Love them or hate them, the impact the humble emoji have had on pop culture and the way we communicate is real - we're dealing out more kisses than ever before, girls in red dresses are our new symbol of freedom, joyful faeces are suddenly part of our lexicon and eggplants, well, they'll never be the same again... 

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But truly, who, besides, someone like Prince, could have predicted that following "selfie" (2013) and "vape" (2014), the Oxford Dictionary's official 2015 word of the year for would be *cry-laughing emoji* or rather, "Face With Tears of Joy" (the, uh, official name for the "word")?!  That's right, a picture. 

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Even though jumbles of vowels and consonants, like "refugee", "on fleek", "ad blocker", "lumbersexual", "dark web", "sharing economy" and "brexit" made the shortlist, it appears that *cry laughing* was the most popular emoji across the world, clocking up 20 per cent of all emoji used in the UK and 17 per cent of those used in the US. According to the Oxford University Press, the word "emoji" has experienced a meteoric rise also, and probably should have been given the honour, but alas, it's been around since 1997.

Welcome to 2015, the *calendar* we *fried egg* the *English flag* *book*. *Trophy* *head hung in shame*. 

Sign of the times: the 2015 word of the year is an emoji

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