This week the Oxford English Dictionary, a publication that once commanded a certain amount of respect, announced their Word Of The Year for 2015.
That word is (drumroll please)... not a word at all. It's a goddamned emoji. The Laughing So Hard You Cry emoji. Or perhaps it's the Tears Of Joy one. Or maybe it's the Just Been Teargassed one.
Casper Grathwohl (which can't possibly be a real name), the president of Oxford Dictionaries, explains the puzzling choice, saying, "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."
Well, that was certainly informative without saying anything, wasn't it? What the hell's going on over at that place anyway? Was the Oxford Dictionary not getting enough attention these days, so they decided to gin up some publicity with this lame stunt?
The Tears Of Joy is supposedly the most commonly used emoji on Earth, making up 20% of all of them used. That doesn't sound like all that high a percentage to me, but apparently that's all it takes these days to replace an actual word.
We're very near the end of the English language. I can't wait for the day when we're all forced to write like ancient Egyptians again, using a hammer and chisel to carve a dog-headed man staring at a snake eating its own tail instead of simply writing, "I'm hungry" with, you know, actual words.
I've crafted a special response to the Oxford Dictionary in a language they're sure to understand.