By Sterling Alic, Junior
In the last edition of Top 5 for 2015, we’ll be focusing on all the moments--the good, the bad, and the ugly—that have defined the year that marks the halfway point of this decade.
1. Oxford Dictionary’s Word of the Year Isn’t a Word?
Many widened their eyes after the popular U.K. dictionary announced that this year’s word of the year isn’t a word at all. Oxford Dictionary justified their choice of the popular emoji (called “Face with Tears of Joy”) in a recent press release, maintaining that “emojis have come to embody a core aspect of living in a digital world that is visually driven, emotionally expressive, and obsessively immediate.”
The word of the year is chosen yearly from the year’s most popular words, and it is meant to “reflect the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of that particular year,” according to their team of editors. Previous words of the year include vape (2014), selfie (2013), and GIF (2012).
Here are the runner-ups for word of the year:
2. Twitter’s Top Trending Moments of the Year
Twitter in 2015 was more than just hashtags. Each hashtag revealed an international discourse revolving around some of 2015’s most significant events. 2015 was #PrayforParis and #JeSuisCharlie. It was #BlackLivesMatter and #LoveWins. It was #RefugeesWelcome and #IStandWithAhmed. These moments around the globe found their way into 140 characters on the World Wide Web. They showed international solidarity and love in the midst of hate. Look here to see some of the most influential topics on twitter this year, among them you’ll find some of the most retweeted tweets of 2015, which are displayed below.
3. Youtube Rewind
While Twitter showed us how trying 2015 truly was, Youtube offers us a more “millennial” and playful look at this passing year. In 2015’s edition of the annual Youtube Rewind, it shows all the new online trends that developed in 2015, referencing a diverse array of popular social media fads and memes, from Shia Labeouf's uplifting, yet aggressive “Just Do It!” rant to Drake’s Hotline Bling music video, or even one of the most heated debates of 2015, was the dress really black and blue...or is it gold and white? (P.S. It’s black and blue.) Watch the video here.
4. Billboard Music of the Year
This year’s charts were dominated by throwback tracks that paid homage to classic genres, like Taylor Swift’s 80s-influenced album 1989 or Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’s retro “Uptown Funk.” From a certified pop hits like the aforementioned tracks to an indie up-and-coming record, Billboard is the premiere place for finding out what’s popular in the music stratosphere, incorporating sales, streaming, and radio airplay, into their weekly-updated Hot 100 list. So here is what they calculated to be the most popular artists, albums, and songs for 2015.
5. Person of the Year
Each year, Time chooses a person, group, idea, or object that “for better or for worse...has done the most to influence the events of the year.” The magazine’s pick for 2015 was German chancellor Angela Merkel. She joins the likes of Martin Luther King Jr., Adolf Hitler, and a host of U.S. presidents in receiving the title. Time pointed out that there were at least three instances of crises in Europe: the possibility of Greek bankruptcy, the migrant and refugee crisis, and the terrorist attacks in Paris, all of which Merkel found herself at the center of as she grappled with a difficult year for not only her country, but also Europe. Time editor Nancy Gibbs ends her article with the following statements:
Runner-ups for person of the year are: