Of course, the decision to name an emoji "word of the year" received criticism on social media — and that was probably the point.
In the frequently asked questions section of how the "word of the year" is chosen Oxford Dictionaries said "The final Word of the Year selection team is made up of lexicographers and consultants to the dictionary team, and editorial, marketing, and publicity staff."
Emphasis on the marketing and publicity staff, according to some Twitter users.
Oxford Dictionaries, which focuses on current English and includes modern meanings and uses of words, has chosen colloquial and fleeting verbiage in recent years including: hypermilling, squeezed middle and locavore. However, it has also picked words that are still very much a part of modern language — podcast, unfriend, GIF, selfie and vape.
Just because a word — or, in this case, image — is named the "word of the year" doesn't mean that it will be added to the Oxford English Dictionary. In fact, the publisher has no plans to add any emojis to its publications.