It’s official, emojis rule! >insert smiley face emoticon<

If the Oxford Dictionaries latest announcement has got you questioning everything you thought you knew about the English language and the meaning of the word – word, then take solace, you are not alone.

Let us reassure you, the world-famous dictionaries have not altered the definition of word. So how has the ‘Face with tears of Joy’ emoji been crowned the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year? Well, let us try and explain…

If the literary grapevine hasn’t reached you yet, here is the lowdown: Each year, the Oxford Dictionaries announces a word of the year. Along with the winner there is a short list that includes a range of words that have been significant and prevalent throughout the 12 months.

But as with all good competitions, there can only be one winner. And this year, it was an emoji! Yes, that’s right The Word of the Year for 2015 is a picture. And although most people’s response has been – huh? there is some method to their madness.

According to figures compiled by Oxford University Press and mobile technology firm SwiftKey, it was the world’s most used emoji in 2015. The word emoji has also surged with usage more than tripling in 2015. We can now also own our very own emoji keyboards!

Not convinced? Oxford Dictionaries might be able to explain better. You can also explore the Oxford Dictionary through Summon.

Right or wrong, this announcement is an indication of the changing culture of communication. So does this announcement mean one day we’ll all be communicating via a series of emojis? We’ll let you ponder that… 😉