There are a few activities I try to not do while I'm angry. Drive. Email. And blog. That's why I waited so long to write this blog entry. When I heard the news announce the Oxford Dictionary's word of the year for 2015 I got angry. I might have raved just a little bit at my television. Just a little. Maybe enough to make my husband change it off the news that night before they did they story again. Maybe.
But can you blame me? I mean, really Oxford. You've been one of the last bastions of the English language. While slang takes over our every-day vocabulary, you alone remained stalwart. A beacon of light in an otherwise chaotic world. Until now.
The Oxford Dictionary announced recently its word of the year is an emoji. Not the word "emoji" but an actual emoji. It's like Prince changing his name to a symbol and no one know what to call him anymore. Why? Because a symbol is not a word. If it were, we wouldn't call them symbols.
According to my Google search, the English language boasts more than one million words. I can hardly believe Oxford couldn't find one within those one million that deserved a little recognition.
Are we heading to the day when we will browse book shelves filled with stories written entirely in emojis? I may be taking it a little personally, but as a writer I can't imagine that. I have an ongoing love affair with words and don't want to see them lose their stature and beauty.
Perhaps next year's word of the year could be
I'm a freelance writer whose writing has appeared in Northwest Travel and The Writer magazines. I write fiction for teens and middle readers, and teach a course on writing children's and YA fiction. I have facilitated workshops and groups across the country on everything from creative writing to target marketing.