Can an emoji be a word?

Oxford Dictionaries thinks so — they chose one as their Word of the Year. And this has language purists fuming. But what exactly is a word?

Linguist Daniel Midgley explains on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with Kylie Sturgess


Show notes

The Linguistics Roadshow: Dialect Maps!
http://lingroadshow.com/resources/englishes-in-australia/vocabulary/mapping-words-around-australia/

Optus removes Arabic ads from shopping centre after alleged threat to staff
http://www.smh.com.au/business/media-and-marketing/optus-removes-arabic-ads-from-shopping-centre-after-alleged-threat-to-staff-20151116-gl0njn.html

This Phone Company Had To Explain What Islam Was To Angry Customers
http://www.buzzfeed.com/bradesposito/optus-had-to-take-down-its-arabic-posters-after-people-kept#.siJ8qAKp4

Islamophobia in US: The Arabic language
http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/civil-rights/237556-islamophobia-in-us-the-arabic-language

Philly Passengers Pulled off Flight for Speaking Arabic
http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/national-international/Philly-Pizza-Shop-Owner-Profiled-Southwest-Airlines-351944441.html

Forget French and Mandarin – Arabic is the language to learn
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/forget-french-and-mandarin-arabic-is-the-language-to-learn-10382690.html

Arabic is fastest-growing language at U.S. colleges (2010)
http://www.thegazette.com/2010/03/25/arabic-is-fastest-growing-language-at-u-s-colleges

Commentary: Teach Arabic in public schools
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/ct-arabic-language-public-schools-perspec-0406-20150403-story.html

Teaching Arabic is no cause for fear
http://edition.cnn.com/2011/OPINION/02/10/navarrette.arabic.curriculum/

Alabama: Residents Fear Teaching Arabic To Students Is A Threat To Christianity
http://www.loonwatch.com/2013/10/alabama-residents-fear-teaching-arabic-to-students-is-a-threat-to-christianity/

Here’s an interesting account of what it was like for British Navy soldiers to be learning Russian in the 1950s.
http://centaur.reading.ac.uk/25314/2/Centaur_russia.pdf

Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2015 is… 😂
http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2015/11/word-of-the-year-2015-emoji/

— Oxford Dictionaries (@OxfordWords) November 17, 2015

Oxford Dictionaries Chooses ‘Pictograph’ as Word of the Year
http://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/oxford-dictionaries-chooses-pictograph-as-word-of-the-year/225933/

Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year is an emoji, and that is awesome
http://news.nationalpost.com/arts/oxford-dictionarys-word-of-the-year-not-only-reflects-the-current-linguistic-landscape-but-also-the-times-in-which-we-live

Emoji versus the rest
http://www.livemint.com/Home-Page/nCilLJGgCT0A7hT8rjt7rO/Emoji-versus-the-rest.html

Scholarly reflections on ’emoji’
http://blog.oup.com/2015/11/scholarly-reflections-on-emoji-word-of-the-year/

Are Emojis Words? Science And Language Experts Explain.
http://thinkprogress.org/culture/2015/11/20/3724423/an-emoji-investigation/

An emoji was named the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year and people want to leave planet Earth
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/12000092/An-emoji-was-named-the-Oxford-Dictionaries-Word-of-the-Year-and-people-want-to-leave-planet-Earth.html

Oxford’s Word of the Year…isn’t a word
http://www.skynews.com.au/culture/offbeat/2015/11/17/oxford-s-word-of-the-year—isn-t-a-word.html

Vyv Evans – Signs of our times: why emoji can be even more powerful than words
https://theconversation.com/signs-of-our-times-why-emoji-can-be-even-more-powerful-than-words-50893

Google: word definition
https://www.google.com.au/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=word+definition&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&gfe_rd=cr&ei=ho5KVvWwJqLu8wfomYGQCw&gws_rd=cr

Over time, words in English have had a tendency to compound.

phonological word
http://grammar.about.com/od/pq/g/Phonological-Word.htm

emojitracker.com
http://emojitracker.com

Urban Dictionary: Nyorn
NOTE the downvotes! People hate this definition, so it’s probably wrong. But also note the connection to Aboriginal English.
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Nyorn&defid=7088728

Nyorn dard
https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20120821023225AAfkSRn


Show tunes

Find the tracks we play on the RTRFM webpage for this episode.

Image credit: http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02946/emoji_2946521b.jpg