The editors of Dictionary.com have announced their 2015 word of the year: identity. The tradition of picking a word of the year began in 1990, when members of the American Dialect Society decided to mimic TIME’s person of the year by choosing a word they felt had a special influence or importance that year. This year has seen heightened awareness of issues such as race, transgender rights, and sexuality, as the Black Lives Matter movement, Caitlyn Jenner, and a landmark ruling by the Supreme Court legalizing gay marriage shook headlines. “Many of the year’s biggest stories focused on the way in which individuals or members of a group are perceived, understood, accepted or shut out,” said Dictionary.com’s editors in a press release. This year Dictionary.com saw spikes in lookups for terms such as transgender, cisgender, and microaggression, and ultimately decided on identity as the word to best sum up the year. In November, Oxford Dictionaries kicked off the annual “WOTY” season by choosing the “Face With Tears of Joy” emoji, which this past year comprised nearly 20 percent of all emoji use in the U.S. and the U.K.
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