionaries’ website said the symbol, which can be entered on a smartphone keyboard, “was chosen as the ‘word’ that best reflected the ethos, mood, and preoccupations of 2015.”

The emoji was the most popular one among smartphone users worldwide in 2015, according to mobile technology business Swiftkey. The company said the ‘Face with Tears of Joy’ emoji made up 17 percent of all emojis used in the U.S.

The finalists for the 2015 word the year award also included ad blocker, brexit, dark web, on fleek, lumbersexual, refugee, sharing economy and they, used as a singular pronoun.