The Most Popular Word of 2014 Isn’t Actually a Word

According to the Global Language Monitor, a research organization that charts the language we’re using, the most popular word of 2014 isn’t even a word — it’s an emoji. After analyzing social-media feeds, print and electronic publications, and blogs, the organization discovered that the heart emoji was the most used “word” of 2014 — deployed billions of times a day, all over the world.

Is it sad that our modern love of emoji usage is beginning to chip away at our ability to use real words in casual interactions? Is it scary to think that one day, we’ll be a wordless society communicating primarily through pictographs, like the cavemen before us? I suppose it’s heartening that if we are reverting to preliteracy, it’s love dominating, and not, say, that naughty eggplant emoji. What’s really sad is that I can’t use emoji in this post to express my feelings (crying face, gun to head, cigarette, thumbs down).

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