Digital communication is the sign of our times. And emoji functions extremely well in that medium, often in language-like ways. And for this reason, it is surely not a stretch to consider an emoji to be, if not a word in the conventional sense, at the very least, having language-like properties.
Dictionary.com has updated a handful of terms to reflect the new ways that people are speaking about the concept of identity explicitly. These include a new sense at the word identify to account for the common construction identify as and the addition of the term gender expression, defined as “the external expression of gender roles, as through socially defined behaviors and ways of dressing.” Further edits were made to the entry code-switching. Originally a linguistic term, code-switching has expanded in meaning in the recent past to encompass all aspects of identity beyond just language or manner of speech. The sociolinguistic definition is “the use of one dialect, register, accent, or language variety over another to project a specific identity.” The less technical sense is “the modifying of one’s behavior, appearance, etc., to adapt to different sociocultural norms.” Over the last few years, code-switching has emerged as important terminology for framing our multi-faceted identities.Today, Merriam-Webster announces that ISM, a small but powerful suffix as the Word of the Year for 2015 following the selection of the word "CULTURE" as the Word of the Year for 2014.
But not just any ism. The top isms to earn high traffic spikes and big bumps in lookups on the dictionary company’s website in 2015 over the year before are socialism, fascism, racism, feminism, communism, capitalism and terrorism.