10 January 2020
Get your own emoji. If youve béen up to date, you would have used ♥ more than others this year. Photo: Internet.
Get your own emoji. If youve béen up to date, you would have used ♥ more than others this year. Photo: Internet.

I ? this ‘word’

Ever been lost for words?

Try the lexicographers, the guys who keep our dictionaries relevant and current.

This year, they have made some words a non-entity in a ranking of the most used, er, word in the dictionary.

And the winner is this: ?.

It’s called an ideograph or pictograph and owes its beginnings to the Japanese who hold the naming rights to it — emoji.

It has become something of a cultural icon ever since it appeared in a certain Big Apple ballyhoo — I?NY.

For the first time ever, it has been named the Top Word of the Year by analysts at?Global Language Monitor, according to Britain’s The Independent newspaper.

This expression of love is used billions of times a day in countless iterations.?

About?1,000 recognised characters are used to portray an emotion, expression, a state of mind, a person, place or object, with another 35 to be made available over the next year, according to the organisation.

Another non-word — the hashtag (#) — took second place thanks to its widespread use on social media, pushing “vape” to third place.

Vape is a verb and a noun, meaning to draw on vapors from an electronic cigarette, or an electronic cigarette itself.

Here are the rest of the top 10:

4. Blood Moon — four total eclipses of the moon in 18-month span. Some Christians see it as the presaging a “lunar apocalypse”.

5. Nano — from Greek for dwarf, small; now one-billionth of a meter, and any number of words surrounding nano technology.

6. Photo Bomb — breaking into a “pre-arranged” photograph without authorization resulting in often humorous outcomes.

7. Caliphate — literally, a land ruled by an Islamic Caliph typically governed under Sharia Law.

8. (White) privilege — the alleged advantages of having lighter colored skin in a diverse society.

9. Bae — Term of endearment for one’s object of desire.

10. Bash Tag — using a hashtag to undermine your frenemies.

Meanwhile, Ebola topped the annual list of names, while “Hands up, don’t shoot” was the most popular phrase (used by protesters who called for action after the shooting of black teenager Michael Brown in St. Louis, Missouri in August.)

Last year, “404″, the internet error message, was the most popular word.

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