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Why emojis are a no-brainer for digital communication

Why emojis are a no-brainer for digital communication

When the Oxford English Dictionary declared an emoji its 2015 word of the year, it was a bit of a head-scratcher.

The emoji it singled out — an image of a laughing yellow face crying tears of joy — did not fit most people's definition of a word. To some, it was even less of a word than shortlisted nominee "lumbersexual" (a young urban man who cultivates an appearance and style of dress suggestive of a rugged outdoor lifestyle).

But for linguists around the world, the announcement wasn't about whether the Oxford English Dictionary had lost it. (It hadn't — most linguists agree a word is a discrete unit that is meaningful; emoji fit that...

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