If you’re fond of signing off your texts to friends and family with the 21st century symbol for love, you’re definitely not alone. In fact, Global Language Monitor’s data shows the icon “appear billions of times a day around the world—across languages and cultures.”
The report is in its fifteenth year, and considers the popularity of different words and symbols across blogs, social media and 250,000 of the biggest digital publications. This is the first time an ideograph has nabbed the top spot.
“The English Language is now undergoing a remarkable transformation unlike any in its 1400 year history—its system of writing, the Alphabet, is gaining characters at amazing rate,” explained Paul JJ Payack, President of the Global Language Monitor.
The second-most used word this year was “hashtag,” followed by “vape,” referring to the controversial e-cigarette that earned a lot of media coverage in 2014.
The report lists the below words in order of popularity.
1. The heart ♥ emoji (for love). Each emoji represents an emotion, expression, or state of mind, or a person, place or thing.
2. Hashtag. The re-invented pound-sign becomes evermore powerful.
3. Vape. Smoking an electronic or e-cigarette, shorthand for vaporize, or vaping. Vapers are banned from indoor vaping in New York and other locales.
4. Blood Moon. Four total eclipses of the moon in eighteen-month span. Some Christians see it as the presaging a “lunar apocalypse.”
5. Nano. From Greek for dwarf, small; now 1 billionth of a meter, and any number of words surrounding nano technology.
6. Photo Bomb.
7. Caliphate. Literally, a land ruled by an Islamic Caliph typically governed under Sharia Law.
8. (White) privilege.
10. “Bash” Tag. Using a hashtag to undermine your frenemies.