When you’ve got no words: Tears of Joy

At the end of each year, I look forward to the year-end reviews, lists and retrospectives.Ā  It’s silly but I enjoy going down short-term memory lane. One thing that I look forward to is the selection of the Time Person of the Year as well as the selection of the Word of the Year.

In 2014, the word of the year was “vape”. I did not see that coming. I do not know that many people who do so and I just have not heard that word used often. Who was using that word?

In 2013, the word of year was selfie. Based on the Facebook Feeds of those that I know, the selection of “selfie” was totally predictable and sensible.

This year of 2015, there no words. No, really, there are no words. The “tears of joy” emoji was selected as the word of the year. As Alanis would note, isn’t it ironic?

We have become so wedded to our technologies that minimize verbal interactions that our favorite word for the year is an icon, a symbol, a smiley-face variation. A smiley face for all intent and purposes has finally replaced words. Our mouths can now take a break and think of getting a new job. How will our human mouths evolve going forward?


I do wonder why is it tears of joy? I personally do not recall having used this emoji. I have still been using regular smiley faces. An I behind the times? I am usually fairly hip and current so it may very well be that I had no reason to use tears of joy to express myself. Now isn’t that sad? I don’t think I have been so joyful to be driven to tears this year. I have been angry and driven to tears. I have been sad and driven to tears. I have had a major win this year. But I think I pumped my fists up in the air.

Tears of joy. Interesting concept. I think I am in need of those year end retrospectives to help jar and loosen those tears of joy.

Categories: Culture, Pop Culture, Psychology

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6 replies »

  1. Definitely no tears of joy here. That said, it could describe my joy of capturing these really incredibly dark clouds with the camera only to get caught in a hailstorm, feeling absolutely terrified. That’s where the tears come in, although i didn’t actually cry. That was my daughter after the hail came through the roof and the office was filling up with water. Tears of joy don’t make a lot of sense to me xx Rowena

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  2. I have to say that I think it is clever that an emoji was chosen as word of the year. Sad but true, if I could figure out how to create Emojis, I might never use words again. However, I am surprised by the selected emoji. I don’t think I have ever cried tears of joy. Personally, I would have selected šŸ˜‰ for the word of the year. In addition to that emoji, I am currently getting a lot of use out of these while traveling Australia šŸØšŸ‡¦šŸ‡ŗ and, sadly, these given recent events šŸ˜¢šŸ™šŸ’”šŸŒ.


  3. IDK for sure but I’d guess that it’s mainly young people have a lot of influence on the word of the year selection. They are, after all, probably those most likely to have experienced a vape (which hopefully is less addictive and healthier than other kinds of smoking), and certainly those who take the most selfies. I hope that most of their real life experiences have resulted only in tears of joy, though I fear that, as has been proven through surveys of many social media sites, they share only happy events publicly. My own tears are joyful right now, having just spend two days with my daughter and her boyfriend, and looking forward to being with them again in less than a month. Even my often grumpy spouse found the bright side to spending two days at a local craft fair. We didn’t sell any of his products, but he at least admitted to learning a lot from many of our fellow vendors there.


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