Top word of 2014 is an icon

smiliesEvery year the Global Language Monitor (GLM) scans the internet to see which are the top words used.

But this year, the top word isn’t a word at all – it’s an emoticon of a heart, the symbol of love.

GLM believes that English is going through a huge sea change because of the number of emoticons now used – its says the Unicode Consortium now recognises a thousand emoticons as part of the language.

The next nine most popular words are hashtag – that’s # and used by the twitterati and Defacebook aficionados; to vape – that’s smoking an electronic cigarette; blood moon – four total eclipses of the moon in 18 months; nano; photo bomb – when people burst into others’ photographs; caliphate; privilege – the supposed advantages of having light coloured skin; bae – that’s your bosom buddy; bash tag – using a hashtag as an offensive word weapon; transparency; sustainable; and lastly, clickbait.

Big Data, says GLM, is number on the tech buzzword list.

The top word in 2000 was Chad and the top phrase dot com.