It’s the day all word buffs await with baited breath – the announcement of the Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year.
Last year it was ‘vape’, the year before that ‘selfie‘, but 2015’s word of the year? Well, we’ve got no, erm, words. Quite literally.
That’s because for the first time ever, those that rule the dictionary haven’t even picked a word – they’ve selected an emoji. This emoji, to be specific:
And yes, it's the face we're quite tempted to pull ourselves, because this is surely just a joke... right?
Unfortunately, it doesn't look like it.
The purpose of the word of the year is to capture the zeitgeist, and by selecting an emoji the editors of the Oxford English Dictionary and Oxford Dictionaries Online hope to make a statement about how we communicate in our now-heavily digital daily lives.
Watch: The funniest passive aggressive notes you'll ever see. (Post continues after video.)
"Although emoji have been a staple of texting teens for some time, emoji culture exploded into the global mainstream over the past year. Emoji have come to embody a core aspect of living in a digital world that is visually driven, emotionally expressive, and obsessively immediate," they said in a press release.
To find the most-used emoji, Oxford University Press joined forces with keyboard-app company SwiftKey and found the LOL emoji (officially known as the 'Face With Tears of Joy' emoji) made up nearly 20 per cent of all emoji use in the US and UK. Coming second - with a whopping 11 per cent difference - was the winky-kiss emoji. Imagine what a different story that would be.